Attorney Michael Coard, founding member of ATAC ("Avenging the Ancestors Coalition"), says after convening a community forum, officials of the Independence Park Service have decided to mark a spot in front of the Liberty Bell Center to honor the nine enslaved Africans who served George Washington in what was then the president's house on Independence Mall.
Coard says first there will be a footprint of the original slave quarters:
"Can't call it a house, it was more like a large doghouse. That was situated exactly where the entrance to the new Liberty Center is now. That's just the slavery component. But in the bigger picture, this is all part of the president's house, and it was also in that same area."
According to Coard, the Park Service is looking for federal funding to complete what is expected to be a $4½-million project. He says once the money is found, final determinations on the design of the memorial will be worked out.
Coard says it's a good step forward but there's still a long way to go.