Newsletter: August-November 2019

Much of our activity during this quarter was connected to the 400th anniversary observances for the 1619 arrival of Africans in English Virginia. MPCPMP emphasized that the history of African arrival to America (1526 to 1860) is shared with 52 documented U.S. Middle Passage locations, and the Project encouraged each arrival site to conduct an event in 2019 to honor ancestors.  From August 23-25, 2019, MPCPMP Executive Board members participated in ancestral commemorations in Hampton, Point Comfort, and West Point, VA; Historic Sotterley, Hollywood, MD; Houston, TX; and Africatown, AL.

MPCPMP participated in the following conferences: Houston, TX (August 24); “The African Presence in America Before 1619,” Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona, FL (October 24); “’Till Victory is Won,” Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, NY (October 26); and “1619 Collective Memory(ies) Symposium,” University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. (November 11).

Alabama – The installation of the second U.S. Middle Passage marker associated with the UNESCO Slave Route Project as a “Site of Memory” and a remembrance ceremony are scheduled in Mobile on December 7.  Africatown is planning to install its marker in August 2020 as part of a national conversation on freedom, liberty, and justice.

Connecticut – The first U.S. Middle Passage marker to include the designation of “Site of Memory” associated with the UNESCO Slave Route Project was installed in Middletown, CT, on September 28th.  New London continues planning for its ceremony and marker.

Port of Georgetown, District of Columbia – A remembrance ceremony was held on August 25th.

Florida – The Jaguars Foundation (Jacksonville) will provide funding and a matching grant for the Fernandina/Amelia Island Middle Passage marker. Pensacola, which held a remembranceceremony on November 17th, has agreed on an installation site and is in the final stages of marker planning.

Georgia – During the Darien Fall Festival, the city announced plans for a Sapelo Bay Middle Passage marker in 2020. Work will begin for a marker installation and ceremony Tybee Island in 2020. 

Louisiana – Plans continue for a Middle Passage marker installation for Algiers (New Orleans).

Maryland –In October, MPCPMP met with Chris Rowson, Executive Director, Historic Ships in Baltimore, Frederick Douglass/Isaac Myers Maritime Park and Jerome Gray, Baltimore City Historical Society, to begin discussions related to a Middle Passage marker in Baltimore.   In December, the Project will participate in a scheduled meeting with Mayor Gavin Buckley’s office to begin planning for a 2020 marker at the Annapolis City Dock.

New Jersey – All the Camden Middle Passage markers have been installed. Discussions related to Perth Amboy were renewed in September.

VirginiaWest Point is the remaining arrival port in the state with no marker.

In December, MPCPMP will launch a fund-raising campaign as our annual end-of-year request for your financial support.  We wish you peace and joy during this winter season and look forward to your on-going interest and support in 2020.

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