International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition ~ August 23rd

The United Nations (UNESCO) has designated August 23rd as the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which has built its reputation, in part, on its role as an abolitionist city, now joins other cities around the world in recognizing its role in the slave trade as well.

Research identifying ports of entry for Africans during the 350 years of the transatlantic human trade* identifies the Port of Philadelphia on the Delaware River as one of more than 175 Middle Passage Ports in 50 nations of North, Central, and South America, the Caribbean and Europe. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission approved a new Historical Marker, “The Pennsylvania Slave Trade,” which was unveiled on Penn’s Landing, in Philadelphia, on August 5th, 2016. Charles Blockson, Curator Emeritus of the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, submitted the nomination including letters of support from the local community.

 

The Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony & Port Marker Project (PhillyMPC), established in 2013 by Denise Valentine, worked to gather public support for a historical marker in memory of those Africans who debarked at the Port of Philadelphia. Each year, PhillyMPC observes Ancestral Remembrance Day with activities from dawn to dusk, including a silent observance at sunrise and a Blessing of the River. This year, the event was held on August 5th to coincide with the unveiling of the new Historical Marker.

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PhillyMPC supports the larger, ongoing effort to build an International Coalition to Commemorate African Ancestors of the Middle Passage (ICCAAMP). In conjunction with the UNESCO Slave Route Project, bringing together all individuals, organizations, programs, and events related to the retrieval and preservation of Middle Passage history and heritage, including Remembrance ceremonies held around the United States and the world.  Since 2011, a non-profit umbrella organization, the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project (MPCPMP), Executive Director, Ann Chinn www.middlepassageproject.org has supported the planning of ancestral remembrance ceremonies by geographic regions in all U.S. cities that were middle passage ports.

We urge institutions around the world to follow the example of the National Maritime Museum, in Greenwich, London, by observing the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition on August 23, 2016. The Museum will to commemorate the lives and explore the legacies surrounding the trade of enslaved peoples on #SlaveryRemembranceDay with a day of reflection, talks, tours, music and workshops. For more information, visit: http://bit.ly/ISRD2016    http://www.rmg.co.uk/see-do/exhibitions-events/international-slavery-remembrance-day-2016#m8LJtIU3IB4r7myy.99

 

*Recorded Ships Importing Africans into Pennsylvania and NJ (1760 – 1800)       * Data obtained from Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, Emory University  (www.slavevoyages.org)

 

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Happy Dancing Feather, Iya Marilyn Kai Jewett, Mama Nzinga, Rhone Fraser, Belinda Banks as we began the Blessing of the River for Ancestral Remembrance Day Philly 2016, August 5th @ Penn’s Landing (Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony & Port Marker Project).

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Press Release: Commemoration of The Pennsylvania Slave Trade Historical Marker, Penn’s Landing, August 5, 2016

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Port of Philadelphia, 1761 – Courtesy, Independence Seaport Museum

PRESS RELEASE

July 19, 2016 – Philadelphia

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission approved State Historical
Marker commemorating the Pennsylvania Slave Trade at Penn’s Landing
Philadelphia, PA, July 19, 2016 – The Pennsylvania Slave Trade is among 23
state historical markers recently approved by the Pennsylvania Historical and
Museum Commission (PHMC).

Charles L. Blockson, Curator Emeritus of the Charles L. Blockson AfroAmerican
Collection, Temple University Libraries submitted the nomination along with letters
of support from members of the community. The dedication of the official state
historical marker commemorating the Pennsylvania Slave Trade will take place on
Friday, August 5, 2016 at 1:00 PM near the Independence Seaport Museum, 211
South Christopher Columbus Boulevard in Philadelphia.

The text of the Marker will read:

THE PENNSYLVANIA SLAVE TRADE
African people, first enslaved by the Dutch and Swedes, survived the brutal voyage
from Africa to the Caribbean islands and the Americas, debarking on the Delaware
River waterfront as early as 1639. William Penn, other Quakers, and Philadelphia
merchants purchased and enslaved Africans. As the institution of slavery increased,
these courageous people persevered and performed integral roles in building
Pennsylvania and the nation.

Research identifying all ports of entry for Africans during the 350 years of the
transatlantic human trade, identifies the Port of Philadelphia on the Delaware River
as one of more than 175 middle passage ports in 50 nations of North, Central and
South America, the Caribbean, and Europe.

