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We Speak Now:  Race & Enslavement at the First Church in Roxbury

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Click on the image to download the final report by Aabid Allibhai,  "Race & Slavery at the First Church in Roxbury (The Colonial Period 1631-1775)".

This report tells the story of at least fifty-eight human beings—Black and Indigenous men, women, and children— who were enslaved by First Church’s white parishioners. 

Aabid's report is part of our commitment to an accurate look at our history in order to work for a more just future.  And it is not a one-and-done project, but the beginning of our work.

why people mad at me sometimes

they ask me to remember

but they want me to remember

their memories

and i keep on remembering



- Lucille Clifton

(Response when asked to write a poem "celebrating our colonial heritage" for Maryland's 350th anniversary, and a poem featured in Aabid's report)

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A Virtual Presentation of the Report

In addition to the presentation of the event at Putnam Chapel (on the UU Urban Ministry campus), we were grateful to be joined recently  for a virtual presentation of "Race & Enslavement at the First Church in Roxbury".

During this presentation, we were again joined by the report's author, Aabid Allibhai, as well as historian Byron Rushing, to discuss the contents and answer questions from those who joined us.  The video is available by clicking the image (right) or
HERE.  We encourage you to watch it.  

This page is a work in progress.  More to come...

"These are the woes of slaves;

They glare from the abyss;

They cry, from unknown graves,

We are the witnesses."


- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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