The annual commemoration of Kunta Kinte’s arrival in America will take place at 6 p.m. Friday, September 29, 2006 during a vibrant ceremony to be held at the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial at the Annapolis City Dock, the location where Kunta Kinte is believed to have arrived aboard the slave ship Lord Ligonier on September 29, 1767 and then sold into slavery.
The ceremony will include the dedication of the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial Story Wall Walkway to the memory of Leonard A. Blackshear, the founder of the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation and Kunta Kinte Celebrations who passed away in March of 2006.
Keynote speaker is The Honorable George W. Haley, former U.S. Ambassador to The Gambia, who is the late Alex Haley’s brother and direct descendant of Kunta Kinte. Other speakers and attendees at the ceremony will include Annapolis Mayor Ellen O. Moyer, members of the Annapolis City Council and Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation President Alan Hay.
As part of the ceremony, Mr. Blackshear’s widow, Dr. Patsy Baker Blackshear will also provide comments.
Kunta Kinte’s life was the subject of author Alex Haley’s best-selling book, Roots. Mr. Haley discovered that Kunta Kinte arrived in Annapolis while doing family genealogy research in Annapolis at the Maryland State Archives. Roots became a classic television mini-series and the Roots phenomenon inspired a national wave of enthusiasm for genealogy.
Following the ceremony speakers and audience members will gather at a reception with refreshments hosted by the Banneker-Douglass Museum, 84 Franklin Street. The public is warmly invited to attend both the waterfront ceremony and the reception.