Established in 2013, The Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony & Port Marker
Project (PhillyMPC), along with Project Coordinator, Denise Valentine, worked to
gather support for the nomination and to raise funds for the installation of the
historical marker. On June 2nd, each year, PhillyMPC commemorates the Africans
who perished in the Middle Passage by observing Ancestral Remembrance Day on
Penn’s Landing.

This year Ancestral Remembrance Day on Penn’s Landing will be observed on
August 5 th to coincide with the unveiling of the Pennsylvania Slave Trade historical
marker.

PHMC and the Charles L. Blockson AfroAmerican
Collection invites you to be a part of this significant occasion. RSVP to Serkaddis Alemayehu by Monday, August 1, 2016 at 2152044590 or alemayehu@temple.edu.

 

 

Download PDF Press Release

 

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via Press Release [revised]_Historical Marker Commemoration 5Aug2016_PA Slave Trade.docx – Lumin PDF

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Ancestral Remembrance Day Philly 2016

Ancestral Remembrance Day Philly

August 5th, 2016

Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony

& Port Markers Project (PhillyMPC)

#AncestralRemembranceDay

June 2nd is now August 5th!

To coincide with the unveiling of the new historical marker, PhillyMPC has changed the date for Ancestral Remembrance Day Philly to August 5, 2016.

 

Research identifying ports of entry for Africans during the 350 years of the transatlantic human trade* identifies the Port of Philadelphia on the Delaware River as one of more than 175 middle passage ports in 50 nations of North, Central, and South America, the Caribbean, and Europe.

Each year, The Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony & Port Marker Project (PhillyMPC) honors African ancestors who perished in the Middle Passage by observing Ancestral Remembrance Day (formerly June 2, now August 5th**) on Penn’s Landing. Our primary goal was to gather public support for the installation of a historical marker acknowledging Philadelphia’s a role in the slave trade, and specifically, Penn’s Landing and other points on the Delaware River as “Middle Passage”* port.

Well Philadelphia, we did it!

In March 2016, The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission approved a new historical marker “The Pennsylvania Slave Trade.” The marker is expected to be unveiled on Penn’s Landing, August 5th. Charles Blockson, Curator Emeritus of the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, submitted the nomination for the Middle Passage marker to PHMC. His application included letters of support from the local community. In solidarity, PhillyMPC has changed the date for Ancestral Remembrance Day Philly to August 5th.

We are planning observance activities from Dawn to Dusk, including:

* Silent Observance at Sunrise (6:03 AM EST) (from wherever you are)

* Unveiling of new Historical Marker “The Pennsylvania Slave Trade” (organized by Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection)

* Blessing of the River and Celebration (6:00 PM to Sundown)

 

———————-

*Recorded Ships Importing Africans into Pennsylvania and NJ (1760 – 1800)       * Data obtained from Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, Emory University (www.slavevoyages.org)

**The Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony & Port Marker Project (PhillyMPC) (established in 2013, by Denise Valentine), has worked to gather support for the nomination and to raise funds for the installation of the historic marker commemorating the lives of African ancestors who perished during the Middle Passage. All funds donated to PhilyMPC have been delivered to the Historical and Museum Commission toward the installation of the marker.

For more information about the unveiling, contact the Blockson Archives: 215-204-6632.

For more information or to volunteer on the Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony & Port Markers Project, contact Denise Valentine. 267-225-2541 of visit : https://sites.google.com/site/philadelphiampc/.

 

 

phillympc20postcard20201620bk202

 

 

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Penn’s Landing: Arrival Point of First Africans, Philadelphia approved for a State Historical Marker

#AncestralRemembranceDay

PhillyMPCAncestral Remembrance Day Philly August 5th, 2016 PhillyMPC

Announcement

UPDATE!

June 2nd is now August 5th! To coincide with the unveiling of the new historical marker, PhillyMPC has changed the date for Ancestral Remembrance Day Philly to August 5, 2016.

4/12/16      The Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony & Port Marker Project is 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 (PHMC)!

Charles Blockson, Curator Emeritus of Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection housed at Temple University Libraries, submitted the nomination including letters of support from members of the community.

The markers, selected from 61 applications, will be added to the nearly 2,300 familiar blue-with-gold-lettering signs that appear along roads and streets throughout Pennsylvania.

Among the 23 new state historical markers are Hotel Brotherhood USA, a labor union, established  by hotel workers (1883),  Jackie Ormes, the first African American woman cartoonist, and John S. Fine, Governor of PA (1951 – 1955) whose administration ended segregation of the National Guard and opened the State Police to African Americans. HARRISBURG, Pa., March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire

The proposed date of installation at Penn’s Landing on the Delaware River is August 5, 2016. Contact the Blockson Archives for more information.

