Activities, Research, & Preservation
The Foundation’s primary activities focus on maintaining a lasting memorial in honor of Kunta Kinte and his descendant Alex Haley, supporting educational and research projects, and preserving African American history, art, culture, and genealogy.
Some of the Foundation’s recent activities have included:
The Foundation completed and shares a video of the comprehensive story of the historical Bates High School based on the interviews and memories of 15 African American Teachers who taught there prior to the integration of the public school system in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
The Foundation established a unique partnership with Frontiers International, the Maryland State Archives, and the Anne Arundel County, Maryland School System, resulting in the placement of a series of historical and African American reference materials at school libraries throughout the County.
The Foundation established and periodically holds a “Roots Camp” for youngsters, in order to actively engage them in genealogy research and learn more about their family ancestry.
The Foundation has conducted intergenerational genealogy research conferences with grandparents and grandchildren.
The Foundation joined forces with John Amos, actor, and Mr. Amos’ Halley’s Comet Foundation, to form a fundraising partnership, bringing his highly acclaimed performance of “Halley’s Comet” to Maryland. Mr. Amos participated in the December 1999 Phase II and June 2002 Phase III dedication ceremonies of the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial. He also performed his highly successful one-man show as a fund-raiser for the Foundation. We thank Mr. Amos for his interest and dedication to the Foundation’s efforts!
During the past few years, Foundation volunteers have provided support to a number of individuals seeking the whereabouts of lost family members, as well as assistance in helping them identify their ancestors. We have united people from around the world; and with the assistance of our volunteers and countless unnamed supporters from libraries, archives, and historical organizations, we have been successful in helping individuals gain a more complete connection to their families and their heritage. New volunteers to assist us with these efforts are always welcome!
The three phases of the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial were completed at the City Dock in Annapolis, Maryland, with comprehensive support from the State, the County, the City, as well as private and community donors, resulting in the completion of the Memorial. The Memorial is like no other in the country in its messages and location. See the Memorial section of this site for more information.
The Foundation completed and delivered a national research report, entitled “Economic Renaissance: Revealing the True Role of the Bound Agricultural Worker in United States History,” to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This extensive examination on the topic of slavery and bound workers in the United States was prepared at the Department’s request and includes a database of known resources on the topic.
The Foundation conducts and encourages education and research focusing on the history and culture of African Americans. One major emphasis is on uncovering stories and data about slave and free African Americans in Maryland prior to 1864, when slaves in the state were set free by State legislation. During slavery, Maryland had the largest number of free African Americans of any state in the union.
The historic preservation and interpretation of African American sites is an important goal of the Foundation. To help accomplish this goal, the Foundation conducts periodic Community History Days by capturing the history of African American communities through interviews and document archiving. These records provide a lasting history of the communities.
The Foundation also conducts activities that encourage dialogue on such sensitive topics as slavery, as well as the importance of researching family genealogy and sharing family stories. Integrating African American stories into existing site interpretations encourages a more authentic picture of history. It reveals African American contributions to the unfolding history of the site and encourages people in such a way that will often reveal other African American stories and sites that add to the body of resources that can be preserved.