On the Trail with the African-American Patriots Tour Charles borSos

The African-American Patriots Tour started where many other Boston tours start: At the Boston Commons in the shadow of the Statehouse.
But as the guide, Kathryn Woods briskly walks along, the tour becomes less about the these big buildings.

Journeying to the memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the Fifty-Fourth Regiment quickly set a tone for the tour. Gould, the white commanding officer of the Black Civil War regiment, is seen on the front which his men. However, the Black soldiers who died are named on the back of the stone. An addition made many years after the fact.

Woods said that nonetheless, it was one of the earliest examples of American artwork that show African-Americans in a sympathetic light.

Other parts of the tour took back-allies and side streets. A more underground method of getting from point A to point B. A method used by many to escape slavery or sometimes avoid race violence afterwards.

The regular Freedom Trail passes a memorial to Crispus Attucks. Woods doesn't try to reinvent the wheel by telling that story. However, she pointed out that despite being the first to fall during the Boston Massacre, he is listed last on the memorial to those who died at the Granary Burying Ground in Boston.

Stories like these serve as a reminder that the patriot history of the early United States and Boston is intertwined with African-American history one way or another.

Many of the visitors enjoyed Woods for her energy and passion for the subject matter. Woods said herself that she wasn't trying to get through all of the dates and figures of the time period, but the emotions.

Aliah Walls of Baltimore said she learned a lot about her culture that she wanted to share with her friends when she got home.

Marty Johnson of Boston had a good time on the tour as well. It was his first tour he had taken of his city and appreciated the different set of stories told.

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Charles Borsos
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