Creativity Takes Courage

Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial Waterfront

The combined talents of many fine artists and creators have resulted in a Memorial like no other.

Built to human scale, the Memorial’s sculptures, story wall, and granite-inlaid compass rose are both intimate and inclusive. Memorial elements embrace the waters of the Chesapeake Bay to touch distant shores and connect us to a broader world.

Dramatic lighting at night illuminates the Memorial – and so illuminates one family’s story representative of so many family stories.

The following artists had a primary role in the creation of the Memorial:

Site Design

Gary S. Schwerzler, Interpretive Architect

Site Design — Land and Water Combine to Deliver a Unique and Intimate Experience

Gary S. Schwerzler is the interpretive architect behind the design of the entire memorial complex, from its inception in 1992 to its completion in 2002. Schwerzler created, with broad community input, a Memorial site design that seamlessly integrates the bronze sculpture group, compass rose, story wall, and other components with the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. The Memorial site is an accessible, compelling, and inspirational public space at the center of the city of Annapolis at the foot of its harbor.

Sculpture Group

Ed Dwight, Sculptor

The Sculpture Group Artist

Hank Aaron

The sculptor of the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial, Ed Dwight, has created some 55 monuments and memorials to important Americans. Dwight memorials to noted African Americans include A. Phillip Randolph, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., George Washington Carver, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Hank Aaron, and Dr. Benjamin Mays. One of Dwight’s largest memorials is a tribute to the Underground Railroad installed on the grounds of the Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Story Wall & Information Stand

Peter D. Tasi, Graphic Designer

Story Wall Design—Art and Graphics Help Tell the Story

AnnapolisPeter D. Tasi has been an exhibition designer for nearly 40 years and designed the graphics for the ten bronze, one-of-a-kind, plaques that comprise the Story Wall.

A graduate of Pratt Institute in Graphic, Architectural, and Industrial design, Tasi has designed U.S. government exhibitions locally and abroad. Later, with two partners in Washington, D.C., he produced the opening exhibit for the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery and the first logo for the National Endowment for the Arts. After establishing his own studio in Annapolis, Maryland, Tasi designed numerous exhibitions for the Jewish Museum of Maryland.

Patricia Fisher McHold, Sculptor/Painter

Artist Patricia Fisher assisted Peter Tasi in plaque design. McHold has been a sculptor and painter for over 30 years. Her masks in paper, clay, and other media have been used in dance productions and stem from an interest in ritual and psychodrama.

Story Wall: Narrative

Wiley A. Hall, 3rd, Executive Editor of The Afro-American Newspapers

Wiley A. Hall — Story Wall Narrative Shares Message of Love, Reconciliation, and Universal Hope

Award-winning journalist Wiley A. Hall, 3rd conceptualized and wrote the text for the story wall plaques, drawing upon epigraphs translated from Alex Haley’s Pulitzer prize-winning book, Roots.


Joe Baker

  • City of Annapolis
  • Fort Meyer Construction Company
  • Pagliaro Brothers Stone Company
  • Signcraft, Inc.