African American history

BEN JAMES / NEPR

Monuments to the Confederacy have become sites of renewed controversy in recent months. But not all acts of confrontation and reconciliation occur in public.

Legislation to rename Magee Street in Providence’s College Hill neighborhood to Bannister Street has been introduced by City Councilman Sam Zurier, a Democrat who represents the neighborhood.

The measure would change the street named for 19th century Providence slave trader William Fairchild Magee to one honoring two of that era’s leading African-American citizens – Christiana and Edward Bannister.

Christiana Bannister was a business leader and philanthropist and Edward was a celebrated painter.

Engraving by Mason & Maas, from a drawing by John Pole, M.D. (Library of Congress) / New Bedford Historical Society

Massachusetts has declared September 16th Paul Cuffee Day, with a proclamation from Governor Charlie Baker. On Saturday, Lee Blake, of the New Bedford Historical Society,and members of four other historical organizations, will commemorate the 200th anniversary of Cuffee’s death in Westport.