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The original item was published from 5/30/2023 9:25:00 AM to 6/12/2023 12:00:05 AM.

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Hampton History Museum

Posted on: April 27, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Sankofa's International Day of Remembrance Ceremony - Saturday, June 10, 11 am

Chadra walk to shekere


Fort Monroe, Hampton, VA – On Saturday, June 10, 2023, at 11:00am EST, The Sankofa Projects will host its 12th Annual International Day of REMEMBRANCE ceremony at Fort Monroe’s Outlook Beach in Hampton. Our partners are the Hampton History Museum, National Park Service, Fort Monroe Authority, and the Casemate Museum. 

Remembrance is a spiritual ceremony honoring the millions of African men, women, and children who perished during the Middle Passage of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which is referred to as “the largest forced migration in history and undeniably one of the most inhumane,” according to the United Nations. Following in the tradition initiated by activist and scholar Toni Cade Bambara in 1989, Chadra Pittman, Founder & Executive Director of The Sankofa Projects, brought Remembrance to Hampton in 2012, in an effort to give voice to this untold chapter in the annals of slavery. History acknowledges the “20 and odd” Africans who disembarked the White Lion at Point Comfort  in 1619, but what about the Africans who did not survive the treacherous journey across the Atlantic, drowned on the Middle Passage and would NEVER walk off those enslavement ships alive? These are the Africans the world forgot, and for the past 12 years, through Remembrance, I have worked to ensure they are never forgotten again!” according to Pittman. 

Since 2012, thousands have made the pilgrimage to the city of Hampton to participate in this historic ceremony; attempting to heal from this tragic and brutal past. Buckroe Beach was chosen location, paying tribute to the brave men and women, who created Bay Shore Beach and Resort, a haven for African Americans during Jim Crow. With the recent designation of Fort Monroe as a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)  Slave Route’s Site of Memory, we will gather at Outlook Beach for  REMEMBRANCE to share the complete history of the African American experience on those historic grounds where slavery began, and thousands walked to their freedom during the Civil War and became known as the Contrabands. 

 “Millions of Africans drowned on the Middle Passage. The water of the Atlantic is what consumed their lives, so the water is where collectively return to begin to heal. Remembrance is a celebration of their lives and is the funeral they never received.” according to Pittman.  The  Remembrance ceremony will include traditional African cultural elements of song and dance, an Ancestral  Drum Call, 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,  Kemetic Opening of the Way, Poetry, Dance and 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. According to Pittman, “Slavery is American and world history. We do a grave injustice to all who perished to deny the truth of what happened.”

Remembrance is free and open to the public; however, we ask that all respect the sanctity of the sacred ceremony. You may register at Traditional African attire and/or white clothing is encouraged. Please bring beach chairs and fresh flowers for the Ancestral offering. 


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