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Port of Philadelphia, 1761 - Image courtesy Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia

Port of Philadelphia, 1761 - Image courtesy Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia



About the Project: 

The Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony & Port Marker Project has led the movement to conduct an annual Ancestral Remembrance Ceremony at Penn's Landing to acknowledge the Port of Philadelphia, and other locations on the Delaware River, as a port of entry for Africans during the transatlantic human trade; to commemorate the nearly 2 million Africans who perished in the Middle Passage; and, to install a historical marker in their memory. Each year (formerly on June 2nd, now August 5th) we have observed Ancestral Remembrance Day with a Blessing of the River. Wcelebrate the triumphant survival of the descendants of those Africans, and their contributions to this nation. Finally, we call for healing and hope for future generations.





The Delaware River in Philadelphia flows through the American American past and present. It represents the pain of the Great MAAFA; our connection to Ancestral homelands; the triumphant survival of the descendants of those Africans, and our call for healing and hope for future generations. ~ Denise Valentine




ANNONCEMENTS! 
     

The Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony & Port Marker Project is happy to announce that "Penn's Landing: The Pennsylvania Slave Trade" is among the 23 new state historical markers recently approved by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). 

Charles Blockson, Curator Emeritus of Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection housed at Temple University Library, submitted the nomination....   

     
In March 2016, The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission approved a new historical marker "The Pennsylvania Slave Trade."  The marker was unveiled on Penn's Landing, August 5th, 2016. To coMMEMORATE the marker unveiling, PhillyMPC has changed the date  (formerly June 2nd) for the annual observance of Ancestral Remembrance Day to August 5th.






Come to the River ... 






Annual Ancestral Remembrance Day - 

August 5, 2017



Ancestral Remembrance Day Philly

August 5th, 2017

Sunrise

Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony

& Port Markers Project (PhillyMPC)

 

Each year, PhillyMPC honors African ancestors who perished in the Middle Passage (MAAFA) by observing Ancestral Remembrance Day (August 5th) on Penn’s Landing. 

Observance includes:

 

* Silent Observance at Sunrise (6:03 AM EST) (on the pier near "The Pennsylvania Slave Trade" historical marker) (or from wherever you are in the world).

 

* Procession & Blessing of the River

(7:00 - 8:00 AM)

 

Blessing of the River

We invite peoples of all faiths to come to the river. Bring your prayers, your drums, bells, flowers and candles. Bring your voices, your stories, and most important, bring your spirit to honor our ancestors and uplift our youth. Since 2013, the Remembrance Ceremony and Blessing of the River has been held at Penn's Landing, on the pier behind Independence Seaport Museum. Columbus (Comebustus) Blvd. and Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA. If you cannot come to the river, we ask that you observe a moment of silence at sunrise (approx. 6:03AM EST) from wherever you are in the world.

 

 

Please note there will be no evening ceremony this year. Instead PhillyMPC will support Afrakan Independence Day Maat Celebration at Malcolm X Memorial Park HOSTED BY Uf_Asafo, 12 - 8PM.

 

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The Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony & Port Marker Project (PhillyMPC)... Read More






Past Events


Ancestral Remembrance Day Philly 2016






  • WE DID IT! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! 




We have reached our primary goal. A new historical marker "The Pennsylvania Slave Trade" will be unveiled on Penn's Landing, August 5th, 2016.  
Thank you so much for your support. All monetary contributions have been sent to PHMC toward the installation of the marker. 



Contributions to The Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony & Port Marker Project  were used exclusively for application and installation of a historical marker acknowledging the enslaved Africans who disembarked in Philadelphia during the Transatlantic Human Trade.


Thank you for your contributions. We are happy to announce that "Penn's Landing: Arrival Point of First Africans, Philadelphia" is among the 23 new state historical markers recently approved by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. See Announcement above.













PhillyMPC



 2015 Event


People of all faiths, we ask that you come to the river. Bring your prayers, bring your drums, bring your bells, bring flowers or candles, bring your voices, your stories and most important, bring your spirit to honor our ancestors and uplift our youth. Our gathering on Penn's Landing will begin at 5: 30 on the pier behind Independence Seaport Museum. Columbus Blvd. and Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA.



