A 14-foot diameter Compass Rose, inlaid in multi-colored granite with a bronze centerpiece, is located next to the Annapolis, Maryland Market House, across from the City Dock. The bronze centerpiece contains a map of the world, oriented to true North, with Annapolis at its center. People who stand on the center point of the map can turn and face the direction of the homeland of their ancestors.
Reminiscent of compasses used by seafarers for centuries, including the men who brought Kunta Kinte to Annapolis, this marker touches many levels of Haley’s family story. It reminds us that most people who came to America arrived by boat. It inspires us to connect to our own genealogical roots as Alex Haley did. And it suggests immigrants from many lands help to chart America’s development.
Placed around the Compass Rose is special seating and night lighting. A nearby information display stand explains the Memorial and the meaning of each of its components.