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Councilors’ slave-trade apology cites Faneuil by name. Why won’t they act?

The Rev. Kevin Peterson, founder and executive director of the New Democracy Coalition, which has focused on reparations and reconciliation in Boston, delivered a petition to the office of City Council President Ed Flynn at the Boston City Council offices in City Hall on May 19.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

How long is it going to take for City Council President Ed Flynn and the Boston City Council to keep their promise of “removing prominent anti-Black symbols in Boston” (“Faneuil protest held at City Hall,” Metro, May 20)?

On June 15, 2022, the City Council unanimously passed a “Resolution to Acknowledge, Condemn, and Apologize for the Role Played by the City of Boston in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the Ongoing Detrimental Impacts Experienced by the Black People of Boston.”

The resolution mentions Peter Faneuil, whose wealth, through white supremacy, came from trafficking humans who were actually sold near the site that bears his name. In the protest this month at City Hall, a group of us led by the Rev. Kevin Peterson delivered the Change the Name petition, which bears more than 3,200 signatures, to Flynn’s office.


I strongly urge the council to hold a citywide public hearing to change this name. May this be a truly communal process. Such an action would be educational as it implements the city’s public apology. This would be one critical way of addressing harm done to Boston’s Black residents and hopefully would help move the city closer to needed racial reconciliation, healing, and repair.

Sister Linda Bessom