by Paula Paris
William Monroe Trotter 1872 – 1934
“For every right, with all the might”
(Motto of the Boston Guardian)
On Humboldt Avenue in Roxbury, Massachusetts, in the heart of what was once a thriving middle-class African-American residential and business neighborhood, sits the William Monroe Trotter K-8 School, one of two local tributes to its namesake. The other is the home Trotter once owned on Sawyer Avenue in Jones Hill, Dorchester, where he and his wife lived from 1899 to 1909 and which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Boston-bred Trotter was a major civil rights activist and journalist in the early twentieth century, whose legacy has largely faded away. There are no monuments preserving his likeness.