Enslaved Africans Honored At Middle Passage Dedication Ceremony In Boston

Photo: Suzanne Sausville/WBZ

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) – Part of a broader effort to install historic markers at multiple Middle Passage locations, a marker in honor of enslaved Africans was formally dedicated in Boston Sunday afternoon.

The tall, glass port marker was installed at the end of Long Wharf, facing the Boston Harbor, last October and is meant to acknowledge Boston’s history of slavery and honor the Africans who survived or perished during the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Event organizers said millions of Africans were sold in the Caribbean and in American cities, including Boston, from 1819 to 1865. Native Americans from local tribes were also enslaved after being taken as prisoners of war.

The ceremony featured several speakers, poetry and a traditional African balafon player. The names of enslaved members of Boston’s oldest churches were also read aloud as girls, dressed in white, tossed white flowers into the water.

Former State Representative Byron Rushing was also present, reminding guests and participants about the historical context surrounding the dedication.

“It will not be until 2111 that people of African descent will have been free as long as they have been enslaved in the United States," he said.

Middle Passage locations are identified by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization or UNESCO.

The event was invite-only, because of the pandemic, but was also live streamed.

WBZ’s Suzanne Sausville (@wbzSausville) was at the ceremony:

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