Ade Joins Old South Church’s Annual Phillis Wheatley Sunday 

Ade Joins Old South Church’s Annual Phillis Wheatley Sunday 
Daderot at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0


Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA, CC BY 2.0

Phillis Wheatley is one of Old South’s most celebrated former congregants, along with
Benjamin Franklin. Every year she is honoured with a Mother’s Day Parade and cupcakes!

Phillis Wheatley Sunday, observed annually by Old South Church, honours the legacy of the remarkable poet, who, as a slave, triumphed over adversity to become the first published African American poet in the United States. It is a day of remembrance and reflection on the resilience and creative spirit of those who have historically faced oppression.

As part of the day’s celebration, Old South Church invites attendees to join special promenades at 10am and 12pm to the nearby Women’s Memorial, where they will visit Wheatley’s statue and sing “Happy Birthday”. These joyous moments will serve as a reminder of the progress made and the ongoing work ahead in the pursuit of equality and social justice

Throughout its rich history, Old South Church has played a pivotal role in promoting social justice and advocating for the rights of all individuals. It draws inspiration from its storied past, which dates back to its founding in 1669, when Boston was still a burgeoning colonial city. The church’s early members, including the celebrated poet Phillis Wheatley, defied societal norms and fought for freedom and equality, leaving an indelible mark on the city’s history.


Melvin B. Miller, publisher and editor of The Bay State Banner. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

On the day, Old South is pleased to recognize Melvin B. Miller with its Open Door Award, presented annually on Phillis Wheatley Sunday to a hero of social justice, inclusivity and equity. Mr. Miller is a renowned journalist and publisher with more than 50 years of active involvement in Boston’s political and public affairs. He founded the Bay State Banner in 1965, a weekly newspaper advocating for the interests of Boston’s African American community, and served as publisher and editor until his recent retirement. Miller has championed civil rights and social justice throughout his career, shaping the conversation around these issues in Boston and beyond.