The proposed text of the Marker will read: (The text has been updated. The final text can be found here).

Penn’s Landing: Arrival Point of First Africans, Philadelphia

The first slave ship arrived at the Philadelphia port in 1684, carrying African slaves to William Penn’s newly established colony.  In the early years of PA, the Quakers in power did little to discourage slavery.  Many owned their own slaves and did not prevent the importation of slaves to the colony.  Although PA is considered a leader in the abolitionist movement, slavery was an accepted institution in the state’s early history.

Research identifying all ports of entry for Africans during the 350 years of the transatlantic human trade* identifies the Port of Philadelphia on the Delaware River as one of more than 175 middle passage ports in 50 nations of North, Central, and South America, the Caribbean, and Europe.

Established in 2013, The Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony & Port Marker Project (PhillyMPC) has worked to gather support for the nomination and raise funds for the installation of a historical marker in their memory. On June 2nd, each year, PhillyMPC has commemorated the Africans who perished in the Middle Passage by observing Ancestral Remembrance Day on Penn’s Landing.

PhillyMPC supports the larger, ongoing effort to build an International Coalition to Commemorate African Ancestors of the Middle Passage (ICCAAMP), in conjunction with the UNESCO Slave Route Project, to bring together all individuals, organizations, programs, and events related to the retrieval and preservation of Middle Passage history and heritage, including Remembrance ceremonies held around the United States and the world.  Since 2011, a non-profit umbrella organization, the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project (MPCPMP). executive Director Ann Chinn, www.middlepassageproject.org has supported the planning of ancestral remembrance ceremonies by geographic regions in all U.S. cities that were middle passage ports.

 

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Blessing of the River, Ancestral Remembrance Day 2013, Photo by Bob Lott

Giving these events even more significance, this is the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024)..

March 23: Marks the observance of the International Day for the Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade 

August 23:  International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition 

 

*Recorded Ships Importing Africans into Pennsylvania and NJ (1760 – 1800)       * Data obtained from Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, Emory University (www.slavevoyages.org)

 

Denise Valentine, Project Coordinator: 

The Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony and Port Marker Project  

~Ancestral Remembrance Day Philly

P.S. (We are considering changing the June 2nd date for Ancestral Remembrance Day to August 5th to coincide with the installation of the marker. Do you think this is a good idea? Contact us.)

PhillyMPC Biz card 2016

 

 

 

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Upcoming Storytelling Performances!

http://eepurl.com/bQEPfn

Winter 2016 Storytelling Performances! Penn State Schuylkill Haven, UNSILENCED and One Book One Philadelphia!

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Paul Robeson, West Philly Folk Hero

Listen to Keepers of the Culture, Inc. (KOTC) tell the story of Paul Robeson on SoundCloud!

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KOTC, Inc. Logo ©1996 Columbus Knox

Opening song: Charlotte Blake-Alston Hosts: Tahira Akua Tahira and Dr. C. Frink Reed
Storyteller: Denise Valentine.

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Brought to you by Scribe Video Center and PNC Arts Alive on WPEB 881FM Community Radio Station.

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Comment by Louis Massiah, Executive Director, Scribe Video Center, Philadelphia | Shared by TAHIRA

 

Come out and enjoy Keepers of the Culture, Inc. Live in Performance at Sundays on Stage! Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central, October 18, 2015, 2:00 PM. 

 

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Philadelphia President’s House Monument featured on Travel Channel

In case you missed it, see the rebroadcast of #Mysteries at the Monument featuring the President’s House on the Travel Channel, 9/4, 5pm EST. Or, Catch it on my YouTube Channel.

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Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony & Port Marker Project

Philadelphia Middle Passage
Ancestral Remembrance Day –
Annually, June 2nd, 2015

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The Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony & Port Marker Project is leading the movement to conduct an annual Ancestral Remembrance Ceremony at Penn’s Landing. Our purpose is 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.  On June 2nd each year, we observe Ancestral Remembrance Day with a Blessing of the River. We celebrate 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.

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 began at 5: 30 on the pier behind Independence Seaport Museum. Columbus Blvd. and Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA.

Please also observe a moment of silence at 5:30AM, on June 2nd wherever you are in the world.

Visit the website for details on this year’s observance June 2, 2015: https://sites.google.com/site/philadelphiampc/

and, get updates on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PhillyMiddlePassage or

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PhiladelphiaMPC

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Spring / Summer 2015 Storytelling Performance Calendar

What’s Up Next! Save the Date!

