Melnea Cass, ‘First Lady of Roxbury,’ gave Boston her all

Civil rights activist Melnea Cass stood with US Senator Edward Brooke (left), US Representative Augustus Hawkins, and US Representative Bill Clay during a Congressional Black Caucus party held at the Harvard Faculty Club in Cambridge on April 5, 1972.DON PRESTON/GLOBE STAFF/THE BOSTON GLOBE

This Black History Month, the Globe is saluting people from Massachusetts who have made a difference.

A large recreational complex. A community pool. And a boulevard winding through Lower Roxbury. The name of Melnea Agnes Cass, known as the “First Lady of Roxbury,” is emblazoned on public amenities across the neighborhood she called home, a testament to her legacy as acivil rightsactivist and communityorganizer.

Born in 1896, Cass moved from Richmond, Va., to Boston’s South End as a child. She attended public schools in Boston, eventually settling in Roxbury.