Attend a film screening of 'Legacy of Courage: Black Changemakers in Massachusetts Past, Present, Future'

Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023
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The Massachusetts Bar Foundation (MBF) is proud to be a 2023 sponsor of Primary Source’s HistoryThon, which encourages participants to explore African American history and support educators in teaching accurate and inclusive U.S. history.

Join the MBF on Thursday, Nov. 2, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., for a film screening and panel discussion of Legacy of Courage: Black Changemakers in Massachusetts Past, Present, Future. The screening will take place at the Bruce Bolling Building, 2300 Washington St., Roxbury.

Created over two years by the Justice George Lewis Ruffin Society and produced by Northern Light Productions, Legacy of Courage chronicles how African American activists in Massachusetts have used the legal system to pursue freedom and civil rights for more than 400 years. The 20-minute film tells the stories of landmark court cases challenging slavery and education-based segregation utilizing archival sources, animation sequences, and interviews with scholars and youth activists. The lessons these stories deliver through successes, failures, and persistent activism are intended to inform and inspire audiences in schools and communities in Massachusetts and beyond. 

Legacy of Courage was created to extend the reach of the Long Road to Justice: The African American Experience in the Massachusetts Courts exhibition, which for many years traveled to courthouses statewide and was revised and permanently installed in the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse in 2018. The film project partnered with education consulting nonprofit Primary Source to develop discussion guides and introduce the film to school administrators and teachers for use in classrooms in upper elementary, middle, and high school.

“As an organization that supports educators in teaching accurately and inclusively about the United States, Primary Source considers African American history to be core to our mission,” said Primary Source Executive Director Jennifer Boyle Nigro. “We will build upon our 33 years of experience working with Massachusetts educators to provide a meaningful, integrated approach to utilizing Legacy of Courage in their classrooms. This film provides a dynamic tool for teachers to bring local African American history and stories of advocacy that will inspire their students."

The Massachusetts Bar Foundation has demonstrated its commitment to making Black history come alive for young people as a major sponsor of the Legacy of Courage film project, contributing $20,000 to its production.

“As part of its DEI work, the MBF is intentional in supporting projects impacting racial and social justice,” noted MBF President Angela C. McConney. “Inspiring activism among young people of color and their allies has a tremendous ripple effect in advancing the major social justice issues of our day.”

Visit and register for the Nov. 2 screening free of charge by using code MASSBAR23.