The 21st annual Middle Passage Commemoration is next Tuesday (Sept. 9)
7 p.m. in the Little Theater in the Alma C. Hanson Student Center on the LeMoyne-Owen College campus, 807 Walker Ave.
The annual program honors those Africans that were victims of the trans-Atlantic slave trade with a candle-lighting ceremony and by connecting their experiences to present times.
This year the spotlight is on African Americans and the African Diaspora in the west-African country of Ghana. The featured speaker is Dr. Ernestine Jenkins, Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Memphis where she also serves as the graduate coordinator of the concentration in Arts of Africa and the African Diaspora.
Commemoration participants will light candles in honor of the millions who died and those who, through indescribable strength, survived the middle passage. LeMoyne-Owen College professor of African American Studies Dr. Femi Ajanaku says the impact of those who survived is still felt today.
“Our country’s agriculture system exists because of the strong men and women who survived the middle passage,” she said. “The goal is to provide the opportunity to reflect on the negative circumstances that brought some of our ancestors here and to use the knowledge of their plight as a motivation for increasing our knowledge of past and present resources that have been interwoven throughout the African diaspora.”
LeMoyne-Owen College history professor Dr. Randolph Meade Walker established the Middle Passage Commemoration to give students and the community an opportunity to take into account the positive contributions of African-American laborers throughout American history. A proper examination of the impact African Americans have had on the United States economy means going back to the Middle Passage when millions of Africans were transported to the Caribbean and America during the slave trade.
The Middle Passage Commemoration is free and open to the public. Go online www.loc.edu or call (901) 435-1427 for more information.