On September 29, 1767, the ship, Lord Ligonier came to rest in Annapolis after a long journey from the River Gambia in Africa. It had departed the African waters on July 5, 1767, with 140 captured Gambians on board. Upon the ships arrival to the city dock in Annapolis, only 98 of the Gambians had survived. All were destined to be sold into slavery. According to author, Alex Haley, one of those slaves was from the Gambian town of Jefferee. This young slave was 17-years-old when he arrived in Annapolis and had no idea that his life would become one of the symbols for the dark times in American history. This young boy’s name was Kunta Kinte.
Kunta Kinte never lost his connection to his African heritage, despite many years of living in bondage. His experience is a symbol to the struggle of all ethnic groups to keep and preserve their cultural identity. Alex Haley used Kunta Kinte’s story in his 1976 best selling novel, Roots: The Saga of An American Family, which was adapted to the television miniseries, Roots.
Come celebrate the life of Kunta Kinte and the legacy he left for all generations at the Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival, on Saturday, September 24, 2011 at the Annapolis City Dock (which is the actual location of his arrival to the United States). A statue of Roots author and Kunta Kinte descendant, Alex Haley, sits prominently at the city dock, telling the story of his family’s history to children of different ethnic backgrounds. Along the dock also lies the Compass Rose, which reminds us to connect to our own genealogical roots, just as Mr. Haley once did, and the Story Wall, which share messages to encourage reconciliation and healing from a dark legacy of slavery and oppression.
WHEN: Saturday, September 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Annapolis City Dock
1 Dock Street
TICKETS: Free admission. Click here if you would like to make a donation to the Kunta Kinte Celebration.