Lower Roxbury Black History Project

On 9 November 2006, Northeastern University President Joseph E. Aoun met with members of the Black Ministerial Alliance of Massachusetts at the People's Baptist Church to discuss possible collaborations between Northeastern and Lower Roxbury clergy. During the meeting, Reverend Michael E. Haynes suggested the University create a history of the African American community in Lower Roxbury. As a result, President Aoun appointed Joseph D. Warren, at that time Special Assistant to the Director of Government Relations and Community Affairs, to oversee the Lower Roxbury Black History Project. Warren appointed an advisory board consisting of Rev. Michael E. Haynes, formerly of Roxbury's Twelfth Baptist Church; Massachusetts State Representative Byron Rushing; Northeastern University Archivist Joan D. Krizack; Northeastern University history professors William M. Fowler Jr., Gerald H. Herman, Robert L. Hall; and Northeastern Vice President for Public Affairs Robert P. Gittens.

In November 2007, Warren hired Lolita Parker Jr., a photographer and documentary film researcher, to collect oral histories and artifacts documenting the community's rich history. From 2007-2009 with the assistance of her son, London Parker-McWhorter, Parker spoke with over 40 residents of Roxbury. Participants were selected in three ways: one, Rev. Michael Haynes recommended members of his congregation; two, Lolita Parker Jr. posted fliers in Roxbury asking for participants; and three, during the interviews, interviewees suggested other participants. Interviewees discussed their families, childhoods, and specific areas in Roxbury, such as Roxbury Crossing, Sawyer Street, and Haskins Street from the early to mid-twentieth century. Records include audio, video, edited and unedited transcripts of interviews, scans, and photographs.