Black Lives Matter to Harvard Square

An Unflinching and Provocative Reflection

August 31st, 2020

The Harvard Square Business Association, in partnership with Cambridge Historical Tours and Cambridge Forum, is pleased to announce a series of 13 videos entitled “Black Lives Matter to Harvard Square”, commemorating the lives of men and women who made historic and significant contributions toward social and racial justice, voting rights, civil rights, women’s rights, education and race and gender equality. 

Our series will commence on August 28th, the 57th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have A Dream” speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which took place in 1963.  These videos will be released in memory of George Floyd for 13 consecutive days at 8:46 A.M. This time acts as a powerful reminder of the devastating minutes and seconds Floyd was pinned to the ground before he died. His death was the catalyst for this project. Denise Jillson, Executive Director of the Harvard Square Business Association, said, “While the Black Lives Matter movement began in 2013, we took an earnest look at what the movement meant to Harvard Square and our community following the death of George Floyd.  This project acknowledges and celebrates the work and aspirations of black men and women who, at some point during their lifetimes, were connected to Harvard Square. These are people who suffered and toiled; whose courage flourished despite abuse, whose determination persisted despite cruelty and whose achievements were gained through blood and tears.

We are humbled to pay tribute to these heroes whose contributions to our country and our society are so great; whose devotion to freedom and justice are still palpable. They are venerated in a meaningful and tangible way in Harvard Square. We are honored to share their special markers, monuments and plaques.” 

Our final video will be released on September 9th, also a fitting and significant day. On this date in 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed The Civil Rights Act of 1957 into law.

Cambridge Forum will be creating NPR broadcasts from the series and will upload the video excerpts via WGBH Forum Network. Mary Stack, Executive Director of Cambridge Forum, fully endorses the project saying, “CF is honored to be involved in this historic series. Cambridge has always been a nexus for social and political change and this series helps illuminate the role that this city has played in helping shape the history of this country and its cultural evolution. We hope that by bringing this material to a wider national audience it will inspire and enrich others and signify a new chapter in our progress as a nation.” The video series will be featured on as well as Harvard Square’s FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube platforms and will be released in the following order:
August 28 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
August 29 – Prince Hall
August 30 – Phillis Wheatley
August 31 – Mary Walker
September 1 – Harriet Jacobs
September 2 – Richard T. Greener
September 3 – Clement G. Morgan
September 4 – Maria Baldwin
September 5 –  W. E. B. Du Bois
September 6 – William H. Lewis
September 7 – Julian Abele
September 8 – Ruby Sales
September 9 – Barack and Michelle Obama 

Epilogue Interview with our narrators, Stewart Evan Smith and Kathryn Woods, conducted by Daniel Berger-Jones

About our Narrators:

Kathryn Woods has been acting around Boston since the last century. Internationally, she has graced the stage of the Mayakofsky Theatre in Moscow as well as performing in the Fringe festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. She has toured a one woman show “A Woman Ain’t I?” about Sojourner Truth in 43 states for over thirty years; the performance is archived on CSpan. Pre-pandemic, you could find her on the streets of Boston in the daytime, guiding folks on the Freedom Trail. In the evening she could be much sought after, selling beer at Fenway Park. 

Stewart Evan Smith is a tour guide with Cambridge Historical Tours, as well as a Boston based actor. Voiceover credits include The Penumbra Podcast, and Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Emerald Necklace. 
Onstage, he has been seen recently in Vanity Fair (Underground Railway Theater), The Crucible (The Nora/Bedlam), The Three Musketeers, It’s A Wonderful Life (both at Greater Boston Stage Company). Between Riverside and Crazy (Speakeasy Stage), To Kill A Mockingbird (Gloucester Stage), and Edward II (Actors Shakespeare Project). For three years, he was a regular performer with Shit-Faced Shakespeare, and is a regular ensemble performer with Mystery Cafe Dinner Theatre.  He has also appeared in the independent films Uncanny Harbor, Scoundrel, and How to Win the Internet, as well as the internet series Staying in Boston.

About our Writer, Director and Interviewer:

Daniel Berger-Jones is a Boston-based actor, storyteller, producer, and entrepreneur. Although he shares his stories in many media, his preferred delivery is in live-performance settings, or, in times of COVID, on Zoom or Facebook Live. He is a preferred Boston Guide for The Four Seasons, the Ritz Carlton, Mandarin Oriental Boston, Intercontinental Hotel, and a large number of the area’s local event planners and talent agencies. In the classical music world, he has enjoyed sharing the stage with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Boston Pops, The BYSO, Boston Chamber Symphony, Odyssey Opera, and other small companies and performances which have given equal delight. As an actor, he has been in productions with Boston-area theatres ART, Huntington, Lyric Stage, Speakeasy Stage, Boston Playwright’s Theatre, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Shakespeare and Company, and many other small companies and performances which have given equal and sometimes more delight. As a cofounder of the Fringe Theatre company Orfeo Group, he enjoyed 3 Elliot Norton Awards for Best Production by a Fringe Company in five years, starring in 5 of the group’s productions. Currently, he runs local non-profit boutique Private Tour company Cambridge Historical Tours, giving entertaining tours of history, science, and art throughout the Greater Boston area. 

Music: Georgia Lyman and Cal DiGiovanni 
Produced by Harvard Square Business Association