Black-owned businesses in Boston may see more revenue with activists calling for a full-fledged boycott of Faneuil Hall, a shopping center and tourist attraction named for a slave owner. A coalition was expected to begin sit-ins and demonstrations across the city this summer after officials refused requests to change the name of the landmark.
The New Democracy Coalition petitioned Mayor Martin Walsh to rename the site that attracts hundreds of tourists and shoppers but have been met with resistance since last August, Metro reported.
“But because our contentions have gone unheeded; and because our cries have gone unaddressed, and
because our earnest charges have gone ignored, we are calling on a national black boycott of Faneuil Hall and
its Quincy Market Place where the souls of black slaves were sold,” Kevin C. Peterson, founder of the New Democracy Coalition, said in a letter to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Friday. “Black people in this city and across the country can no longer tolerate the denial, disrespect, destain and disassociation that the white political and economic hegemony in this city has directed over them.”
Faneuil was a known slave trader who helped fund the creation of the landmark with money that came in part from the sale of slaves. Slavery in Boston has always been a “moral controversy” with an “evil” legacy that must be condemned, Peterson said.
The group will not just push the boycott in Boston: They are specifically reaching out to African-American organizations, tourist associations and policy makers across the nation.
The boycott could lead to tourists ditching Faneuil to spend their money at the city’s Black-led businesses, however, activists are hoping for a name change. They have proposed that the landmark — especially considering that it’s also a civic events space — is named after Crispus Attucks who was a Black man killed during the 1770 Boston Massacre and widely considered the first victim of the American Revolution.