Wednesday, October 10, 2012

To Honor Those of the Middle Passage

Middle Passage Ceremonies
and Port Markers Project
Sotterley Plantation

On behalf of Historic Sotterley Plantation and the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, community members and leaders are invited to an ancestral remembrance ceremony on Monday, November 12, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at Sotterley Plantation. This ceremony honors the people transported against their will from the Gold Coast of Africa who died in the Atlantic Ocean and also those who arrived during the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Owners of what was later to become known as Sotterley Plantation participated in the trans-Atlantic slave trade on the Patuxent River in the early 18th century. There is documentation of persons perishing during the passage and being thrown overboard. Some of those who survived the passage remained here, while others were shipped into Virginia. Sotterley’s owners maintained their wealth and property through enslaved labor for 165 years.

This project has the mission of identifying all middle passage ports, sponsoring remembrance ceremonies, and installing historical markers at 175 sites in North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Europe, officially designating the Atlantic Ocean as a sacred burial ground of African ancestors. Since August 23, 2012, remembrance ceremonies have been held in Baltimore and Annapolis. Sotterley is the final of three Maryland middle passage port sites. The next phase will be the installation of the historic markers.

Sotterley Plantation is a place where many African-Americans find their ancestors and this ceremony is intended to repair broken circles, heal, and bring us together. This project is a step to connect personally to our history at the places where African ancestors first arrived. The ceremony will include a historical narrative, prayers by diverse faith groups, drumming, and libation led by an Akan priest.
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