American history; Race relations
This map serves to raise awareness about the history of slavery in Rhode Island. Despite having played an active role in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Rhode Island’s involvement is often overlooked or omitted from what we are traditionally taught in historically influenced classes at Providence College. Instead of integrating local history and knowledge into our own curriculum, we learn about slavery through a Eurocentric, Westernized lens. We aim to challenge our narrow teachings about slavery and widen our perspectives by constructing alternative narratives that go against the metanarrative. This map displaces the untold narratives of four areas in Rhode Island: Providence, Bristol, Narragansett and Newport.
Through these stories, we seek to highlight and draw attention to the set of skills, the culture, and the sense of humanity that Black individuals retained throughout their enslavement. By presenting Rhode Island’s involvement in the slave trade, we aim to remind our community that slavery not only existed thousands of miles away from us but also occurred in many familiar places we visit every day. We would not only like to shed light on the hidden history of slavery, but to also raise consciousness about how this history should play a vital part in our education at Providence College.