Black History Month is coming to a close. Here in Massachusetts, Tufts University professors Kendra Field and Kerri Greenidge have launched an initiative called the African American Trail Project to highlight some of the sites that are important to black history in and around the state, with more than 200 sites featured. Dr. Greenidge spoke with WGBH All Things Considered anchor Barbara Howard about the project. This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Barbara Howard: Boston is known for the abolitionist movement. But we had slavery much earlier. We brought it to the country. It was first legalized in the state of Massachusetts, is that right?

Kerri Greenidge: Yes, that's correct. So in 1641, Massachusetts became the first colony to legalize slavery in its body of liberties. And even though Boston became a city and Massachusetts became a state that ultimately ended slavery, there's sort of this conversation within Massachusetts of having both of those in its heritage.

Howard: We have that history from hundreds of years ago, and we have more current history, like the busing issues that happened in the 1970s. Your project — which tries to highlight the various places that are significant historically across the state — highlights both history from hundreds of years ago and more recent history from the 20th century. Is that right?

Greenidge: Yes, that is correct. So, we go up to the 1970s, we profiled the neighborhood in Mattapan where African and African-descended people began to move in the 60s and 70s. We profile areas in Cambridge where African-Americans lived, as well. Really our goal is to highlight the history of African-descended people, not just in Boston, but throughout all these communities. We go all the way west into Western Massachusetts, all the way north to Salem. And we encourage the publicto suggest sites on our web site that we might have missed that are pertinent to African and Afro-native history.

Read more: From Studying At BU To Meeting Coretta Scott: Mapping Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Time In Boston

Howard: Let's start with some of the early history. I know that one of the things you have on your list is the Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford. Talk about that.

Greenidge: Yes, the Royall House and Slave Quarters interprets the history of the Royall family, who were planters who came from the Caribbean. But it also interprets the history of enslaved people at that mansion.

Howard: And one of the things I recall about that is the house was opened to the public, quite recently, and that was the highlight of the tour. But then there was this building, and it was, what, 30 feet away from the main building?

Greenidge: Yes. It was where the enslaved men and women lived and where they raised their children.

Howard: And that was sort of an afterthought that came into the public consciousness in the past couple of decades.

Greenidge: Yes, it's through a lot of dedicated historians there stating we need to broaden the history that we present. And so there was an excavation that uncovered the lives of enslaved people at the Royall House.

Howard: In this project, you take people to these spots in Massachusetts that are significant to black history. But it doesn't just go hundreds of years back. We're also talking about relatively recent history, in the early 20th century. When you go through Back Bay station, keep an eye out for the A. Philip Randolph statue. He is legendary.

Read more: Exploring Boston’s Black History And Culture Through 15 Significant Sites

Greenidge: Yes, he is legendary.

Howard: A. Philip Randolph was in the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. That particular group, after the Civil War,the Pullman car company, allowed freed slaves to work for them. That was kind of unusual for a company back then.

Greenidge: Yeah, it was unusual in the sense that the Pullman Company was one of the few industries that actually recruited African-Americans, but also not that atypical in the sense that Pullman Porters were still considered laborers and servants for white passengers. A. Philip Randolph was one of the leading union organizers, African-American union organizers, in the country. And Boston had the distinction of having a high percentage of Pullman Porters stationed in the South End at the time. And Back Bay station, when it opened, was in the middle of one of those neighborhoods. Local African-Americans began unionizing and organizing as early as 1900 or 1905, so by the time A. Philip Randolph created the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in the 1920s, Bostonians, African-Americans and people of color who joined that union were some of his first recruits.

Howard: And his group, the union, was the first black union to sign a labor contract with a major corporation.

Greenidge: Yes, in the 1930s.

Howard: And you also bring us right up to the 1970s.

Greenidge: Yes.

Howard: With the whole altercation over school desegregation in Boston and busing. What do you have to give us for that?

Greenidge: We have sites, for instance, like Freedom House, that is located in Roxbury, that has been a center of black community mobilization. During the issues over busing, Freedom House became the center where parents and community leaders could gather to support the community during that time.

Howard: So how do people find this online?

Greenidge: We are

Howard: And there you can make suggestions for other sites and you can also find the map there that takes you to these places?

Greenidge: You can find the map and you can find directions to other sites. Yes.

Howard: That's Dr. Kerri Greenidge of Tufts University. She's one of the directors of the African American Trail Project, a new initiative aimed at highlighting local black history. This is WGBH’s All Things Considered.

The National Parks Service in Boston also operates a Black Heritage Trail encompassing 14 sites around the city. The Black Heritage Trail shares some sites with the African American Trail Project, including the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial.

The African American Trail Projectfeatures many sites and people, including author Harriet Jacobs, who wrote an autobiography called "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl." Jacobs lived for a time in Cambridge, and she is buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery.