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The African American Trail Project at Tufts University A Walking Tour

Carpenter House

8 Winthrop Street, Medford, Massachusetts

In 1969, as the Black Studies Movement transformed college campuses across the country, African descended students at Tufts created the Afro-American Cultural Center at Carpenter House. This was a co-educational residence hall designed to "help the students whom it serves to understand their responsibility as students to themselves, to their families, and to their nation."

During its early years, the Center sponsored public lectures, art shows, panel discussions, film series, career consultation and advising workshops, and academic support programs. Among its early accomplishments was the Center's co-sponsoring of the National Black Solidarity Conference, a week-long series of meetings, lectures and plenary sessions that brought national as well as local activists, scholars and spokespersons to Tufts in the spring of 1976. From the first directors, William Wright and Allen Colon to the mid-1970s, the African American Center, which moved to the Capen house and was renamed in 1977, continued its original intent and sought to reach out to more members of the campus community.