Organized religion supported NJ slave trade, Reparations Council is told

The New Jersey Reparations Council is continuing public outreach sessions to explore the history and impact of slavery in New Jersey. On Thursday night, a committee within the council titled “Faith and Black Resistance” held the third hearing.

Rev. Charles Boyer, the senior pastor of the Greater Mt. Zion AME Church in Trenton, who gave testimony at the hearing, spoke about the rarely discussed role of organized religion in supporting the slave trade in New Jersey and those within faith groups who benefited from it. It wasn’t just the churches, Boyer said, but also members of clergy and educational institutes like seminaries that benefited from the labor and ownership of enslaved Black people.

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