Belinda’s Petition

From an exhibit of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC):

Belinda’s Petition

Little is known about Belinda’s personal life, beyond her enslavement. Her petition sheds light on her tenacity and faith in equal justice.

Belinda, an enslaved woman born in Africa, petitioned to the Massachusetts legislature in 1783 for her freedom. Belinda’s detailed petition shed light on the horrors of slavery. She shared her story from the terror of her kidnapping in Africa through her experience of enslavement. Belinda’s successful petitions granted her a pension, providing one of the earliest recorded examples of reparations for enslavement.


Reference: National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC)

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