Needham History Center & Museum Needham History Center & Museum, Needham Massachusetts 02492

Evidence of Racial Diversity in Needham


    Evidence of Racial Diversity in Needham

    Hidden in Plain Sight

    There are not many officials records of people of color in Needham, so we look instead to other types of sources. Photographs are especially rich in the details of every day life, and capture the details that the records often omit.  The photos below are just a few of the examples that show people of color in the course of their daily lives.  (Click on photo to enlarge)

    Needham Fire Brigade #1, shown with their brand-new firehouse in 1885. Two of these gentlemen, 6th and 9th from left, are Black.


    Children at the Kimball Elementary School in 1901.


    Lee Gin’s Laundry on Great Plain Avenue, circa 1895.  The laundry is in the white facade, between the photographer’s hut and the awning.


    Needham High School, Class of 1909.


    Students and teachers in front of the new Stephen Palmer School in 1917. The one Black child in the school can be seen under the inset detail.


    Three little girls on the steps of the Library, circa 1920.