from The UNESCO Slave Route Project
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Slave Route Project has recognized Historic Sotterley as one of the 31 Middle Passage arrival locations in the United States. Historic Sotterley has been granted permission to use its Site of Memory logo, noting the “deep significance” of protecting and promoting this history.
“Historic Sotterley is honored and humbled to receive this important international designation, and will strive toward continued excellence through research, preservation, education, and remembrance,” stated Jeanne Pirtle, Historic Sotterley Education Director.
In the announcement, Nada Al-Nashif, the UN Assistant General Director for Social and Human Sciences, wrote that the designation is being granted to all these sites which also have symbolic impact within the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of captive Africans in the Virginia colony.
The United Nations group stated that the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project which made the submission on behalf of the documented arrival sites has not only demonstrated the important contributions of African Americans to the culture and heritage where they arrived, but through its activities provided an opportunity to publicize “the remarkable achievements of these communities” in the struggle “for dignity and freedom and preserving their history and memory.”
The UNESCO international and inter-regional project, “The Slave Route: Resistance, Liberty, Heritage” promotes the education of the general public and the preservation of sites of memory through scientific research, development of educational materials from written and oral sources. Its goal, as part of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is understanding, peace and reconciliation.