St. Augustine, FL

On February 7, 2015, as part of the city’s 450th founding anniversary, an ancestral remembrance ceremony took place at the Castillo de San Marcos (noon) and a historic marker unveiling at the Mission Nombre de Dios (3:00 pm). About 200 people, local residents and visitors, attended. This was the second remembrance ceremony for African ancestors held in the “Ancient City.” Several of those from out of town had participated in the first one (2013).

There were memorable moments: Dr. Israel’s historic statement, Malidoma Some’s libation and urging identity, smudging by Harold Lock of the Salish Northwest, the Bowman-Seabrook Youth Gospel Choir, Father James Boddie as the first Black ordained priest in Florida, and the placement of carnations in a basket by individuals of all ethnic groups in honor of Africans who came to St. Augustine and the New World.

The marker was purchased by the Black Catholic Commission of the Diocese of St. Augustine. Congratulations to the St. Augustine Middle Passage Committee for a visible historically inclusive marker of the first permanent European, African, Native American settlement in the United States of America.

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