The city of Boston recently released a groundbreaking database of people who were once enslaved here.
The database currently lists more than 2,300 people, and many of their enslavers as well.
Curator Kyera Singleton said she hopes that by having this data publicly available, it will help illuminate an often overlooked part of our history.
“The biggest implication is to really demystify the fact that slavery was a part of Northern society, that it’s a part of Massachusetts," she said. "I think oftentimes we still associate slavery with a Southern story, but look how widespread and prevalent it was.”
Not all the people in the database are named, due to limitations in some records.
"One of the heartbreaking things about records from the 18th century, and especially records that are about enslaved people, is that these records are often coming from the enslavers themselves — from their probate inventories, from their wills — and oftentimes they don't list people by names," Singleton said.
To hear more of WBUR's conversation with Kyera Singleton on Morning Edition, press the play button above.
This article was originally published on November 07, 2023.
This segment aired on November 7, 2023.