ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


Home  ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more) 


Historians have extensively researched ships’ cargo manifests

and other maritime records to verify the extent to which Africans

were transported to Maryland. The work of Professors David

Eltis and David Richardson reveal the number of vessels and other

business details, including port of origin, involved in the transport

of humans from Africa to the Americas and Europe.



Remembering Ancestors

Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, Inc.

Fells Point, Broadway Pier / Baltimore, Maryland

August 23, 2012 / CeremoniesDawn, 6:00 am / Dusk, 7:15 pm

If the Atlantic were to dry up, it would reveal a scattered pathway of human bones,

African bones marking the various routes of the Middle Passage.John Henrik Clarke


Group Picks Baltimore as the First of Many Ports

Commemorating the Transatlantic Middle Passage


Baltimore’s Fells Point Harbor has been chosen as the first seaport for a long-delayed commemoration of Africans who perished in the Middle Passage from Africa to the New World. Ceremonies are planned for August 23 which is the date the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) set aside as The International  Day of Remembrance of the Slave Trade and of Its Abolition.

After years of planning, the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project (MPCPMP) selected Baltimore because many African Americans can trace their ancestry to this location as one of the earliest and largest centers in the Chesapeake region directly involved in the human trade of Africans. Scholars note that Fells Point is the location where Africans disembarked to be auctioned as chattel.

This sponsoring organization intends to begin a process of healing and reconciliation by honoring African ancestors in ceremonies that will take place over the next decade at approximately 175 seaports in North, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Europe. An estimated two to six million African died in the ocean migration over the course of more than 350 years. The Project also emphasizes that enslaved labor was crucial to the development of Baltimore, and provided for the economic and political development of the entire United States, the Americas, and Europe.

Much of the work entails bringing together educators, artists, students, activists and religious groups from many communities to take part. On the Broadway Pier at Fells Point, two ceremonies are planned: one at dawn (6:00am), the other at dusk (7:15pm) on August 23. These events 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.

Estimated to take eight to ten years to complete, the group’s effort will encourage localities to conduct remembrance ceremonies and place physical markers at each port site. When commemorations have been completed in major seaports, ceremonies will take place on the east and west coasts of Africa. Ann Chinn, the Project’s executive director said, “All cultures bury and honor their dead. For those of us in the African Diaspora, we have the entire Atlantic Ocean as a burial ground. In effect, we are finally remembering our ancestors’ sacrifice and acknowledging the truth that as survivors we stand on their shoulders. I feel that we are keeping a promise to honor our ancestors and appreciate their contributions, beginning with those who died in the Middle Passage.”

The MPCPMP was incorporated in Florida as a tax-exempt non-profit organization. During its first year, efforts have been concentrated upon building partnerships, locating supporters, building a board, and pinpointing the geographic regions where discussions could be established with local groups. The Chesapeake region, because of its continual relevance to US history, particularly in Maryland and Virginia, is the group’s initial focus.

An important initiative was the creation of a weblog to discuss the Middle Passage and its relevance to contemporary society: . There have been more than 60 postings on site since its inception, and there are about four to five thousand returning readers per month logging on from around the world.

Further information is available at  / Or by emailing

*   *   *   *   *

Lou Fields of the Baltimore African American Tourism Council of Maryland, and Ann L. Chinn, director of the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, Inc., look over a display at Fells Point, a colonial human trade port. Fells Point is the first of hundreds of ports world-wide selected by the Project to commemorate Africans who perished in the Middle Passage.

*   *   *   *   *

 Maryland—Destination for Enslaved Africans for Many Centuries

The Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, Inc.:


Telling the Story

When Baltimore commemorates African ancestors, scholarly research shows the extent of the triangular human trade in the Chesapeake region.

Historians have extensively researched ships’ cargo manifests and other maritime records to verify the extent to which Africans were transported to Maryland. The work of Professors David Eltis and David Richardson reveal the number of vessels and other business details, including port of origin, involved in the transport of humans from Africa to the Americas and Europe.

The following data from available records enumerate vessels destined for Maryland and their points of origin over the course of hundreds of years. These captives provided the economic base for a prosperous society that would become the United States of America.

