As a young student at New Bedford High School, Lee Blake vividly remembers her disappointment that there were no black studies programs at the school.

As an educator and president of the New Bedford Historical Society, Blake has spent much of her life raising awareness about black history, and the important role New Bedford played in the Underground Railroad in the 1800s.

The Historical Society has educated young and old about Frederick Douglass, who arrived in New Bedford as a fugitive slave. Douglass lived in New Bedford for several years before moving on to become a renowned abolitionist, writer and speaker.

Lee Blake says there were many people in New Bedford who lined up to help those seeking freedom after fleeing slavery. She is now working with several agencies to create a new Historic District and park to honor abolitionists in New Bedford. The park is scheduled to be dedicated this spring.

Blake talks with me about her work and the new Historic District during an interview this week on Townsquare Sunday. You can listen to her appearance here:

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly public affairs program heard every Sunday morning at 6 a.m. on 1420 WBSM. Interview segments can also be heard at, on the WBSM app, and on WBSM TV on YouTube.

If you have a public event, festival, or neighborhood activity you want to publicize, submit your information here. You can also send an e-mail to Jim Phillips at

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