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AP reports legacy of slave who inspired beach’s name

Endicott College history professor Elizabeth Matelski walks from Mingo Beach in Beverly, Mass., June 15, 2022. The beach was named after enslaved African American Robin Mingo, who according to legend, was promised his freedom if the tide ever receded enough for him to walk out onto a rocky ledge offshore. Students and faculty at Endicott are researching the local tale and proposing ways to memorialize Mingo. (AP Photo / Steven Senne)

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Boston reporter Philip Marcelo and photographer Steven Senne tell a story that resonated across the nation on the eve of Juneteenth: the curious history of a Massachusetts beach named after an enslaved African American.

Marcelo writes frequently about racial injustice, and he uncovered the story of Robin Mingo. Legend has it that the slave was promised his freedom if the tide ever receded enough for him to walk out onto a rocky ledge offshore of what is now known as Mingo Beach on Massachusetts’ picturesque North Shore.

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A rocky outcrop is exposed off Mingo Beach in Beverly, Mass., June 15, 2022. The beach was named after enslaved African American Robin Mingo, who according to legend, was promised his freedom if the tide ever receded enough for him to walk out onto a rocky ledge offshore. – AP Photo / Steven Senne

Marcelo and Senne interviewed students and faculty at Endicott College in Beverly, who have been researching the local tale and proposing ways to memorialize the slave at his namesake beach, which is located on campus. They hope the efforts spark broader discussions about the role of slavery in New England.

Marcelo’s story,which moved nationally on the day before Juneteenth,scored robust play online and in print, and generated lively discussion on social media. It also earned a mention on NBC Nightly News.

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