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New marker hopes to tell clearer story of slave auctions - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

New marker hopes to tell clearer story of slave auctions

New slave auction marker (Source: Live 5) New slave auction marker (Source: Live 5)
New slave auction marker (Source: Live 5) New slave auction marker (Source: Live 5)
Unveiling of the marker (Source: Live 5) Unveiling of the marker (Source: Live 5)
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Charleston received a new historical marker in the heart of the downtown area Thursday relating to the slave auctions.

The initiative, created by the Old Exchange Building, has been on the table since 2010.

The slave auction marker is to acknowledge the significance of the area at the corner of East Bay Street and Gillon Street as the place for the domestic slave trade.

Edwin Breeden of the Old Exchange said while slaves were sold in various locations around the city in the decades before the Civil War, the busiest auction locations were near the Old Exchange Building.

Dozens of people turned out for the historic unveiling.

Leaders with the old exchange building and slave historians say this marker signifies a turning point.

It urges the public to become aware of the real story when it comes to slavery.

"It's up to the rest of us, the historic sites, museums everywhere to make sure that we're also doing our part to interpret this bigger story about slavery's importance in the city's history," said Director of the Old Exchange, Edwin Breeden.

Historian Joseph McGill, who founded the Slave Dwelling Project to draw attention to the need to preserve old slave quarters across the South, also spoke about importance of the marker.

“We need to change the narrative,” he said Thursday.

He calls the marker a major step in telling the whole Charleston story, not just those chapters that are in people's comfort zones.

Copyright 2016 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.

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