BOSTON (WHDH) - Local activists again called for change Friday, continuing a campaign to change the name of Boston’s Faneuil Hall.
One of the city’s most famous buildings, Faneuil Hall has been the subject of controversy due to the fact that the building was named after a prominent slave owner.
Various activists have protested the building’s name in the past. This week, activists were back again, filling the hallways of Boston City Hall to deliver more than 3,000 Change.org petition signatures protesting the name to the City Council.
“Rid this city of anti-Black symbols in Boston,” Rev. Kevin Peterson said Friday.
“Peter Faneuil was a racial bigot,” Peterson continued. “He was a slave owner. He was a person who derived much of his wealth through the procurement and the selling of slaves.”
Minister John Gibbons also spoke, saying “the name of Faneuil on our most iconic public building hides, gives camouflage, obscures and insults the true history of Boston, which is to say that our economy and commerce and governance and society were built on the granite foundation of slave trader hall.”
Beyond this week’s petition, Peterson said a 2021 poll by MassINC shows a majority of Bostonians now believe the Faneuil Hall name should be changed.
Following an announcement by Mayor Michelle Wu earlier this year of a reparations task force, Peterson and others who have been calling to change the name now hope the City Council will take up the issue.
“For us to keep that name and keep silence would be to betray the Black lives that were irreparably harmed by the slave trade,” Gibbons said.
“Let’s find a true pathway towards reparations,” Peterson added. “Bring down that name.”
While some names have been put forward for potential new names if the Faneuil Hall name is changed, Peterson said he hopes the public will offer their own ideas.
(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)