SUNRISE ANCESTRAL REMEMBRANCE OF THE MIDDLE PASSAGE CEREMONY


SUNRISE ANCESTRAL REMEMBRANCE OF THE MIDDLE PASSAGE CEREMONY
HISTORIC VIRGINIA KEY BEACH PARK
MIAMI, FLORIDA

June 22, 2014, 5:30 a.m.

The Past is Present, he Future is Now.

All peoples are Three Peoples: the Ancestors, the Living, and the Yet Unborn. All of our Ancestors and all of our Future Generations are alive and present in us today.
--Traditional African Wisdom

Every word we say, every deed we do affects the next Seven Generations.
--Native American Wisdom

Virtually every African American today is descended from at least one Ancestor who survived the Middle Passage, as the unspeakable forced Atlantic crossing was called. For each survivor, from four to seven other Africans perished, between the point of their capture and the arrival of the ships in the “New World,”lives senselessly destroyed, wasted, and sacrificed to wanton greed and corruption.

Now in its 23rd year, Miami’s annual beachfront Remembrance of the untold millions of Ancestors who perished in that demonic “trade” – and of those who survived it, and the nightmare of centuries of slavery which followed, to give life to present and future generations – is one of the earliest established of the increasing number of such remembrance ceremonies around the nation and the world.

The Miami event is held annually on the Sunday morning closest to the summer solstice, and has also become linked to the growing observance of Juneteenth, the commemoration of June 19, 1865, when the true end of legal slavery in the U.S. came, as the last of the enslaved population, in East Texas, became free:Truly, “Until all of us are free, none of us is free.”

This year’s Ancestral Remembrance takes on even more timeliness and importance because 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the 1994 launch of the UNESCO Slave Route Project in Benin West Africa, cosponsored by Haiti, as a global call to all nations which were touched by the “slave trade” to identify and conserve all historic sites, artifacts, archival records, oral memories, and other evidence so that this story is never lost or forgotten by future generations. This anniversary includes a special appeal by the Slave Route Project to the U.S. and North America to become more involved.

The Remembrance is open to all and is largely informal and grass-roots based. It begins with a Native American “Opening of the Way” ceremony and a pouring of a libation honoring African tradition, followed by an open invitation to share welcoming prayers, thoughts, performances, art, music and songs
(drummers are specially invited), and other expressions. The ceremony concludes with the placing of offerings of fruits, yams, grains, flowers, and other appropriate items, on a raft and carried out to sea and released.

For further information, call 305-904-7620 or 305-260-1246.

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