Amazing Grace

The hymn Amazing Grace, ironically a standard part of most funeral services for members of the police force, has its origin in global history – an African dirge heard from the bowels of a ship by a captain transporting human cargo during the Middle Passage. When this captain, John Newman, wrote the words, “Was blind but now I see,” he was referring to the fact that he realized that he Read More

Inclusion: From Many, One

Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project promotes the inclusion of a portion of this nation’s history – the Middle Passage – that has been omitted from the narrative. We will not engage in any effort that enables or encourages the exclusion of any people who share this history of place, no matter their ethnicity or heritage. It will take radical imagination, rethinking, and work to evolve into an anti-racist America. MPCPMP is one step in the process of reconciling, healing, and redefining the history of place and the people who build community.

MPCPMP 2020 End-of-Year Fundraiser

For this year’s November-December fundraising period, MPCPMP has set a goal of $5000. In spite of the COVID pandemic, the economy, demonstrations, and all the activity surrounding elections, three documented arrival locations have installed historic Middle Passage markers in 2020: Amelia Island, FL (March); Camden, NJ (June); Boston, MA (October). A fourth marker for Pensacola, FL, has been fabricated, with an installation date to be determined. There are now 21 Read More

MPCPMP Newsletter, October 2020

In spite of the Covid-19 pandemic and elections affecting all of us, the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project (MPCPMP)has accomplished a great deal in the last quarter. I. Four markers were successfully installed/fabricated; • Fernandina/Amelia Island, FL, in March• Camden, NJ, in September (the last of the city’s three)• Boston, MA, at Long Wharf in October• Pensacola, FL, installation to be determined after hurricane clean up II. There Read More

Newsletter: December 2019-February 2020

The last three months have been full of activity. Our network of affiliates has expanded and three additional Middle Passage markers were installed: Warren, RI (June 2019); Mobile, AL (December 7, 20019); and Algiers Point, New Orleans, LA (December 31, 2019). The Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation provided funding for the Amelia Island, FL, marker scheduled to be unveiled in a remembrance ceremony/program on March 25, 2020, in Old Town Fernandina. This Read More

“In Memory of the Past, Present and Future”

To whom we say: We must forget, we must move forward. You must forget? Is forgetting the keyword to face the Unreal, the Ugly… A Pain alive in our collective brain… collective cells? Is forgetting sufficient for the bloody reality of the color of my skin? Is forgetting will forget the Un-Real, the Sur-Real of our Bloody wounds… Alive in the Atlantic Ocean Millions of voices Millions of Tears My Read More

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 Read More

The Tribe of the Middle Passage: A Shared History and One Drop Rule

My roots are tangled…. A blend of black, white and red, I am labeled Creole, mulatto, mixed, colored in every sense. Enslaved by the ‘one-drop-rule’ But liberated by the truth That all blood is red.                        Betty Saar In her recently published book, Lose Your Mother, Saidiya Hartman narrates her experiences and thoughts related to finding one’s ethnic roots in Read More

A Haunting Responsibility and Connection: A Tribute to Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison is being praised this week for her life’s work as an iconic Black American Woman author. At her passing, many have noted how the Nobel Prize winner chose to view the lives of Black people clearly beyond the “White gaze.” For those in the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project (MPCPMP), however, she directly inspired us to address the history of captive African ancestors who died in Read More

Making America

Recently someone wrote that the impact of struggles, challenges, and accomplishments associated with people of African descent over centuries in this land is what has defined and made America great. This idea goes far beyond the “Canary in the Mine” concept published in a previous blog post (December 18, 2011). The attribution is far greater than simply a measure of the national status quo. As a people deliberately and consistently Read More