City council approves monument in honour of slaves

The monument is set to recognise the contributions of slaves to the city's founding and economy and  will be placed in the Wall Street area.

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The New York City Council has approved the erection of a monument in honour of slaves.

The monument is set to recognise the contributions of slaves to the city's founding and economy and  will be placed in the Wall Street area, about a block from where the city's first slave market stood.

BBC reports that when the council approved the market in 1711, almost 1,000 of the city's 6,400 people were black,

The monument which is expected to be unveiled this summer will join 38 other markers, mostly commemorating success in the financial and construction industries, in lower Manhattan.

Council officials told the local radio station that the sign memorialising the contributions of slaves would be revealed on 19th June, a day known as "Juneteenth", which marks the anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in the confederate south.

However an official with New York City Councillor Jumaane Williams' office told the BBC that the timing, location and text of the monument have not been confirmed.

In the early 18th Century, slaves in New York worked in households, farms, and as a traders and dockworkers.

Meanwhile, a National Museum of African American History and Culture is being built in Washington but campaigners have long argued there should be a national memorial to slavery as well.

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