The Shaw 54th Memorial located on the vibrant Boston Common is a vital historical memorial to the group of men who were among the first African Americans to fight in the Civil War and their colonel. For the past year and a half, the National Park Service, the City of Boston, the Friends of the Public Garden, and the Museum of African American History have worked together to extend the impact of the Shaw 54th by planning for its restoration and developing programming to bring attention to the history behind it and the relevance it holds for today in the ongoing conversation about race and social justice.
While we had planned to publicly launch the restoration of the monument on July 10th, we are postponing the launch event pending formal awarding of the forthcoming construction contract. The Partnership is working to develop an updated construction timeline. We look forward to rescheduling the July 10th event once important details of the construction schedule are confirmed.
For updates, visit shaw54thmemorialrestoration.org, www.maah.org or go.nps.gov/todayinboston.
For any questions about the project, contact Friends of the Public Garden at 617-723-8144, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, we hope you will join us for several events offered by the National Park Service, Friends of the Public Garden, and Museum of African American History:
-July 2, 2019
Mass Humanities in collaboration with the Museum of African American History and the National Park Service is sponsoring a Boston public reading of abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ famous Fourth of July speech. All are welcome to read, scripts provided. Meet at the Shaw 54th Memorial at noon, Beacon and Park Streets, across from the State Capital. Consider joining a National Park Ranger at the front of the Shaw 54th immediately afterward and taking a walking tour of the Museum’ s Black Heritage Trail, ending at the 1806 African Meeting House, a recruiting center for the Massachusetts 54th Volunteer Regiment.
-July 18, 2019
The Museum of African American History in partnership with PEN America and Mass Humanities presents a program honoring Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, “The Power and Presence of Women,” highlighting the role of female contributors Harriett Tubman, Charlotte Forten, and Susie King Taylor. Significantly, July 18th is the date of the 54th’s first major battle at Fort Wagner, South Carolina and is a celebrated site of the Civil War. Held at the African Meeting House, 46 Joy Street, doors open at 5:30pm; the program begins at 6:00pm. Author and Assistant Professor, Wellesley College, Dr. Kellie Carter Jackson, and Somerville’s inaugural poet laureate Nicole Terez Dutton join the Museum’s Director of Education, L’Merchie Frazier for the discussion. The program is part of the Museum’s series Race in the Public Dialogue. The Presenting Corporate Sponsor is Bank of America.
-August 13, 2019
The Shaw 54th Restoration Partnership presents a free public screening of the Academy award-winning film about the Shaw 54th Regiment, Glory. The screening takes place on Boston Common at 8:00 pm.
-Saturdays and Sundays, June 28 through September 1 at 3 p.m.
Rocking the Cradle: The Anthony Burns Meeting: Join us for this interactive program about Boston’s response to the case of Anthony Burns who was arrested under the Fugitive Slave Law in 1854. Facilitated by NPS staff in period clothing and presented in Faneuil Hall, a recently designated Network to Freedom site, this program recreates the public meeting held in the aftermath of Burn’s arrest in the actual room where the event took place. Meets in the Great Hall at Faneuil Hall. Free. 30 mins.
-Saturdays and Sundays, June 28 through September 1 at 3:30
Ghosts of the Revolution: Anthony Burns Walking Tour : In May of 1854, slave catchers in Boston arrested Anthony Burns, a fugitive that escaped enslavement in Virginia. This walking tour explores the rendition of Anthony Burns through the voices of those who witnessed his march back into enslavement. Meets in the Great Hall. Free. 45 mins.
-Saturday July 13 at 11:30
Meet Me at the Shaw: How has the Shaw/54th Memorial been used since its dedication in 1897? This program will highlight some of the various groups and individuals that have utilized the Memorial as a place of commemoration, gatherings, and protest for more than 120 years. Meets in the Find Your Parks Space at Faneuil Hall. Free. 30 mins.
-Sunday July 21st at 11:30
Community Organization and the 54th Regiment: In January of 1863, following the Emancipation Proclamation, the 54th Massachusetts officially began to accept recruits. With volunteers enlisting from all over the northern United States, the efforts of local community leaders proved invaluable. Join us as we explore how these local leaders spearheaded the recruitment of this historic unit. Meets in the Find Your Park Space at Faneuil Hall. Free. 30 mins.
-Sunday August 4th at 11:30
Boston’s Black Regiment: While only a small number of the soldiers of the 54th came from Boston, their stories provide deep insight into why these men enlisted. Come hear their stories and learn how the North Slope of Beacon Hill prepared these men for the Civil War. Meets in the Faneuil Hall Find Your Park Space. Free. 30 min.