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Sankofa's 6th Annual International Day of Remembrance

May 16, 2017 |

For the 6th year in a row, The Sankofa Projects will host its Annual International Day of Remembrance ceremony on Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 11:00am EST on Buckroe Beach in Hampton, VA.  The ceremony will be held to the far 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. “What happened to those Africans who never made it off the enslavement ships alive? What about those who resisted, mutinied and were thrown off the ships to their deaths into the Atlantic Ocean?  Who will remember them, who will tell their story?” asks Chadra Pittman Walke, Founder & Executive Director of The Sankofa Projects.
In 2012, The Sankofa Projects began telling their story, gave voice to this injustice and committed to educating the public about the perilous journey which consumed the lives of so many during the Transatlantic Trade.  “Remembrance is spiritual ceremony and communal gathering which honors the millions of Africans who perished during the ‘Middle Passage’ and throughout the Transatlantic Enslavement Trade.  Millions of Africans lost their lives and they were never given a proper burial.  Remembrance is a celebration of their lives and is the funeral these Africans never received.” says Pittman Walke.  The tradition of Remembrance ceremonies and Tributes were spearheaded by author activist Toni Cade Bambara in 1987 and now occur across the United States and internationally.
Annually hundreds make the pilgrimage to the city of Hampton to participate in this historic event. “Through Remembrance,  Sankofa has carved out a sacred space on Buckroe Beach for the community to reflect, ‘attempt’ to heal and reconcile this tragic past on land which was once illegal for Africans Americans to stand upon during the racially segregated time of Jim Crow. We acknowledge the beginning of slavery with Point Comfort as the birthplace of enslavement in 1619 and what would become the end of slavery at Fort Monroe where the seeds of freedom were sown with the Contraband Decision in 1861 and now, through Remembrance, we acknowledge the horror of what happened in the Middle… Passage.” says Pittman Walke.
The program of Remembrance will include: educational presentations by Dr. Arthur Carter, and Blue; traditional African drumming, dance; Tributes dedicated to Native Americans/First Nations people, Bay Shore Beach and those Freedom Fighters who lost their lives in pursuit of justice; Theatrical presentations, Poetry, Meditation, Song and Traditional African and African American spirituals.
The program features a Kemetic Opening of the Way by Priest Khepera Amsu Akhu Ra, Priestess Auset AkuRa and Priestess Amanitore NeferAtum-Re, Drum Call to the Ancestors lead by Goddess Kerri Thurman and Goddess Bonney Barnes with performances by the children of Beauty for Ashes of Riddick Contemporary Dance, the Legacy of Weyanoke and Wazee African Culture and Dance.
At 12:00 noon an International Libation will be orchestrated by Baba Orimalade Ogunjimi of Ile Nago occurring simultaneously across the United States in Brooklyn, New York; Montgomery, Alabama; Oakland, California; Charleston, South Carolina and internationally in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, Panama, Nigeria, Ghana and Brazil.
Our sponsors are Nserewa Adorned, Hampton History Museum and the City of Hampton Parks and Recreation. This event is free and open to the public. We ask that all respect the sanctity of this sacred ceremony. You may wear White or Traditional African attire. We suggest that you bring beach chairs and umbrellas to shade you. You may bring fresh flowers for the ceremony. Bring your DRUMS and other music makers to celebrate these Ancestors and this culture!