Strong People: The Evolution of Anti-Slavery and Emancipation

Enslavement has been called the “peculiar institution.” As a practice that is as old as mankind, its very longevity was an argument supporting continued acceptance. We realize that enslavement is based upon the exercise of power, and everything else is secondary. On the other hand, during the 17th and 18th Centuries, a body of thought called “The Enlightenment” emerged and advocated for equality, liberty, justice and freedom. Initially applied selectively Read More

The Black Vote: Old Wine, New Bottles – More than a Vote for President

Last week the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People announced that it is currently fighting suppression of the African American vote in this year’s Presidential election.  The NAACP and other groups have renewed the struggle for the right to vote, pointing out that some states are effectively restricting access to the voting booth for likely Black voters and the poor in a number of ways. Readers of this Read More

Haiti: The First Black Republic in the Western Hemisphere

This small and beautiful nation is a text book case of the victim being blamed for the crimes/injustices perpetuated against it. The historic role of the United States in the deliberate destruction of this country is not completely known. Since the presidency of Thomas Jefferson until the 21st century the United States of America has repeatedly done everything in its power to destroy Haiti. Why? According to historian James Sidbury: Read More

Slave Power: A Nation by Any Means

“On all matters affecting slaves, concessions to the South was the price to be paid if there was to be any union at all.” Negro President by Gary Wills, Houghton Mifflin Company (2003) The power of slavery shaped how this nation operated from its inception. Founding fathers of the United States of America by negotiating a compromise in the Constitutional Convention that each slave would count as 3/5 of a Read More

Myths of Creation

In the British Virginia Colony during the summer of 1619, two events took place within weeks of each other that would shape the United States of America in profoundly contradictory ways.  One event was the initial legislative assembly of Englishmen meeting in Jamestowne from July 30 to August 4. The other event was the arrival at Point Comfort of a Dutch slaver during the third week in August, when according Read More

An Elder: Vincent Harding

The formal public inauguration of The Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project in Baltimore, Maryland is quickly approaching.  As we come close to that first commemorative event in August, we want our readers and supporters to become acquainted with members of our advisory and honorary boards. We believe that with a better understanding of the people who have chosen to be affiliated with the project, our vision and mission Read More

Source Documents for Blog Posts (February – April, 2012)

Audio/Visual: “First Time I Saw Big Water” Composed and produced by Bernice Johnson Reagon, performed by Bernice Johnson Reagon and Toshi Reagon for the PBS-WGBH film series Africans in America, Executive Producer, Orlando Bagwell “Betye Saar, National Visionary”: National Visionary Leadership Project: African American History. The video consists of ten interviews in which Ms. Saar personally relates her artistry, family background, professional experiences and influences during a life time dedicated Read More

Why History?

During the past several weeks, board members of the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project have found themselves frequently in conversations with people who suggest that we sustain a more formal educational component, something beyond this blog. One comment was that the United States in particular does not value history or anything in the past. Our people were described as more comfortable in the present or headed into the Read More

The Negro National Anthem–As You’ve Never Seen it Before…/ A Black History Moment

Although February has been established as Black History Month the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project wishes to post this video on this first day of March. We acknowledge that our history spans every day of the year and we hope that you will keep that in mind as you visit our site and read the posts. Please remember all those whose shoulders and backs we stand upon today. Read More

Slavery by Another Name

Months ago we published a post: Brown Trucks that reflected upon heightened awareness. The idea is that once someone becomes aware of something, evidence of it occurs more frequently. And so it is with the analogy of enslavement and imprisonment. Both restrict freedom, enable oppression and often are accompanied by dehumanization. In the United States of America, however, the elements of race, crime and punishment take peculiar twists and turns Read More