Denise Valentine @ Philadelphia Folklore Project - photo by Diane Macklin

Denise Valentine @ Philadelphia Folklore Project – photo by Diane Macklin

Spring / Summer 2015

May 16, 3 PM – 4:30 PM
WHERE DOES MY STORY BEGIN?      Philadelphia Folklore Project  PFP logo
Philadelphia Folklore Project
735 South 50th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19143
P: 215.726.1106
Storyteller Denise Valentine has been on a journey
to unravel the complicated threads of her family’s history,
examining tales told generation-to-generation, collecting
DNA evidence and written records. Come listen to
Denise recount her adventures looking for her family’s
place in the story of slavery and freedom in Columbia,
South Carolina, home of her paternal ancestors.
This program is presented by Linda Goss
and made possible by Friends of the Artists.
http://www.folkloreproject.org

MAY 18th 5:30 – 8:30PM
FAMILY LITERACY NIGHT
Southeast Delco School District
1560 Delmar Drive, Folcroft, PA  19032
Sharon Hill School

May 19th, 8:00am – 3:00pm
Professional Collaboration at Central High School      Professional Collaboration at Central High School 2015 #CHScollab
2015 #CHScollab
Central High School 1700 W Olney Ave, Philadelphia, PA

Look for Denise Valentine in Session 1 Workshop – 9:00-10:00AM – Historytelling – Beyond the Facts and Figures.    A workshop for students, parents and educators combining archival research, African American oral history and folklore for a performance- centered conception and interpretation of historical events.

Registration is free and open to all School District of Philadelphia educators. Order tickets via Eventbrite.

Denise Valentine, Storyteller - www.denisevalentine.com

Denise Valentine, Storyteller – http://www.denisevalentine.com

MAY 21, 11:00 AM
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Seacrest Studios @ CHOP
34th Street and Civic Center Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

May 23rd, 2:00 – 2:30PM – Storytelling workshop at Art Sanctuary Philadelphia Literary & Arts Conference, part of

    Art Sanctuary Philadelphia Art Sanctuary’s 31st Annual Celebration of Black Writing Festival May 1 – 31, 2015

Art Sanctuary’s Celebration of Black Writing Festival | May 1 – 31, 2015 | Temple University Ritter Hall & Annex (Cecil B. Moore Avenue at Montgomery Avenue). More than 50 workshops, performances and sessions to choose from, featuring some of the regions most talented authors and artists, INCLUDING a youth track! Follow #CBW31 on Twitter.

May 27, 2015 @ 6:00PM
Great Escapes!
Mill Memorial Library
495 East Main Street
Nanticoke, PA 18634
A Program of The Pennsylvania Humanities Council

June 7, 2015, 7:00 PM 
Reaching for Resonance in Black & White
Two Families, Six Generations in America
Denise Valentine & Bill Mettler:
Master Storytellers Weave Their Craft
A Companion show to My Racial Ignorance,
by artist Bonnie Mettler
on Exhibition at
Historic St. Georges United Methodist Church
235 N. 4th St.
Philadelphia, PA  19106
www.historicstgeorges.org

Bonnie MettlerEmmett Till | Selected Artwork by Bonnie Mettler in My Racial Ignorance

JUNE 20th, 2:00 PM
The Story Grove @ 2015 CLEARWATER GREAT RIVER FESTIVAL! 

Great Hudson River Festival

Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival
(aka “the Clearwater Festival”)
Croton Point Park
Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520 

(Photo credit Augusto F. Menezes) The Clearwater is the environmental organization founded by Pete Seeger, with the main purpose of cleaning up the Hudson River.

Clearwater’s flagship event, the Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival (aka “the Clearwater Festival”) Saturday, June 20 and 21, on the east bank of the Hudson River, Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson, Westchester County, NY., is a large folk music and storytelling festival held each year on Father’s Day weekend. Several stages, crafts and food vendors, and
the river itself, create a lovely weekend for the
10,000 + attendees to the festival. You can see more details about the festival at www.clearwaterfestival.org/

A Look Back!
In the News!
History and Reconstruction
In a project funded by the
Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, the storyteller collaborated with historian Phillip Seitz and
Reconstruction Inc., a grass-roots group (William Goldsby, chair) that supports returning citizens, youth at risk
and lifetime prisoners,
to ask the question: how can deep knowledge of history
change lives? Click to Read more about what I’ve been up to in the world of storytelling…
Denise Valentine, Storyteller

Denise Valentine, Professional Storyteller, Teaching Artist, Public Speaker, Historical Performer, Consultant

A Look Ahead!

Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony & Port Marker Project (PhillyMPC)

On June 2, each year, the Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony & Port Marker Project (PhillyMPC) will honor our ancestors and commemorate the nearly 2 million Africans who perished in the Middle Passage.

 *Ancestral Remembrance Day, June 2nd

​Research identifying all ports of entry for Africans during the 350 years of the transatlantic human trade* identifies the Port of Philadelphia on the Delaware River as one of more than 175 Middle Passage ports in 50 nations of North, Central, and South America, the Caribbean, and Europe.PhillyMPC’s mission is to gather support for the application and installation of a historical marker in their memory. Read more … 
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Storytelling: an ancient tradition–its modern uses

 

Where in the world have I been? Telling stories, of course, near and far!

ANANSE SoundSplash 2014 Storytelling Festival & Conference, Jamaica, W.I. 

Ananse SoundSplash 2014, Jamaica, W.I. Image: Ananse SoundSplash 2014, November 19 – 24, Jamaica, W.I. an international contingent of storytellers: Amina Blackwood Meeks, Eintou Pearl Springer (Trinidad), Jan Blake (U.K.), Edgar Ortiz (Costa Rica), Michael Kerins (Scotland), Nomsa Mdlalose (South Africa), Diane Ferlatte, Djeliba Baba, The Storycrafters Jeri Burns and Barry Marshall, and Denise Valentine (U.S.).

Ntukuma, the Storytelling Foundation of Jamaica, chose the theme for Ananse SoundSplash 2014 REDISCOVER, RETELL, RENEW to honor the contributions of Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey in the year of the 100th Anniversary of the founding of his Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).  An international contingent of storytellers celebrated the official proclamation of November 20th as Jamaica’s National Storytelling Day (coinciding with Universal Children’s Day) with a week of storytelling events all over the island, including at Louise Bennett Garden Theatre and Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Moneague College in Saint Ann Parish, and Montego Bay Community College

Academic presentations focused on the following topics:

  • History as Legends
  • Storytelling and Reparation
  • Storytelling as Philosophy
  • Storyteller: Teacher, Entertainer, Healer
  • Ananse and Cultural Decolonization
  • Social Identity and Storytelling
  • Rediscover, Retell, Renew

 

Adinkra Symbols of West Africa

 

ANANSE NTONTAN

spider’s web, wisdom, creativity

 

 

History and Reconstruction ~  Beginning in fall 2014,  the storyteller collaborated in a project funded by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, with historian Phillip Seitz, William Goldsby, chair of Reconstruction Inc., and a cohort of ex-offenders to address the question: How can deep knowledge of history change lives? 

Denise introduced concepts of African and African American storytelling traditions. This provides a cultural context which the cohort could use for navigating new or difficult knowledge.  She assisted cohort members in building storytelling skills, tools and techniques needed to infuse their stories with lessons from history when communicating their experiences to the community.

The storyteller seeks to help cohort members :

  • Reclaim their ancestral names and homeland.
  • Reclaim their stories.
  • Reclaim the power and authority to speak; become the “storyholders” for themselves and their communities.
History and Reconstruction

Project Showcase: History and Reconstruction. Project storyteller Denise Valentine (center), psychologist Dr. Thomas Gordon (right), members of the cohort and friends. Photo courtesy of Phillip Seitz. (Public History Commons)

Read more at Public History Commons…

 

mate masie MATE MASIE wisdom, knowledge, prudence. What I hear, I keep.

 

 

Denise Valentine has been selected as the recipient of the 2014 Sankofa Research Award (SRA). FOTA assists Folk/Traditional Artists in accomplishing a research project that will enhance their work. This award will support her continuing research in family history, examining tales told generation-to-generation, collecting DNA evidence and written records. In March of 2015, she traveled to Columbia, South Carolina, home of her paternal grandparents, to unravel the complicated threads of her family’s history. Come to WHERE DOES MY STORY BEGIN? at Philadelphia Folklore Project on May 16th, as she recounts her journey to find her family’s place in the story of freedom and slavery in America. This program is presented by Linda Goss and made possible by Friends of the Artists (FOTA).

 

 SANKOFA “Return and get it” Learn from the past.

 

 

What’s up next?

Click here for details on WHERE DOES MY STORY BEGIN? and Upcoming Spring and Summer 2015 Performances!

 

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 Thanks for stopping by! Your comments are welcome!

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