America has yet to heal the wounds caused by slavery and Jim Crow. While the south is often the focus of the hundreds of years of oppression black people faced, the north also played a significant role. 

Artist and MassArt professor Steven Locke has a plan to educate Bostonians about slavery by creating a memorial near one of the city's most important landmarks, reports WGBH

The memorial will be located at Faneuil Hall, which is named after the 18th-century merchant Peter Faneuil. He, like many others during his time, made his wealth from the slave trade. 

"It's my job as an artist to walk around this city and think about resilience and racial equity," Locke told Boston Public Radio on July 13. "So when I walk around Faneuil Hall, I'm trained to notice what's missing, and what's missing is an acknowledgment of the enslaved Africans and African-Americans whose trafficking financed the building of Faneuil Hall."

In the past few years, there have been calls demanding that the hall's name is changed to Crispus Attucks, who was the first person to die in the American Revolution at the Boston Massacre.

The 10 by 16-foot memorial will take the form of an auction block with a small rectangle representing the auctioneer, and a larger rectangle representing the enslaved Africans that were sold off. At all times, the memorial will be heated at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit — the same as the human body. 

"I understand people are wounded by the notion that a huge edifice in the city is named after a slaver. I understand the wound," Locke said. "But I also know you can never have too much truth, and the goal is to have as much truth as possible."

Boston's Mayor, Marty Walsh, told WGBH the memorial's proposal is being reviewed by the Edward Ingersoll Browne Fund for public art.

"I think there's an opportunity with the Slave Auction Block Memorial … to actually tell us what happened at Faneuil Hall, but also tell us what happened after slavery at Faneuil Hall," Walsh said.

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