A nonprofit group that marks sites in Rhode Island that have a historical connection to slavery has scheduled an event to mark a spot in Newport.
Rhode Island Slave History Medallions will be installing a medallion on Bowen’s Wharf, in partnership with Bowen’s Wharf Company, during a ceremony on Thursday, according to The Newport Daily News.
Bart Dunbar, president of Bowen’s Wharf Company, said he is “thrilled that we were approached by Charles Roberts of the Medallion Project to help illuminate this shameful, though major, part of Rhode Island’s past and identify the wharf as an integral part of the economy both then and now.”
Newport was a major hub of the North American slave trade in the 18th century. The medallion placed on the Chandlery building, which dates to 1783, will educate visitors on the role that the location played in history.
The medallion plaque is an artistic representation of the “Soul Effigy”angel image produced by the enslaved stone carver Pompe Stevens who in 1768 carved and signed one of the first pieces of African American artwork still existing in North America.
The public is invited, but attendees are asked to wear a mask and comply with social-distancing regulations.