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The mayor and town council, working with community partners, unveiled the first historic marker on the Chestertown waterfront on Saturday that honors the contributions of enslaved people from Africa who created great wealth and prosperity for the white population here.

The marker is part of an effort to educate the public about Chestertown’s African American history with signage at important landmarks throughout the town.

The initiative is part of Chestertown’s 16-month plan that acknowledges past racial inequities and recognizes the contributions of all citizens to “build a more equitable community where all are respected and empowered to participate.”

Karen Somerville, a community historian involved in the signage effort said additional markers citing African American contributions to Chestertown were in the planning stages.

“This would be the first of the signage that we plan to spread throughout Chestertown and…Kent County should we get the kind of support that this project is deserving of,” Somerville said.

She said it was “way past time” to recognize the contributions of African Americans who built much of the infrastructure and buildings still visible in the town today.