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.
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.