A national push to memorialize enslaved Africans who passed through America's slave-trading ports is underway in Rhode Island. Monday night the local committee involved in this effort convened a meeting to get public participation in the design and placement of a memorial in Providence.
Valerie Tutson, an organizer with the Rhode Island Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, said local residents should weigh in.
"We want to let them know what the areas of involvement are," Tutson said. "Some people might be interested in design. Some people might be interested in where the marker should go."
Four ports in Rhode Island have been identified as sites of significance in the transatlantic slave trade: Providence, Newport, Warren and Bristol. Tutson says a memorial marker is a way to publicly acknowledge the state’s connection to slavery, and to honor those who were brought here, and survived.
Local communities have formed committees in each of the four ports designated in Rhode Island. Using national guidelines, each committee is responsible for designing and placing its marker. Monday night's meeting in Providence was held at the Beneficent Church, in the Round Top Center.