 Recorded Ships Importing Africans into Maryland (17th and 18th Centuries)



African Region of Embarkation







Thomas and Susannah


Bight of Biafra & Gulf of Guinea

Thomas and Mary




Loyal Society



1696, 1699

African Gally




Samuel and Margaret 


John Hopewell


Betty Gally




Hunter Gally


Bight of Biafra & Gulf of Guinea


1702, 1709




Bight of Biafra & Gulf of Guinea


1705, 1707



Olive Tree

1705, 1706



1706, 1725

 Sierra Leone

Young Margaret



Delight Gally




 Gold Coast






Sierra Leone



 Bight of Benin



Gold Coast

Generous Jenny


Gold Coast


1724, 1725

Mediterranean Gally



1725, 1726






Duke of London

1728, 1729, 1730


1729, 1730, 1732

W. Central Africa & St. Helena


1731, 1732, 1733





William and Betty





W. Central Africa & St. Helena







 1736, 1740

Bight of Biafra & Gulf of Guinea



W. Central Africa & St. Helena



W. Central Africa & St. Helena


 1738, 1740

Bight of Biafra & Gulf of Guinea

Prince William

1738, 1739

W. Central Africa & St. Helena

Sea Nymph


W. Central Africa & St. Helena






Prince of Orange

1741, 1742

Bight of Biafra & Gulf of Guinea

Black Prince


Sierra Leone



W. Central Africa & St. Helena

London Frigate


Sierra Leone



Gambia Merchant



Kouli Kan

1751, 1753

W. Central Africa & St. Helena



Gold Coast



Sierra Leone




1758, 1766



Sierra Leone

True Blue 


Gold Coast


1759, 1761







Bight of Biafra & Gulf of Guinea





W. Central Africa & St. Helena





Bight of Biafra & Gulf of Guinea






W. Central Africa & St. Helena

Charming Molly



Favourite Polly


Gold Coast

Marques of Rockingham


Gold Coast


1763 W.

Central Africa & St. Helena

Two Sisters











Lord Ligonier





Windward Coast







Mary & Samuel



Success Packet

1771, 1772





Further Information available at  / Or by email at .

*   *   *   *   *

Ann L. Chinn, executive director of the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, and Professor Dale Green look over a display chronicling the role of Morgan State University in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s

*   *   *   *   *

Middle Passage Ceremonies Project

Draws National and Local Support


When Baltimore’s Fells Point becomes the site for remembering African and African-American ancestors, it will take place with the participation of many local and national civic, educational, and cultural organizations. August 23 has been set aside by the United Nations as an International Day of Remembrance of the Slave Trade and of its Abolition. In Baltimore the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, Inc. (MPCPMP) has enlisted the support of a variety of organizations to make this dream a reality.

The purpose of the Fells Point ceremony is to commemorate those who died in the transatlantic middle passage, and of the hundreds of seaports worldwide to commemorate this history, the harbor in Baltimore is the first selected by the MPCPMP. Baltimore, as a major port in the Chesapeake Region is a location where many African-Americans can trace their heritage.

Several city and state organizations have lent their assistance to mark the occasion. They include Baltimore National Heritage Area, Baltimore Racial Justice Network, Douglass-Meyers Museum, Fells Point Preservation Society, Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Maryland Commission of African-American History and Culture, Morgan State University, Reginald Lewis Museum, and the Northwood Appold Community Academy.

Organizations outside the Baltimore area include: The Association of African Museums; the Association for the Study of African American Life and History; Hampton University; The Sankofa Project, Hampton, VA; Project 1619, Hampton, VA; Kunta Kente Festival, Annapolis, MD; The Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage: Retracing the Journey of Slavery; The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture; La Fondation du Memorial de la Traite des Noirs, Bordeaux, France.

In commenting on the variety and range of links to the Project, Ms. Chinn stated, “The contributions and involvement of these various groups reinforce a sense of community among those of us who have a shared history and experience in the Black Atlantic.”

Further information is available at /  Or by emailing

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

Middle Passage Ceremonies Project Board

Combines Broad Range of Expertise and Talent


The organization launching the commemoration of African ancestors in a ceremony in Baltimore on August 23 brings together many individuals motivated to share information regarding the presence of enslaved Africans and their descendants who profoundly shaped the Western Hemisphere and Europe. The Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, Inc. has chosen Baltimore, a significant seaport in the transatlantic slave trade, for its inaugural event to honor millions of Africans who perished during the ocean crossing. Many African-American families can trace their roots to this major Chesapeake seaport that has become the first chosen by the MPCPMP for this ceremony; hundreds more are scheduled for remembrance ceremonies.

