Electronic Press Kit

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The Rhode Island Slave History Medallion organization is a statewide public awareness program committed to marking those historic sites connected to the history of slavery in Rhode Island.

RISHM in the Press

RISHM’s Newport Black History Walking Tour was featured in the Boston Globe! Follow the link on this page to read the full article….
The second annual Newport Juneteenth celebration promises to be bigger and better than the year before, possibly serving as a test run for other large celebrations that could come to…
Rhode Island Slave History Medallions (RISHM) invites the public to attend a free, family-friendly Juneteenth (Freedom Day) celebration on Saturday from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. at Eisenhower Park on historic…

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RISHM Quick Facts

70% of all Colonial slave voyages began in Rhode Island. RI merchants with their ships were responsible for transporting more than 100,000 Africans, who were captured, trafficked and enslaved in America.
RI passed an anti-slavery statute in 1652, the very first in the US colonies, then a Slave Importation Moratorium in 1808. Despite these, laws were largely ignored until passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865 after the Civil War.
As a child, Executive Director Charles Roberts played in God's Little Acre, an African and African American cemetery located within the Common Burying Ground, unaware of the significance of the space around him. Determined to inform his community about Rhode Island's role in the Atlantic slave trade, Roberts founded RISHM.
In 2020, the RI General Assembly passed HR 2020-7643 sanctioning RISHM’s educational mission and urging communities to acknowledge their history.

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