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4 Black pioneers honored in new Salt Lake monument

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A new monument honoring early Black pioneers will be dedicated soon in timing with the 175th anniversary of the first wagon company’s 1847 arrival in the Salt Lake Valley.

The public is invited to attend the monument dedication at This is the Place Heritage Park on July 22 at 10 a.m. Government and community leaders, special guests and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are expected to attend.

Mauli Junior Bonner, the monument’s main coordinator, is thrilled to see the project finally come to fruition and knows July 22 will be an emotional day.

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“It’s been a labor of love four years in the making,” Bonner said. “It’s almost like this is the missing piece because there is more to the story, more pioneers that were part of the establishment of this valley. It will be a beautiful addition to the park.”

Bonner wrote, directed and produced a film telling the true story of Green Flake in 2021. Proceeds from the film were used to build the new monument. Learn more about the movie, His Name is Green Flake, at

Read more about the new monument, the pioneers featured, other events surrounding the monument’s dedication on Deseret News.

A livestream of the event will be available starting at 10 a.m., mountain standard time at

His Name Is Green Flake

Born into slavery and taken from his mother at age ten by another enslaver, Green Flake might have been lost to history like so many enslaved Black Americans before and after him. But when Green learned about the restored Church of Jesus Christ and its promise to reunite families forever in the next life, he made a choice that would take him on a wholly different trajectory. Committed to Jesus and desperate to see his people free and reunited, Green Flake takes on the most dangerous task of joining the scout party in the dead of winter to help prepare the route for Mormon pioneers to trek west from Illinois to the Salt Lake Valley in Utah. Fighting off slave traders, mobs, Indian attacks, and the prejudice of his fellow believers, Green Flake played a critical role in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is his story.

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