Three MPCPMP boards working together facilitate activities, donating their expertise so that Project-sponsored events best reflect the important historical and cultural reality of the Middle Passage. An Honorary Board is headed by Charlayne Hunter Gault, civil rights pioneer and journalist who has chronicled the freedom movements in the United States and Africa. She is joined by a roster of similarly talented and committed individuals including Prof. Michael Blakey, anthropologist; Prof. David Eltis, historian; Shirikiana Gerima, filmmaker; Dr. Vincent Harding, theologian, historian, and human rights activist; Dr. J. Fletcher Robinson; and Randall Robinson, author and founder of TransAfrica Forum.

The Board of Advisers is headed by Charles E. Cobb, Jr., author and journalist. The board also includes Prof. Joanne Braxton, poet and educator; Teresa Doke, entrepreneur and business consultant; John W. Franklin, of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture; Prof. Faye V. Harrison, anthropologist; Lea Jefferson, educator; Dr. Rudy Lombard, activist and writer; Brynda Johnson Moragne, financial consultant; Niani Colom-Omotesa, public relations marketer; Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, musicologist and civil rights activist; and Prof. Corey Walker, historian.

Ann L. Chinn is chairperson of the Executive Board of Directors. The board also includes Donald C. Moragne, treasurer and vice-chairperson; Karen J. Malachi, secretary and attorney; Amadou Mahta Ba, media specialist; Zora N. Cobb, student; Prof. William Hamilton, communication specialist; Bandele McQueen, attorney; and Benetta Standly, civil liberties advocate and administrator, and Ann Cobb, professor.

*   *   *   *   *

Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, Inc.


In a Nutshell

The MPCPMP is a non-profit tax-exempt organization whose mission is to honor ancestors in the African Diaspora known as the Middle Passage

The MPCPMP intends to commemorate two to six million Africans who perished during the 350 years of the transatlantic slave trade.

The MPCPMP has identified about 175 seaports in North, South, and Central America, Europe and the Caribbean where ceremonies will take place

Final ceremonies are scheduled to take place on the east and west coasts of Africa by the year 2020.

The MPCPMP supports descendant communities in the installation of permanent markers at Middle Ports

The MPCPMP educates the community at large about the vital role that Africans and their descendants have played in the development of local areas and nations

The MPCPMP establishes partnerships with historical and cultural societies, academic institutions, places of worship, visitor and tourist bureaus, and community organizations to promote African Diaspora history and culture, especially as it relates to the Middle Passage.

Further information is available at / or by emailing

*   *   *   *   *

Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, Inc.

A Non-Profit Tax-Exempt Organization


Our Mission is to Honor Ancestors in the African Diaspora by:

• Commemorating the 2 to 6 million Africans who perished in the Middle Passage of the transatlantic slave trade

• Researching and identifying all ports of entry for Africans during the 350 years of the transatlantic slave trade

• Sponsoring remembrance ceremonies at each of more than 175 Middle Passage ports in 50 nations of North, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Europe

• Planning final ceremonies on the east and west coasts of Africa by 2020

• Supporting installation of port markers to identify actual areas where, with the permission of the descendant community, a permanent record can be established to honor those who died and those who survived the Middle Passage

• Educating the community at large to the vital role that Africans and their descendants played in the development of both local areas and nations

• Partnering with historical and cultural societies, academic institutions, churches, visitor and tourist bureaus, and community organizations to promote African Diaspora history and culture, especially as it relates to the MiddlePassage.

For more information, please contact:  or visit

*   *   *   *   *

Program of Remembering Ancestors


The auctioneer’s Maryland is the place to witness the heartrending cruelties of slavery, not merely in the infliction of the lash on the back of the slave, but there you see the iron of slavery enter the soul of the slave. There you see husband torn from his wife, and the children torn from their parents.—Frederick Douglass

But if this part of our history could be told in such a way that those chains of the past, those shackles that physically bound us against our wills could, in the telling, become spiritual links that willingly bind us together now and into the future, then that painful Middle Passage could become ironically, a positive connecting line to all of us whether living inside or outside the continent of Africa….—Tom Feelings

You have discovered truths about your past. You have confronted the beast and in doing so have conquered it. From now on your backs will be a little straighter, you will hold your heads a little higher. You have attained a dignity that no one can ever diminish.—Desmond Tutu

There is no place where I can go, or where you can go, and think about, or summon the presences of, or recollect the absences of ones that made that journey. There is no small bench by the road, there is not even a tree scored and initialized that I can visit, or you can visit in Charleston, or Savannah, or New York, or Providence, or the Ohio River, or better still, on the banks of the Mississippi.—Toni Morrison

Prayer of Unity

All praise to the Divine in us.

