ABOLITION ACRE was initiated by the Beacon Hill Scholars, a diverse group of individuals who seek to research, interpret, and preserve the history associated with Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, and particularly the community of free African Americans that thrived there in the 19th century.
The project has been developed in association with Community Change, Inc., a Boston-based center for anti-racist learning and action, and The David Walker Memorial Project, which aims to honor and increase public knowledge of the Black abolitionist, David Walker.
An Advisory Council is being established to provide expert guidance and support for the project.
Abolition Acre exhibit is envisioned as a public-private partnership combining the expertise and resources of the City of Boston, non-profit groups, businesses, and the philanthropic community. An internationally renowned architecture firm, Cambridge Seven Associates, has expressed interest in taking on the design and implementation of the Abolition Acre exhibit.
The growing support for Abolition Acre includes the following Boston-based organizations and institutions:
Boston African American National Historic Site/National Park Service
Congregational Library and Archives, American Congregational Association
Museum of African American History
Roxbury Community College
Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, Boston University
William Monroe Trotter Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Boston
“Abolition Acre is a most important effort to inform and expand the scope of public attention and understanding of the vital people, places and events of Boston’s past as it is connected to us in the present.”
— L’Merchie Frazier, Director of Education and Interpretation, Museum of African American History, Boston and Nantucket
“Abolition Acre gives pride of place to the city’s achievements on behalf of racial equity, and is a testament that Boston….has stood erect and tall at the bar of justice and can do so again.”
— Barbara B. Lewis, Ph.D., Director, The William Monroe Trotter Institute, University of Massachusetts Boston
“Abolition Acre’s focus on the importance of both the black and white communities working together to fight injustice is exactly what America needs today. The fight to end institutionalized racism that still exists in our society needs discussion. Abolition Acre provides a forum for that discussion and much needed dialogue.
— Vincent Licenziato, Creator, Emancipation Trail
“I have walked streets surrounding the City Hall Plaza where abolitionists such as David Walker and William Lloyd Garrison once walked. I have stood in the place across from City Hall where an angry mob ensued to lynch Mr. Garrison in efforts to squelch anti-slavery sentiments and where runaway slave Anthony Burns, after the court’s decision to return him to his owner, was marched with thousands of onlookers and hundreds of armed soldiers to the Charlestown Navy Yard. This is an integral part of the rich and important history of Boston that I believe should be shared and made available to the public. Abolition Acre does exactly that.
— Christle Rawlins-Jackson, President, Beacon Hill Scholars