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Hartford Changemakers

Black, Latine, and Indigenous leaders in Hartford History

Hartford Changemakers collage

The Hartford Changemakers online resource is made up of reference materials on Black, Latine, and indigenous Hartford historical figures who made a difference in the city and beyond. Many of these figures came out of a Black History Month project in 2016 called More Than a Month and the Draw a Hartford History Maker community art project that took place in 2017. This will be an evolving resource as we continue to add more people and materials.

El recurso en línea de Hartford Changemakers está compuesto por materiales de referencia sobre figuras históricas negras, latinas e indígenas de Hartford que marcaron la diferencia en la ciudad y más allá. Muchas de estas cifras surgieron de un proyecto del Mes de la Historia Negra en 2016 llamado Más de un mes y el proyecto de arte comunitario Draw a Hartford History Maker que tuvo lugar en 2017. Este será un recurso en evolución a medida que continuamos agregando más personas y materiales.

Changemakers by Profession

(Education, Employment, Public Housing, Fire/Police, Legal System, Politics, Religion)
Blanks, Gertrude (1920-2019)
Canty, Marietta (1905-1986)
Fuentes, Juan (1932-2015)
Lawson, Warner (1903-1971)
McLean, Jackie (1931-2006)
Plato, Ann (c.1823-?)
Porter, Charles Ethan (1847-1923)
Proffitt, Bessie (1898-1973)
Reed, Gwen (1912-1974)
Shaw, Spencer (1917-2010)
Smith, Cheryl L. (1946-2021)
Summers, Lucy Cooper (1920-1995)
Waring, Laura Wheeler (1887-1948)
Bennett, Collin (1931-1998)
Brown, Ella (1918-1984)
Copes Reed, Glenda L. (1943-2013)
Daniels, Evans (1924-2005)
Johnson, Arthur Lyman (1918-1999)

Johnson, Mary (1881-1959)
Sanchez, Maria (1926-1989)
Scott, Shirley (1932-1987)
Weaver-Bey, Richard A. (1944-2008)

Hurley, Walter "Doc" (1923-2014)
Johnson, Arthur Lyman (1918-1999)
Knight, Bobby (1929-2008)


Alleyne, Barbara (1930-2011)
Barlow, Boce W. (1915-2005)
Bennett, Collin (1931-1998)
Brown, Ella (1918-1984)
Canty, Marietta (1905-1986)
Cromwell, Ella Little (1918-2006)
Garner, Darrell (1935-2013)
Hurley, Walter "Doc" (1923-2014)

Jimenez, Celestino (? - 2018)

Johnson, Arthur Lyman (1918-1999)
Johnson, Mary (1881-1959)
Johnson, Muriel (1923-1972)
Lewis, Charles "Butch" (1944-2015)
Mele, Olga (1917-2003)
Mero, Trude (1927-2013)
Milton, Rachel Taylor (1901-1995)
Pennington, Rev. James W.C. (1807-1870)
Plato, Ann (c.1823-?)
Ramirez, Rev. Julie (1931-2016)
Rogers, John E. (1907-1982)
Roman, Juan (1928-2020)
Sanchez, Maria (1926-1989)
Saxon-Perry, Carrie (1931-2018)

Scott, Shirley (1932-1987)
Seymour, Mary Townsend (1873-1957)
Shaw, Martha Taylor (1889-1986)
Smith, Wilbur G. (1935-1992)
Stewart, John B. (1930-2015)
Stewart, Maria Miller (1803-1879)
Summers, Lucy Cooper (1920-1995)
Taylor, C. Edythe (1897-1969)
Torres, Mildred (1941-1998)


Black Heroes in Hartford Trail - February 2023

With its inaugural launch for the month of February 2023, Hartford’s Black Heroes Trail honors Hartford heroes that have made history at the local and national level. The inaugural version of the trail features 19 installations along Main Street in Hartford, each highlighting a different impactful hero with a brief description of their accomplishments. The project is in conversation with the Hartford History Center’s “Hartford Changemakers” reference guide. Click on names to the left to learn more about our over 45 change makers.

The idea for the Hartford Black Heroes Trail was originally brought to Councilwoman Tiana Hercules from local advocate Bridgitte Prince and was developed by her office with significant help from the Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library, Hartford’s Department of Public Works and Office of Equity & Opportunity, as well as dozens of neighborhood organizations. The project also received sponsorship from Councilwoman Shirley Surgeon and Council Majority Leader TJ Clarke.  

To learn more about the honorees, or where to find their respective installations, you can follow along on our interactive map.

Hartford Public Library 

Central Branch:  500 Main Street. Hartford, CT 06103 
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