Praise to our ancestors and elders.

If a person does not know the past, then

the present and the future are not knowable.

Let the spirit of the ancestors help bring us

closer in unity and to our divinity.

*   *   *

Order of Memorial Service for Ancestors of the Middle Passage



Sage Burning/Explanation: Ms. Angel Wood, Baltimore American Indian Center

Welcome Remarks and Historical Narrative: Dr. William H. Hamilton, Jr.

Explanation of Ritual: Ms. Ann L. Chinn, MPCPMP

Prayer of Unity: The Rev. Cecil C. Gray, Ph.D., The Northwood-Appold United Methodist Church / Chanting by Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhists / Awo Ifasola Adesun will ask for the ancestors’ blessing on this Day of Remembrance.

Drumming: Awo Ifasola Adeosun and Mr. David Fakunle

Libation: An elder will begin libation by raising a chalice and facing four compass directions.

Calling of Ancestors: Ms. Chadra Pittman-Walke, The Sankofa Project

Gesture of Honor and Remembrance: All present will take a cut flower to water’s edge and place it in the harbor to honor those who died in the Middle Passage.

Greetings: Speak and acknowledge those around you in love, remembrance and healing.

Closing Remarks: The Rev. Cecil C. Gray, Ph.D.


Sage Burning/Explanation: Ms. Angel Wood, Baltimore American Indian Center

Welcome Remarks/Historical Narrative: Mr. Marvin “Doc” Cheatham, MC

Explanation of Ritual: The Rev. Cecil C. Gray, Ph.D.

Prayers: The Rev. Cecil C. Gray, Ph.D., The Northwood-Appold United Methodist Church / Rabbi Dr. Moshe Dov Shualy, Ritual Director at Chizuk Amuno, Baltimore / Muhammad Mosque Number Six / Sister Claire Carter and members of Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Order / Awo Ifasola Adeosun, Osalogbe Temple, Ijoko, Nigeria

Drumming: Awo Ifasola Adeosum and Mr. David Fakunle

Prayer of Unity: The Rev. Cecil C. Gray, Ph.D.: Rev. Gray will ask the elders’ permission to begin the libation and the call of ancestral names. An elder will come and hold the chalice to four compass directions as the names of all African nations are called by students from the Crossroads School.

Lights: Mr. Marvin “Doc” Cheatham will ask that those with tea lights to turn them on before the libation and calling of ancestors’ names begins.

Libation and Calling of Ancestors: Ms. Chadra Pittman-Walke. An elder will begin this ritual.

The Song: I Remember, I Believe performed by Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

Gesture: An elder, a pregnant woman (the unborn), a child and an adult man will walk to the water’s edge and place cut flowers into the harbor on behalf of all present to honor captives of the Middle Passage (those who died and those who survived).

Greeting: Mr. Marvin “Doc” Cheatham will ask participants to acknowledge and speak to those near each other in an expression of love, remembrance and healing.

Closing Remarks: Ms. Ann L. Chinn, Executive Director, MPCPMP

*   *   *   *   *

The Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, Inc. wishes to thank our sponsors and contributors. Without the support of many in the Baltimore area and beyond this Remembrance Ceremony could not have been realized.

Baltimore National Heritage Area

Baltimore American Indian Center*

Morgan State University

The Preservation Society

Smart Candle LLC

Executive Board of Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, Inc.

Private Donors: Ann Cobb, Davette Daggett Harris

In addition, we express our gratitude for the generous support of the Association of African American Museums, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History and the James Weldon Johnson Branch in Jacksonville, the Baltimore Racial Justice Network, Douglass-Myers Museum, Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Hampton University, the Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage, the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, The Northwood-Appold United Methodist Church, the Middle Passage Project 1619 in Hampton, Virginia, The Reginald Lewis Museum, The Sankofa Project of Hampton, Virginia, and individuals including Mr. Lou Fields, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Ms. Betty G. Robinson, Ms. Karen Spellman, Professor Dale Green, Mrs. Sonya Hunt Gray and Mr. Ellis Brown.

