Friday, May 10, 2013

2013 Charleston Remembrance Program

At 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 8, 2012 The Charleston Remembrance Committee will conduct The 16th Annual Charleston Middle Passage REMEMBRANCE Program, paying homage and tribute to the millions of Africans who perished in the Middle Passage. The Middle Passage refers to the part of the African Holocaust during which captive Africans were crammed into the cargo holds of ships like livestock, bound for chattel slavery in the Americas. These living, breathing men, women and children who had families, hopes, dreams and aspirations, were stripped of any sense of humanity. Historians estimate that 10 - 20 million Africans died from disease, starvation, suicide and murder during this torturous voyage. Indeed, author and historian, Dr. John Henrik Clarke proclaimed, “If the Atlantic were to dry up, it would reveal a scattered pathway of human bones, African bones marking the various routes of the Middle Passage.”


Saturday, June 8, 2013, the public is invited to Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island for the 16th annual memorial and healing rite in Charleston, SC. Similar programs will take place simultaneously in New York, San Francisco, Ghana, Panama, and Brazil. Remembrance programs are held on the Atlantic coast or near another body of water. Charleston is an important historical location for this tribute as it was the destination for many of the slave ships bringing human cargo to America’s shores.

The day begins at 9:00 a.m. with an educational talk by a local historian in the auditorium of Fort Moultrie's Visitor's Center. This year's program will begin with a historical presentation by historian James Campbell covering pre-slavery West African civilizations, the Middle Passage, antebellum resistance, and present-day ramifications of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

The presentation is followed by a drum-led procession to the beach where boats transporting captured Africans might have anchored.


Some are moved to step into the water


and even dance their homage


The procession then goes to the "Bench by the Road"

Where the congregation is encouraged to share poetry or sentiments about the occasion.


The congregation then offers fruit, flowers and prayers to ancestors who perished in the Middle Passage.


The offerings are blessed by local clergy, and libations are poured at 12:00 noon SHARP, coinciding with those being poured at other Remembrance ceremonies taking place at ports worldwide.


And placed on the watery grave.

Clergy of all denominations, and the lay public are invited to attend and participate. Attendees are encouraged to wear white or African attire and bring flowers and fruit in remembrance of those souls whose names we don’t know due to their lives being taken during the Middle Passage.

For more information, visit the Charleston Remembrance Program Facebook page. To contribute, contact Azikiwe Chandler at or (843) 296-0479.  

Charleston Remembrance Program
Saturday, June 8, 2013
9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Fort Moultrie – Sullivan’s Island
(843) 296-4079


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