African Presence in New Hampshire

This post continues our Wednesday series that highlights historic Middle Passage/UNESCO Site of Memory markers that have been installed and those locations where a remembrance ceremony was held since MPCPMP incorporated 9 years ago. MPCPMP is/was involved in the planning for the installation of most of these markers (indicated by an * next to the state name), and other organizations are/were responsible for some. New Hampshire African presence in the Read More

Birth of a Nation: Another Creation Angle

From time to time those of us working with the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project (MPCPMP) find ourselves re-emphasizing several points about U.S. history as the country addresses the day’s pertinent issues. These themes bear repeating: The nation’s “Creation Story” normally taught in schools is incomplete and often inaccurate. In order to understand what we are presently experiencing in our society, citizens must know the details of birthing Read More

Chipping Away

We have reached the final month of another year. For the past four years, ours has been a small attempt to redefine and expand the narrative of US American history to include Africans and their descendants as principal and crucial agents in the country’s creation. At times, many in fact, this work has been difficult. MPCPMP repeatedly has found itself in the position of explaining and justifying our mission to people Read More

Black Enslavement and Emancipation – How Long

In an address given on August 23, 2015, to an audience gathered at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts, for an ancestral remembrance ceremony to commemorate enslaved Africans, Massachusetts State Representative Byron Rushing made a remark that struck a chord – that sanctioned enslavement existed in the United States over a longer period than there has been emancipation. In his speech, Rushing marked 1619 as the starting point, but to be Read More


If I am not who you say I am then you are not who you think you are. Whenever observance for July 4th approaches, historical reflection is appropriate. This year, 2015, has been a time when chickens came home to roost. The racism and prejudice fostered in this nation for centuries have triggered events that we Americans are confronting and hopefully have the will to change. Recently, on the suggestion Read More

Symbolic Images

Among people who are part of the Western Hemisphere’s African Diaspora there are certain images that trigger a gut response – the Door of No  Return is one. Viewing a framed image of the ocean, many of us require no description or explanation. In some way we simply know, by instinct almost, that the image is a human memory of separation, departure, loss, immense suffering and sorrow. A raised fist Read More

Perpetuating Lies

In some fashion we all are guilty of perpetuating lies and rationalizing omissions. Sometimes following the politically correct advice of, “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all,” and in polite company avoiding race, religion, and people’s mothers effectively eliminates the possibility of accurate historical presentation and dialog. Recently, MPCPMP was confronted with the choice of the ends justifying the means when we worked to install a historic Read More

Second Burial

Among several West African ethnic people, death does not immediately entitle a person the status of ancestor. Traditionally there is a space of time between physical burial, which is quick, and the ceremonial burial that requires an established ritual, after which an individual joins or becomes an ancestor to the community. Among the Igbo, even issues surrounding inheritance and property cannot be settled until the elaborate second burial is completed. Read More


As the state with the nation’s longest history of documented African presence, the Project is interested in highlighting Florida’s Middle Passage sites. We intend to honor ancestors and highlight the influence of Africans and their descendants in developing Florida. This is not an easy task since those in power in a region long considered an outpost or frontier, traditionally supported a pattern of smuggling and unregulated business. Those who invested Read More

Worthless or Priceless

We need to put this on the table for your consideration: As we travel this nation’s Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, it is astounding to experience the initial hesitation and resistance within the Black community to honoring and remembering African ancestors. The response is across the board from all strata – social, cultural, economic, religious, educational. Conditioning over a 500-year period marked by enslavement and European dominance has made many of Read More