Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Rhode Island church puts spotlight on their role in American slavery

By Katherine Q. Seeyle
The 200-year-old Cathedral of St. John in Providence, R.I., which will become a racial reconciliation center and a museum focused on the North's involvement in slavery. Credit Charlie Mahoney for The New York Times
RHODE ISLAND---One of the darkest chapters of Rhode Island history involved the state’s pre-eminence in the slave trade, beginning in the 1700s. More than half of the slaving voyages from the United States left from ports in Providence, Newport and Bristol — so many, and so contrary to the popular image of slavery as primarily a scourge of the South, that Rhode Island has been called “the Deep North.” That history will soon become more prominent as the Episcopal diocese here, which was steeped in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, establishes a museum dedicated to telling that story, the first in the country to do so, according to scholars. [link]

Architecture plans lie on a table at the Cathedral of St. John. Credit Charlie Mahoney for The New York Times