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The original item was published from 6/5/2019 11:37:00 AM to 6/5/2019 1:17:33 PM.

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Hampton History Museum

Posted on: May 22, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Sankofa's 8th International Day of REMEMBRANCE Ceremony - Saturday, June 8, 11 am-2 pm

Remembrance by Gerry Navarette

8th Year Sankofa Honoring the African Ancestors of the
‘Middle Passage’ at Buckroe Beach June 8
Hampton, VA - For the 8th year in a row, The Sankofa Projects will host its annual International Day of Remembrance Ceremony on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. on Buckroe Beach in Hampton, VA. The ceremony will be to the left of the Main stage at North 1st and Pilot Avenue, at the far end of the beach. 

“Over the nearly four centuries of the (Transatlantic) slave trade, millions of African men, women and children were savagely torn from their homeland, herded onto ships, and dispersed all over the so called ‘New World’, according to noted historian Dr. John Henrik Clarke. “Millions would walk on board the enslavement ships never to disembark those ships alive. Many jumped overboard resisting enslavement while others were cast overboard and left to drown in the Atlantic. These are the Africans whom the world FORGOT and whom we honor annually at Sankofa’s Remembrance!” says Chadra Pittman, Founder & Executive Director of The Sankofa Projects.

Annually since 2012, through her organization and programs, Pittman has been telling their story; giving voice to this injustice and educating the public about the perilous journey of the Middle Passage which consumed the lives of so many during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Following a tradition of Tributes to the Ancestors spearheaded by author and activist Toni Cade Bambara, Remembrance at Buckroe Beach was born.

“The Middle Passage is the untold chapter in the annals of slavery. Remembrance is a spiritual ceremony and a communal gathering which remembers the Africans the world forgot, is a celebration of their lives and is the funeral these Africans never received.” says Pittman. “Hosting Remembrance in Hampton is historically significant to the narrative of enslavement,” she adds. “We acknowledge the beginning of slavery in the United States at Point Comfort in 1619 and the catalyst for what would become the end of slavery with the Contraband Decision in 1861 at Fort Monroe, now, through Remembrance, we acknowledge the horror of what happened in the Middle (Passage).”

The Remembrance ceremony will include: An Ancestral Drum Call lead by Master Drummer Anpu Sil with Community drummers, Keynote by The Honorable Dr. Mary T. Christian, Educational presentations, Tributes dedicated to Native Americans/First Nations people, Bay Shore Beach, and the Freedom Fighters who lost their lives in pursuit of justice, Annual Ceremonial Walk around the “Tree of Remembrance”, Moments of Meditation, Words by Latiesha Handie of She’s Got

Purpose, Traditional African and African American spirituals, Kemetic Opening of the Way by Priest John Spruce, Priestess Jerrie Spruce and Priestess Amani Dawson, Youth Poet Nylah Kelly, performances by Beauty for Ashes of Riddick Contemporary Dance choreographed by David Riddick, Author & Poet Jannet Butler and Poet Bernard Brown, Jr., Poet & Educator Synnika Lofton accompanied by percussionist Greg Lee, the Women of Wazee African Culture and Dance Troupe, Performance by Sable Lick’ore, Poem performed by Edris “Title-Me-Not” Eddey Ross, Violinist Amber Dixon Wells of the Elliott Violin Studio under the Direction of Danielle Weems Elliott, and Theatrical performance by Real Drama Theatre Company Program & Artistic Director, Felicia Dixon Wills and Special Tribute by Iya Omi Yemi Olomo to Honor the Earth at Sankofa’s Tree of Remembrance which was cut down in 2018. 

At 12:00 noon an International Libation for Remembrance will be orchestrated by Baba Orimalade Ogunjimi of Ile Nago. Communal Libations will take place simultaneously in the cities where Remembrance and Tributes to the Ancestors are held across the United States and internationally. “The world acknowledges the beginning of slavery in 1619 in British North America and commemorates what would become the end of slavery with the Contraband Decision of 1861. Now through Remembrance, the world acknowledges the horror of what happened in the Middle.” (Passage)” says Pittman.

This event is sponsored by the Hampton 2019 Commemorative Commission, the Hampton History Museum and the City of Hampton Parks, Recreation and Leisure Services. This event is free and open to the public. Attendees are asked to respect the sanctity of the sacred ceremony. Traditional African attire and/or white clothing is encouraged. Organizers suggest that attendees bring beach chairs and umbrellas to provide. Those wishing to participate in the Communal Offering to the Ancestors should bring fresh flowers.

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