Memorial for slaves on Sullivan's Island - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Memorial for slaves on Sullivan's Island

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Remembrance programs took place Saturday to memorialize enslaved Africans.

Charleston served as the place of tribute on the Atlantic Coast. Charleston is an important historical location for this tribute as it was the port of entry for 40% to 60% of slaves arriving to America's shores as human cargo.

"They're homegoing ceremonies we sometimes call it, because folks didn't have their last rights during the middle passage, we're here to fill a void and do some unfinished business as I like to call it in terms of honoring people," USC Associate Anthropology Professor, Terrance Weik said.

right here every year... where the majority of slaves arrived to america... a group says they feel compelled to be here...

"I feel like I'm supposed to be here, this is divine order and I do hope that people walk away with something better," Dr. Jaye Winmilawe said.

Across the globe from ports in New York, Panama, Ethiopia and Ghana memorials remember the estimated 100 million who lost their lives to disease, starvation, suicide, and murder during the voyage.

"For those folks who are more spiritually oriented to try to bring a state of peace and harmony to the situation. Clearly the middle passage was very traumatic situation for a lot of people for a long time," Weik said.

Today this serves as a way to measure time passed and acknowledge strength of an entire generation of Africans who were stripped of their identity, hoping you can find yours.

"For most people, if they don't have any sense of identity then they might travel through the world lost. It's great to have a career and feel like your purpose is fulfilled but it's part of our purpose as human beings as part of a community of other human beings, usually we want to find our place as far as culturally and even biologically, physically, so it's important for people to understand what happened in their lineage beyond grandma," Winmilawe said.

The remembrance ceremony happens every year at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island.

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