The Boston Globe, December 2023
The historic accomplishments of Black abolitionists in Newburyport will be recognized Tuesday with the formal unveiling of a new interpretive panel in the Merrimack Valley city. The “Grant Us Our Liberty” sign, located in Brown Square near a statue of the city’s most famous abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison, will be celebrated during a 3 p.m. public ceremony.
The event is planned as part of the city’s Human Rights and Anti-Oppression Education Week, which was approved last month by the city council at the request of a committee honoring Garrison. The sign is the fifth to be placed around the city by the Newburyport Black History Initiative to recognize the contributions of Black activists who lived in the city in the 18th and 19th centuries.
“We want to bring history . . . out into the everyday world and everyday public landscape,” said Geordie Vining, a co-founder of the initiative and senior project manager for the city. The initiative was started last year as part of the city’s response to the global Black Lives Matter movement. “The entire community really wanted to make a difference in the wake of Black Lives Matter,” said Cyd Raschke, also a co-founder.