Agawam Public Library invites local archivist to celebrate Black History Month

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – In honor of Black History Month, the Agawam Public Library welcomed a local archivist to make a speech on Monday evening. The speech was titled “Freedom Stories of the Pioneer Valley.”

It focused on how three African-Americans claimed their freedom in the Pioneer Valley. Cliff McCarthy, an Archivist for the Museum of Springfield History, spoke about those who have taken action, whether successful or not, to ensure the freedom of others.

He said this search for freedom wasn’t easy. McCarthy told 22News why it’s important to remember the history and how it’s almost been erased.

“Every story is different, each family, each person has a unique story to tell. And we’ve found that there is evidence, that we can track the breadcrumbs. That we can build a picture of some of the lives in that period,” McCarthy explained.

Another lead of discussion Tuesday night was the “Documenting Early History of Black Lives” project. McCarthy says this project is to ensure all groups of people will have access to their past.