June 11, 2013


On Sunday morning, June 23, 2013, beginning at 5:45 a.m., Miami’s Annual Sunrise Ancestral Remembrance of the Middle Passage Ceremony will be held at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, 4020 Virginia Beach Drive (off Rickenbacker Causeway), on Virginia Key island.  (The entrance to the Historic Beach Park is a left turn at the second traffic signal on the island, just before the Bear Cut Bridge to Key Biscayne.  Gates will open at 5:30 a.m.)

Remembering and Giving Thanks

The Ceremony, now in its 24th year, pays tribute to all Ancestors who endured the Middle Passage (or so-called Atlantic “slave trade”): the millions of men, women, and children who senselessly perished, and those who survived to give life to present and future generations.  

It also honors and gives thanks to the Ancestors of these lands (including the three who were killed at this very site on the island during the Second Seminole War), through an “Opening of the Way” Native American ritual performed by Carib Tribal Indian Queen Mrs. Catherine Hummingbird Ramirez, a longtime advocate who was highly instrumental in saving the Miami Circle.

Historical Connections

The Annual Ceremony, which is held on the Sunday closest to the summer solstice, has come to be linked over the years with the growing nationwide observance of Juneteenth, the June 19 commemoration of the date in 1865 on which the last of the enslaved population in the US, in East Texas, received word of the Emancipation Proclamation, and therefore marks the true end of slavery.

It should be also noted that Historic Virginia Key Beach Park is a fondly remembered, recently restored environmental and historic treasure, which was once Miami’s only legal “Colored Beach” during the segregation era, which brought together all neighborhoods and social classes at a site of rare scenic beauty. 

All Are Welcome

Aside from the Native American blessing and the traditional African pouring of a libation, the Ceremony is a very informal gathering at which all are welcome to share thoughts, prayers, art and artifacts, performances, and offerings of fruits, grains, flowers, and other appropriate items which are carried out to the ocean to culminate the event.  Drums, music, and refreshments to be shared among participants are also welcome.

Admission is free and open to the public.  (There is a $1.75 toll per vehicle on Rickenbacker Causeway.)  For further information: 305-904-7620 or 786-260-1246.


The Coalition for the Exoneration of Marcus Garvey is petitioning Senator Bill Nelson, Representative Frederica Wilson, and the Congress of the United States of America for the exoneration of Marcus Garvey:


We are also petitioning President Barack Obama to exonerate Marcus Garvey:


Thank you for your support.


Image Source: https://secure.www.upenn.edu/themeyear/water/middle-passage-overview.html

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