There are those we did not list here whose support and guidance were vital to our efforts please accept our appreciation and forgive the omission.

*Representing the Lenape, Nanticoke, Powhatan, Saponi, Shawnee, Susquehanock and Tutelo who were the original people of the area now known as the state of Maryland.

A special note of thanks and acknowledgement is offered to Dr. Joanne Braxton, Dr. Rachel Harding, Dr. Estella Conwill Majozo and Ms. Chadra Pittman-Walke for collaborating with us to develop the template for the Ritual of Remembrance which was used in this service, and will be offered freely to all middle passage ports where we hold ceremonies. The MPCPMP is forever in their debt.

The contributions and involvement of these various groups reinforce a sense of community among those of us who have a shared history and experience in the Black Atlantic. Sound system provided by Shooting Stars Studio, Glen Burnie, MD

The Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, Inc, (MPCPMP) is a tax exempt nonprofit organization designed to provide through remembrance ceremonies and port markers a means for individuals and communities to formally honor, remember, and bring closure to the millions of Africans who died in the transatlantic trade voyage commonly known as the Middle Passage. At more than 170 middle passage ports in North, Central, and South America, the Caribbean and Europe, this project, with the permission and support of the descendant communities, will address the humanitarian issue of the Atlantic Ocean as the burial place of people who represented hundred of African ethnic groups over more than 350 years. These people have until now been largely forgotten and unknown.

Contact us and please support this effort:  and  Thank you.

*   *   *   *   *

Rebellion at Sea!

Slave ships carried extra crew members for the purpose of containing slaves during the Middle Passage. The crew members were armed whenever slaves were on deck, and ready to subdue resistance by any means necessary. Nevertheless, mutinies occurred regularly, usually resulting in the severe punishment of the African slaves.

Remarkably, there are notable examples of successful mutinies by Africans. The most famous of these took place in the Caribbean, when Joseph Cinque, an African of high rank led his countrymen to overthrow the crew of the Amistad. Cinque insisted that the crew take them back to Africa, but the sailors managed to steer north as well as east, finally landing on the shores of Long Island. There the Africans met abolitionists who helped them fight for freedom in a landmark case that went all the way to the supreme court.—melfisher

*   *   *   *   *

Members of the Amistad Revolt

Henrietta Marie, Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society, Grabo, member of the Amistad revolt Henrietta Marie, Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society, Bana, member of the Amistad revolt Henrietta Marie, Mel FIsher Maritime Heritage Scoiety, Margu, member of the Amistad revolt Henrietta Marie,Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society, Little Kale, member of the Amistad revolt
Grabo Bana Margu Little Kale

Source: melfisher

Decision of Amistad case by Justice Joseph Story

Summary of the Amistad Case

The Spanish schooner Amisted, on the 27th day of June, 1839, cleared out from Havana, in Cuba, for Puerto Principe, in the same island, having on board, Captain Ferrer, and Ruiz and Montez, spanish subjects. Captain Ferrer had on board Antonio, a slave; Ruiz had forty-nine negroes; Montez had four negroes, which were claimed by them as slaves, and stated to be their property, in passports or documents, signed by the Governor General of Cuba. In fact, these African negroes had been, a very short time before they were put on board the Amistad, brought into Cuba, by Spanish slave traders, in direct contravention of the treaties between Spain and Great Britain, and in violation of the laws of Spain.

On the voyage of the Amistad, the negroes rose, killed the captain, and took possession of the vessel. They spared the lives of Ruiz and Montez, on condition that they would aid in steering the Amistad for the coast of Africa, or to some place where negro slavery was not permitted by the laws of the country. Ruiz and Montez deceived the negroes, who were totally ignorant of navigation, and steered the Amistad for the United States; and she arrived off Long Island, in the state of New York, on the 26th of August, and anchored within half a mile of the shore. Some of the negroes went to shore to procure supplies of water and provisions, and the vessel was then discovered by the United States brig Washington. . . .

Supposing the African negroes on board the Amisted not to be slaves, but kidnapped, and free negroes, the treaty with Spain cannot be obligatory upon them; and the United States are bound to respect their rights, as much as those of Spanish subjects. The conflict of rights between the parties, under such circumstances, becomes positive and inevitable, and must be decided upon the invariable principles of justice and international law.

The treaty with Spain never could have been intended to take away the equal rights of all foreigners who should assert their claims to equal justice before the Courts of the United States; or to deprive such foreigners of the protection given to them by other treaties, or by the general laws of nations.

