Crispus Attucks (c.1723-1770) was a slave, merchant seaman, and dock worker of Wampanoag and African descent. Many people believe that he was the first person shot to death by British redcoats during the Boston massacre. He, along with Samuel Gray and James Caldwell died "on the spot" during the incident. Historians disagree on whether he was a free man or slave. Attucks, in the 19th century, became an icon of the anti-slavery movement. His grave is in the Granary Burying Ground, Boston.
William Cooper Nell, African-American abolitionist, historian, journalist, and civil servant was born on Dec. 16, 1816. Nell was one of the first people to record extensive African American history (a people's historian!) and an activist for school desegregation in Boston. He launched a petition drive among African American parents in Boston, a first step in the 100 year campaign that led to the Brown v. Board decision.