Architectural detail of window arches on Old South Church in Boston

News & Announcements

Healing Day and Bell Ringing Ceremony: News Coverage


Headline: Boston's Old South Church honors Phillis Wheatley, Paula Hammond, civil rights leaders 400 years after enslaved Africans arrive

Author: Steph Solis

Excerpt: “Four hundred years ago, a group of farmers, artisans and blacksmiths became slaves sold off in the American colonies. It all began with the White Lion, a slave ship that unloaded the captives on Aug. 25, 1619 in Point Comfort (present-day Hammond, Virginia).

Boston’s Old South Church commemorated the anniversary by celebrating African American artists, authors and activists. They range from Phillis Wheatley, the first African American woman to publish a book on poetry, to civil rights leader Mimi Jones, who lives in Roxbury to MIT professor Paula T. Hammond.”







Headline: Old South Church Observes the Legacy of Slavery

Author: Andrew Martinez

Excerpt: “On the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Africans to America in 1619, the Old South Church joined a national recognition of the sorrow and anger at wrong that was done by slavery and celebrated the contributions of African-Americans to the country, and Boston, since….

Tracy Keene, a member of Old South and chairwoman of (G)race Speaks, the church’s standing committee on conversations on race, spoke of the legacy of Phillis Wheatley, a church member in the mid-1700s whose writings launched African-American and women’s literature. ‘She was regarded as a genius in her time,” Keene said, ‘and despite persistent efforts to discredit the intellect and ability of people of African descent, genius remains part of her legacy.’”




Headline: First Africans Sold Into Slavery Honored At Boston’s Old South Church

Author: James Rojas

Excerpt: “Faith leaders across the country commemorated Sunday the 400 year anniversary of when the first Africans were brought to Virginia and sold as slaves at the Old South Church in Boston. Names belonging to slaves who lived in Boston and worshipped at the Old South Church were read aloud. Among those who read the names was Mimi Jones, a civil rights activist who, at 14 years old in Georgia, met Martin Luther King Jr.

“First of all, we really need to never forget history because our present is informed by our past,” Jones said. Church bells were rung Sunday to honor the first slaves brought to Virginia, as well as a celebration of the 400 years of African-American history, culture, and contributions.”




Headline: Events planned in Boston for ‘National Day of Healing’ to explore toll of slavery on 400th anniversary

Author: Jeremy Fox

Excerpt: “In Boston, the 3 p.m. ceremony will take place at the Old South Church, King’s Chapel, Old North Church, the USS Constitution and the USS Cassin Young at Charlestown Navy Yard, and at Faneuil Hall, a site that has been the subject of much discussion in recent years because of its namesake’s participation in the slave trade."