There is no ground to assert that the case of the negroes who were on board of the Amistad comes within the provisions of the act of Congress of 1799, or of any other of the prohibitory slave-trade acts. These negroes were never taken from Africa, or brought to the United States in contravention of these acts. When the Amistad arrived she was in possession of the negroes, asserting their freedom; and in no sense could possibly intend to import themselves into the United States as slaves, or for sale as slaves.—law2.umkc

*   *   *   *   *

The African World

Nkrumah-Lumumba-Nyerere Index   Transitional Writings on Africa

In Ghanaian Village American Woman Reigns As Kingby Ofeibea Quist-Arcton—11 November 2010—It was two years ago, at 4 a.m. at her apartment in Maryland, that Peggielene Bartels got the news from West Africa. A relative called from Ghana to say that her uncle, the king of the fishing village of Otuam, had died. The news didn't end there. She was also informed that she had been anointed his successor: King Peggy. . . . Nana Amuah-Afenyi VI is Bartels' new title, but she is better known as King Peggy. This straight-talking, 57-year-old is the first woman in her fishing community of 7,000 people in Ghana's Central Region to be anointed a king, or "nana." She now juggles two lives — from the palace in Otuam and from a modest condo outside Washington, D.C. Since the 1970s, Bartels, a naturalized U.S. citizen, has been a secretary at Ghana's Embassy in Washington where she still spends most of her time, running royal affairs back home in Otuam over the phone and on trips to Ghana.NPR 

*   *   *   *   *

The Great Mosque of Djenné is the largest mud brick or adobe building in the world and is considered by many architects to be the greatest achievement of the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style, albeit with definite Islamic influences. The mosque is located in the city of Djenné, Mali on the flood plain of the Bani River. The first mosque on the site was built around the 13th century, but the current structure dates from 1907. As well as being the centre of the community of Djenné, it is one of the most famous landmarks in Africa. It has been a great incentive and model for the lively type of adobe architecture in the Inner Niger Delta region [1], which has been extensively inventorised by Archnet . Along with the "Old Towns of Djenné" it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.Wikipedia

*   *   *   *   *

Middle Passage (Robert Hayden)


Igbos in Virginia

 Enslaved Igbo and the Foundation of Afro-Virginia Slave Culture and Society  A review by Gloria Chuku

Igbo Ideograms In Virginia Cemeteries by Rachel Malcolm-Woods

The Ancestors Are Not Really Dead (Akoli Penoukou)

The Forts and Castles of Ghana  (Kalamu ya Salaam)

*   *   *   *   *

Religion is the organization of spirituality into something that became the hand maiden of conquerors. Nearly all religions were brought to people and imposed on people by conquerors, and used as the framework to control their minds."Dr. John Henrik Clarke

"What was or is to be gained by the designation of the Africans into 'separate rates' by the European invaders and colonizers? It was, and still is, a means to divide the Africans and remove them from their cultural, scientific, political, spiritual and ancestral heritage, thereby enabling the colonialist slave masters from Europe to claim them and force their own concepts of morality, law, economics, politics, ancestral values, upon the Africans' mind. For, without one's consciousness of the past, one remains a virtual SLAVE to the whims of his MASTER...The 'Negro' is an example of such a phenomenon. The 'BLACK MAN' [African] is the opposite of the NEGRO.' He is a MAN who has retained his self-consciousness and self-respect for his past, or one who has regained it after being forced to accept 'NEGRO' status, due to no fault of his own."Dr. Yosef ben Jochannon, Black Man of the Nile and His Family

"What became of the Black people of Sumer the traveler asked the old man, for ancient records show that the people of Sumer were Black. What happened to them? 'Ah,' the old man sighed, 'they lost their history, so they died.' "—Dr. Chancellor Williams 

*   *   *   *   *

Happy B Day Marcus Garvey

By Marvin X


17 August 2012

Long live Marcus Garvey, long live Revolutionary Black Nationalism! After being taught Black Nationalism in England by Islamic Pan Africanist Duse Muhammad Ali, Garvey came to America hoping to hook up with Booker T. Washington (Abuker), but Abuker died before Garvey could reach him. Garvey came to Harlem and set up shop, eventually organizing millions of Black people around the world to fight against colonialism and white supremacy, one and the same.

