State Senator Cindy Friedman and State Representative Michelle Ciccolo recently testified before the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight in support of designating July 8th as Massachusetts Emancipation Day or Quock Walker Day.
On July 8th 1783, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the Constitution of the Commonwealth’s Declaration of Rights rendered slavery unconstitutional. Quock Walker, born to enslaved Black parents in Massachusetts, was the driving force behind this ruling. Senator Friedman commented on Walker.
“Bringing awareness to Quock Walker and his story is so incredibly important,” said Senator Friedman. “Passing this bill is one step we can take to acknowledge the injustices in our history as well as celebrate Massachusetts’ part in setting a nationwide precedent for human rights. I am hopeful that it will soon become law.”
Founder and President of the Association of Black Citizens of Lexington, Sean Osborne, is credited for bringing awareness to Quock Walker and his place in Massachusetts history to the legislature’s attention. After Senator Friedman’s conversation with Osborne, she introduced a resolution in the Senate in July 2020.
In light of his significant place in Massachusetts history, it is fitting to remember Quock Walker and his monumental step toward justice in Massachusetts.
The matter is now before the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight where they await further consideration.