For the 5th year in a row, The Sankofa Projects will host its annual International Day of Remembrance ceremony at Buckroe Beach. Remembrance honors the millions of African men, women and children who perished in the Middle Passage of the Transatlantic Enslavement Trade. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at North 1st and Pilot Avenue beachside. Our sponsors for the third year are the Hampton History Museum and the City of Hampton Parks and Recreation.
“For over 400 years, more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims of the tragic transatlantic slave trade”, which is noted as “the largest forced migration in history, and undeniably one of the most inhumane” according to the United Nations. “Millions perished during the enslavement trade and the massacre which occurred in Middle Passage is one of the untold stories of American and global history. The Sankofa Projects is committed to telling this story at Remembrance and honoring the Africans who never made it off the enslavement ships alive,” says Chadra Pittman Walke, Founder and Executive Director of The Sankofa Projects.
The tradition of Tributes to the Ancestors began in 1987 in Brooklyn, NY and was spearheaded by author and activist Toni Cade Bambara. Since then, Tributes and Remembrances occur across the United States and internationally. “Noting the historical significance of Hampton as the birth place of slavery in North America and where the seeds of freedom were sown with the "Contraband Decision, I felt it was imperative to start a tradition of Remembrance in the city of Hampton. We talk about the beginning and the end of slavery, but what about the middle? That middle story has not been a part of the conversation nor has it been reflected adequately in the narratives around enslavement. In 2012, The Sankofa Projects began that conversation with our 1st ceremony at Buckroe Beach,” says Pittman Walke.
Remembrance is an opportunity for the Hampton Roads community and beyond to learn about this neglected and untold history, honor the lives that perished and celebrate cultural traditions of the African diaspora. Traditional African drumming, dance, theatrical presentations, poetry, meditation, song and traditional African spiritual systems of Kemet and Yoruba will be expressed. At 12:00 noon, an International Libation will be orchestrated by Baba Orimalade Ogunjimi of Ile Nago, which will occur simultaneously across the United States and internationally in Brooklyn, New York, Montgomery, Alabama, Charleston, South Carolina; St. Croix, Virgin Islands and internationally in Panama, Nigeria and Ghana, West Africa and Brazil.
Through Remembrance, The Sankofa Projects has aligned the City of Hampton with a larger international movement and has created a sacred space where hundreds make the pilgrimage annually to Hampton; from as far as Arizona, North Carolina, Washington, DC, and Richmond, to participate in this historic event and honor these ancestors,” says Pittman Walke
Attendees are encouraged to wear white or African attire. We remind attendees to bring beach chairs and umbrellas to shade. You may bring fresh flowers and fruit for the offering.
This event is free and open to the public; however we ask that all respect the sanctity of this sacred and historic event.