He championed blackness, black studies, black economics, black literature. Garvey was the esthetic and ideological leader of the Harlem Renaissance. His newspaper The Negro World, published more poets that any other publication during this time.

He immediately became a target of the FBI who infiltrated his movement and with reactionary Negro intellectuals were able to charge him with fraud and put him in prison, then deported. He died in England without ever visiting Africa, yet we know he is the Father of Pan Africanism. Like Moses, he never made it to the promised land.

Elijah Muhammad continued the work of Garvey and took it to another level with his Nation of Islam, combining aspects of Garveyism and the Islamic teachings of Noble Drew Ali. Of course Elijah was taught one on one for three and a half years by the mystical Master Fard Muhammad. Elijah in turn taught Malcolm X for three years.

Many Black intellectuals give a revisionist version of history by discussing Garvey then skip Elijah to honor Malcolm X, but how did Malcolm become Malcolm X without the teachings of Elijah Muhammad?

While attending Oakland's Merritt College along with Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, we called ourselves followers of Malcolm X, 1962, even while Malcolm was still a member of the Nation of Islam, so this was silly on our part since Malcolm was following the teachings of Elijah. Eventually I wanted to go beyond the leaf to the tree, so I joined the NOI [Nation of Islam], 1967.

Aside from the 19th century black nationalists such as David Walker, Henry Highland Garnet, James T. Holly, John S. Rock, Henry McNeil Turner, et al., we must credit Marcus Garvey with any notion of Black National consciousness we possess today.

Source: blackbirdpressnews

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *

Middle Passage

By Charles Johnson

A savage parable of the black experience in America, Johnson's picaresque novel begins in 1830 when Rutherford Calhoun, a newly freed Illinois slave eking out a living as a petty thief in New Orleans, hops aboard a square-rigger to evade the prim Boston schoolteacher who wants to marry him. But the Republic , no riverboat, turns out to be a slave clipper bound for Africa. Calhoun, a witty narrator conversant with the works of Chaucer and Beethoven and the Tibetan Book of the Dead, hates himself for acting as henchman to the ship's captain, a dwarfish, philosophizing tyrant. Before the rowdy, drunken crew can spring a mutiny, African slaves recently taken on board stage a successful revolt. Blending confessional, ship's log and adventure, the narrative interweaves a disquisition on slavery, poverty, race relations and an African worldview at odds with Western materialism. In luxuriant, intoxicating prose Johnson (The Sorcerer's Apprentice) makes the agonized past a prism looking onto a tense present.—Publishers Weekly

*   *   *   *   *

Alexander Crummell: A Study of Civilization and Discontent

By Wilson J. Moses

This remarkable biography, based on much new information, examines the life and times of one of the most prominent African-American intellectuals of the nineteenth century. Born in New York in 1819, Alexander Crummell was educated at Queen's College, Cambridge, after being denied admission to Yale University and the Episcopal Seminary on purely racial grounds. In 1853, steeped in the classical tradition and modern political theory, he went to the Republic of Liberia as an Episcopal missionary, but was forced to flee to Sierra Leone in 1872, having barely survived republican Africa's first coup. He accepted a pastorate in Washington, D.C., and in 1897 founded the American Negro Academy, where the influence of his ideology was felt by W.E.B. Du Bois and future progenitors of the Garvey Movement. A pivotal nineteenth-century thinker, Crummell is essential to any understanding of twentieth-century black nationalism.

*   *   *   *   *

Punishing the Poor

The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity

By Loïc Wacquant

The punitive turn of penal policy in the United States after the acme of the Civil Rights movement responds not to rising criminal insecurity but to the social insecurity spawned by the fragmentation of wage labor and the shakeup of the ethnoracial hierarchy. It partakes of a broader reconstruction of the state wedding restrictive “workfare” and expansive “prisonfare” under a philosophy of moral behaviorism. This paternalist program of penalization of poverty aims to curb the urban disorders wrought by economic deregulation and to impose precarious employment on the postindustrial proletariat. It also erects a garish theater of civic morality on whose stage political elites can orchestrate the public vituperation of deviant figures—the teenage “welfare mother,” the ghetto “street thug,” and the roaming “sex predator”—and close the legitimacy deficit they suffer when they discard the established government mission of social and economic protection. . . .

Punishing the Poor shows that the prison is not a mere technical implement for law enforcement but a core political institution.

*   *   *   *   *

Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.”

Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.WashingtonPost

*   *   *   *   *

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

By Walter Rodney

The late Guyanese writer, Walter Rodney had left us his great insights regarding the reasons for the underdevelopment of the African continent. His work finds equal footing with those of Frantz Fanon and to an extent that of the late Brazilian author and social activist, Paulo Freire in attempting to provide a critical insight, and a gainful analysis to the situation and reasons for the poverty on the African continent. This analysis, whether one agrees with its conclusions or not provides a means towards looking at the stalk realities of African underdevelopment. Rodney thesis that the trans-atlantic slave trade diminished the African manpower to attain development cannot be easily pushed under the carpet. Development is how a people within the means available to them, within their eco-context utilize their knowledge for the good of the totality. When their people is afflicted with disease or mass uprooting there is bound to be both biological and social ripple effects that would affect both the pace and nature of development. It is here that we realize that Rodney's proposition underlines a crucial factor in explaining the reasons for the African state.

*   *   *   *   *

Natives of My Person

By George Lamming

Natives of My Person focuses on slave traders of the sixteenth century. The novel reconstructs the voyage of the ship Reconnaissance, which is led by a character known as the Commandant. To atone for his past cruelties and barbarism, the Commandant plans to establish a Utopian society on the island of San Cristobal. The enterprise fails for many reasons: fighting amongst the crew, loss of interest, greed, and an inability to erase the past. The novel argues that an ideal society cannot be built by those who have committed moral atrocities and unnecessary bloodshed in their past. . . . Although Natives of My Person has a historical setting and deals with the voyage of the Reconnaissance, a vessel ostensibly engaged in the slave trade, a specific historical phenomenon, it is only partly accurate to describe it as a work of historical realism. Its realist component is not to be found in its fidelity to period costume, living conditions, or similar revealing detail. Instead of the veneer of verisimilitude that such usages provide, the novel locates its realism in the way in which it elaborately recapitulates an outlook.

*   *   *   *   *

Ghosts in Our Blood

With Malcolm X in Africa, England, and the Caribbean

By Jan R. Carew

Carew, an activist, scholar, and journalist, met Malcolm X during his last trip abroad only a few weeks before he was killed in 1965. It made such an impression on Carew that he felt compelled to search out Malcolm's family and friends in order to flesh out the family history. He interviewed Wilfred (Malcolm's older brother) and a Grenadian friend of Malcolm's mother named Tanta Bess. Comparing his family's experiences with that of Malcolm X, he gives the most complete picture yet of Malcolm's mother. Carew also offers a tantalizing glimpse of Malcolm X's transforming himself into El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, a man less blinded by his own racial prejudices yet as committed to the betterment of his race as ever. Just before his death, Malcolm X became convinced that a U.S. agency was involved with those trying to kill him, and Carew here reveals the evidence Malcolm X gave him to support these beliefs.

The mystery of Malcolm's death remains unresolved, and we are once again filled with regret that he was cut down before he could fulfill the promise of his later days. While this book will not replace The Autobiography of Malcolm X (LJ 1/1/66), it is an important supplement. All libraries that own the autobiography should also purchase this one.—Library Journal

*   *   *   *   *


Exporting American Dreams

 Thurgood Marshall's African Journey

By Mary L. Dudziak

Thurgood Marshall became a living icon of civil rights when he argued Brown v. Board of Education before the Supreme Court in 1954. Six years later, he was at a crossroads. A rising generation of activists were making sit-ins and demonstrations rather than lawsuits the hallmark of the civil rights movement. What role, he wondered, could he now play? When in 1960 Kenyan independence leaders asked him to help write their constitution, Marshall threw himself into their cause. Here was a new arena in which law might serve as the tool with which to forge a just society. In Exporting American Dreams: Thurgood Marshall's African Journey (2008) Mary Dudziak recounts with poignancy and power the untold story of Marshall's journey to Africa

*   *   *   *   *

The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


*   *   *   *   *

The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)







posted 17 August 2012




Home   The African World   Nkrumah-Lumumba-Nyerere Index   Transitional Writings on Africa

Related files:      Ceremonies Middle Passage    Middle Passage JD  Kunta Kinte Festival and Sotterley Plantation   Middle Passage Robert Hayden 

MAAFA: Remembrance & Renewal  Towards the Seventh PAC   Aspects of the International Class Struggle  From Atlanta to East Africa  Sylvia Hill Post 6th PAC