… a Worcester newspaper announced that “in accordance with the desire of a number of citizens,” a freedmens’ office would be established to make it easy for white employers to hire African Americans, newly arrived from the South. As a result of contact with soldiers and teachers from Worcester County, escaping and later emancipated slaves gravitated to central Massachusetts. The city’s black population doubled in the 1860s, and the Civil War-era migration continued into the late nineteenth century. With help from the northerners who had befriended them, the local African American community, and the area’s abolitionists, the refugees began to build families and institutions. The cultural traditions these southern migrants brought with them made Worcester’s small black community a vibrant one.
However, the initial promise and optimism of those times would not fully be realized. Read the whole post at MassMoments.