PhillyMPC


                                      Click Postcards to Enlarge






PhillyMPC





PhillyMPC





Our Purpose


Philly Middle Passage Project FAQ



 Click here for References, Resources and Links for the Transatlantic Slavery Trade


Recorded Ships - PA (Transatlantic Voyages)







We encourage you to come before 5:00PM to view 

Tukufu Zuberi's groundbreaking exhibit 

"Tides of Freedom: African Presence on the Delaware River

at Independence Seaport Museum, Penn's Landing, Philadelphia, through 2015.



Tides of Freedom - Tukufu Tz Zuberi

















Ancestral Remembrance Day 2013 Photo by Bob Lott






2014
 
Iya Marilyn Kai Jewett


  Libations for the Blessing of the River were led by Iya Marilyn Kai Jewett, Oni Sango, ordained priest in the Yoruba/Ifa tradition of West Africa.

We ask the community to bring your drums, bring your bells, bring flowers or candles, bring your voices, and most important, bring your spirit to honor our ancestors and uplift our youth. 

Our procession will began at 5: 30 on the pier behind 

 Independence Seaport Museum. 

211 South Columbus Blvd & Walnut St., 

Philadelphia, PA 19106


We encourage you to come early to view 

Tukufu Zuberi's groundbreaking exhibit 

"Tides of Freedom: African Presence on the Delaware River

at Independence Seaport Museum, Penn's Landing, Philadelphia, through 2015.


Tides of Freedom



For More Information:

Philly MPC Calling Card



The Team & Our Supporters





2013 

Read about our inaugural event in 2013 

Ancestral Remembrance Day - June 2nd - Penn's Landing, Philadelphia, PA

The inaugural ceremony took place on June 2, 2013, beginning with a blessing of the river at 10:00 AM, on the pier at the Independence Seaport Museum, Penn’s Landing.  Activities from dawn to dusk included libations, community performances, art exhibition, screening of the film Toussaint Louverture and a reception.


Watch the 2013 Video!

Ancestral Remembrance Day - Philadelphia



2013 EVENTs


  • 10:00 – 11:30 AM          Ancestral Remembrance Ceremony and Blessing of the River
  • 12:00  Noon                     Benefactor’s Reception Honoring Our Elders (*Ticketed event)
  • 2:00 – 5:00 PM             Screening the Philadelphia premiere of TOUSSAINT LOUVERTURE (**Ticketed event)
  • 6:00 PM: Open Mic and Closing Ceremony

Community Performances and Art Exhibition throughout the day.


 



All events take place at Independence Seaport Museum, Penn’s Landing, 211 South Columbus Blvd & Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19106, unless otherwise noted. Events on the pier are free and open to the public.


**Ticketed events inside the Seaport Museum include Reciprocal Admission for participating museums. 


*Purchase a ticket for film screening and receive a $5 discount on the Honor our Elders Reception preceding the film. 





Benefactor's Reception Honoring Our Elders
Sunday, June 2, 2013, 12 Noon to 2:00 PM

Contributions to The Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony & Port Marker Project  are exclusively for application and installation of a historical marker acknowledging the enslaved Africans who disembarked in Philadelphia during the Transatlantic Human Trade.



Thank you so much for your support. Missed this event? You can still make a donation of any amount to the Philadelphia Middle Passage Port Marker Project. 







Toussaint Louverture (ELOA PROD) 

Sorry if you missed the film screening last year. It was incredible! Catch it if you can!

Screening in Philadelphia June 2nd, 2pm @PhiladelphiaMPC


Premiers in Philadelphia, PA, June 2nd, 2013, 2PM!  @PhiladelphiaMPC. 

Brought to you by Harmony Image Productions and Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia. 


  | Click for Toussaint Louverture  Ticket information | 












Middle Passage Project Background & Research




Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, Inc.



Philadelphia
has the distinction of being one of forty "middle passage ports" in the United States and one of 175 sites in North, Central, and South America, the Caribbean, and Europe. These sites are distinct from other “slave” ports because they are the areas where Africans first set foot on land after making the voyage. We refer to them as the places where African American history literally began. Philadelphia as a major commercial port of entry dispersed enslaved Africans throughout the region of the Delaware River and beyond. 



Historic Research at Independence Seaport Museum, Penn's Landing, Philadelphia ‎(photos by Denise Valentine)‎





Visit the Resource Page for updated Images and research data.