Like many others across the country, the Canterbury Shaker Village celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” today by ringing their Paul Revere bell.
The 500 pound Paul Revere bell tolled at 3, following a Shaker Village tour focusing on equality. Museum interpreter David Witham spoke of the unique inclusiveness of the Shaker communities.
“At all Shaker villages, there were a number of blacks, actually freed slaves or former slaves.”
Director of Development and Membership Sally Stanton says that such examples of forward thinking by Shakers often surprises visitors.
“I think they’re very surprised that a community that started so long ago, over 200 years ago, had the forethought to look at people in so many different levels; from an economic standpoint, from a living situation, as a place where people could be equal and work together.”
Canterbury was one of more than 300 sites across the country that rang bells today.