In October 2019, Witness Stones West Hartford remembered and honored the lives of six enslaved men and women. We invite you to watch highlights from the ceremony here:
By Ronni Newton in We-Ha.Com on October 24, 2019
History involves the study of what happened in the past, but we all know there is more than one side to most stories.
There are also stories that have yet to be told.
When Tracey Wilson and Liz Devine started the Witness Stones Project in West Hartford, they wanted to find those stories, the stories about the lives of the enslaved people who are a part of the town’s history. People whose made contributions that few, if any, know about today. They wanted to acknowledge that slavery existed in West Hartford, and commemorate the lives of those who were enslaved while at the same time inspiring community conversation. Continue reading.
Last week, the Witness Stones Project conducted its first Teachers’ Workshop inviting educators from West Hartford, Middletown, and Guilford. At the workshop they learned, shared, and discover the project whose aim is to: Restore the History and Honor the Humanity and Contributions of the Enslaved Individuals Who Helped Build Our Communities!
We spoke about Bristow, Mimbo, and Joachim, three of the enslaved persons that our communities have remembered or will remember through the Witness Stones Project. We also spoke of the issues of memory and failing to come to terms with our past. We looked at the documents that uncover the lost history and return the color to the fabric of our community’s history.
Thank you to Connecticut Humanities for funding the workshop with a Quick Grant, the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society for hosting day two of the workshop, and the Middlesex County Historical Society for hosting day three! The expertise of historians and educators from all three communities provided a framework to continue the project in each community.
Especial thanks to Anne Farrow, Debby Shapiro, Tracey Wilson, Liz Devine, Lauren Gullette, Sally Nyhan, Doug Nygren, and Tom Bushnell for leading the discussions. Thank you to our friends at Guilford, Connecticut Park and Rec Department for hosting day one. And an ongoing thank you to the Guilford Preservation Alliance and the Guilford Foundation for their continued support!