Buttonwoods Presents ‘Hidden Stories, Unheard Voices: A Study of Haverhill’s Black History’

William R. Mobley (1873-1948) was an entrepreneur who established, owned and operated the Professor Bill Artist Bootblack shop at 116 Washington St., as well as a hat blocking, cleaning, and dyeing business. The business flourished in the early 20th century due to its proximity to the railroad and before long, Mobley became a politically and financially powerful part of the Haverhill community. His shop was a listening post for Haverhill politics, a connection to the statehouse and provided jobs for Haverhill’s Black community. (Photograph courtesy of the Trustees of the Haverhill Public Library, Special Collections Department.)

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Buttonwoods Museum is presenting “Hidden Stories, Unheard Voices: A Study of Haverhill’s Black History” as part of Black History Month.

The museum offers a close look at some of the stories of Haverhill’s enslaved, freed and free African-American individuals from the settlement period through the 19th century. Sponsored by the Cummings Foundation, the free program also offers narratives of Haverhillites of African descent who significantly shaped the city.

Grant Project Manager Carol Majahad and Grant Research Intern Claire Brady help attendees explore the Local History Collection and Biographical Files at the Haverhill Public Library’s Special Collections and share a comprehensive array of published and unpublished sources and other educational resources.

“Hidden Stories, Unheard Voices: A Study of Haverhill’s Black History” takes place Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 6:30 p.m., in the Johnson Auditorium at the Haverhill Public Library, 99 Main St., Haverhill.

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