BOSTON (AP) – An organization that wants to rename Boston’s Faneuil Hall is calling for economic reparations for the city’s Black community.
The New Democracy Coalition gathered Saturday at Faneuil Hall to call attention to the impact of structural racism. They also reiterated a demand to change the name of the historic downtown building and called on the city to make amends to the Black community through reparations.
Blacks are still dealing with vast economic inequality in a city that likes to tout its liberal values, said Kevin Peterson, the coalition’s founder.
Blacks are owed an apology along with concrete steps to level the economic playing ﬁeld and address the city’s past sins, he said. For example, reparations could include steps to increase Black home ownership, he said.
“When we speak about reparation, we are talking about addressing historic economic sins foisted upon Boston’s Black community by whites in the larger historic context,” he said.
The city is dealing with a racial reckoning and Faneuil Hall, one of Boston’s most popular attractions, is a focal point.
Peter Faneuil, the building’s namesake, was a merchant who traded and owned slaves. So far, the city’s mayor has rebuffed the calls by protesters to rename the building.