Baltimore, MD

Baltimore was the first event for MPCPMP. Two ceremonies, at dawn and dusk, were held on the Broadway Pier at Fells Point, Baltimore, August 23, 2012. The date was chosen to coincide with the Day of Remembrance of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Its Abolition, designated as such by the UN, and the date that marks? Haitian Independence. Symbolically, the Baltimore ceremony connected the locale to the global history of the human trade. Baltimore also was selected for practical and historical reasons. It was close to home for many members of the Executive Board, and the city had been a central shipping and trading place in the international and domestic human trade for two centuries. Fells Point, in fact, was a major shipping and auction area of enslaved people.Because it was our first designated event many lessons were learned. From the beginning we concentrated on building coalitions with local people and organizations. The what, who, when, where, and how of every aspect of the ceremony was carefully planned. From academic institutions, religious and cultural groups, media, civic organizations, government agencies, and private citizens, the support was tremendous. Approximately seventy-five people attended the dawn ceremony and at least two hundred and fifty came at dusk. Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon sang at both, and African drumming led the traditional call to the ancestors and the libations.

Particular appreciation goes to the Baltimore American Indian Center, Morgan State University, the Frederick Douglass Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum , Professors Joanne Braxton, Rachel Harding, and Peter Sutherland, Mr. Lou Fields, Reverend and Mrs. Cecil Gray, and the Crossroads School. There were many others, too numerous to list, whose invaluable participation made Baltimore our prototype against which we plan future events in the coming years.

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