The Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project (MPCPMP) has selected Baltimore to be the first of 175 North American, South American, and Caribbean seaports over the next eight to ten years to hold a ceremony in memory of enslaved Africans who died in the Middle Passage of the Atlantic slave trade.
The Baltimore event will be held on Thursday, August 23rd at Fells Point’s Broadway Pier, a longtime port of entry for enslaved Africans to which many Americans can trace their ancestry, with separate events at dawn (6am) and dusk (7:15pm). An email about the event from the Baltimore National Heritage Area states that both of the gatherings will “provide an opportunity for individuals and families to offer tribute to their ancestors by offering libation, drumming, prayer, and calling the names of the deceased silently or out loud according to the preference of participants.”
This ceremony will be held on the United Nations’s International Day of Remembrance of the Slave Trade and of Its Abolition.
As previously noted, this commemoration is a part of something much bigger. MPCPMP plans to hold similar events in communities at 175 seaports across the “New World,” and is encouraging each site to place physical markers at the port sites. After that, they plan to take commemorations to the coasts of East and West Africa.