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Tuesday, July 5, 2022


Millions of Africans, who died en route to the New World during the Trans Atlantic slave trade, have been honored with the unveiling of the Middle Passage Monument.
Signing, dancing, and libations were all part of last Thursday's ceremonies, sponsored by the Homeward Bound Foundation, at St. Patrick's Church in Frederiksted.
The monument, built by St. Croix metal artists, will be presented to the world during a July 3 ceremony in New York. The event, scheduled to run from June 19-July 3, is designed to coincide with the closing of the 150thEmancipation Celebrations of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
"The purpose of this monument, besides its spiritual significance, is to encourage African people to use the tragedy of the transatlantic slave trade as a pedestal as opposed to an impediment, celebrating the fact that we not only survived one of the most dehumanizing sets committed by humans upon humans, we, in many cases, excelled," said Wayne James, founder of the Homeward Bound Foundation.
After the world ceremonies, the monument will be sailed 427 kilometers off New York's harbor, facing Africa, and lowered into the international waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The monument is intended to serve as an unmarked grave for the millions of Africans who died as a result of the slave trade during the 15th and 19th centuries. Plans are underway to name the site the, located at 39 44' N, 68 07' W, a sacred burial ground for African people.
Between 2000 and 2006, six replicas of the monument are slated to be placed on land in six regions of the world – Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, North America and South America – where the Transatlantic Slave Trade occurred.
The Congressional Black Caucus, led by Congresswoman Donna Christian-Christiansen, has requested Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to set aside suitable federal lands in Washington, D.C., Savannah, Ga, New York, N.Y., Charleston, S.C. and Alexandria, Va. to serve as potential sites for the monument. The sites were recommended by the Homeward Bound Foundation based on their historical significance in the slave trade.
"We welcome the CBC's support of the Middle Passage Monument Project," James said. "The symbolic water burial and the subsequent land placements of the monuments will give the world an opportunity to begin the collective healing from the slave trade and its aftermath of racism."

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