even though i read Roots, the book, and saw Roots, the TV series,
i needed to be reminded that Annapolis, Maryland
is the actual location that Kunta Kinte
— one of 98 enslaved people brought to Annapolis,
aboard the ship Lord Ligonier in 1767 —
arrived to America.
the sight of the colonial buildings at the fish-scented dock
created a moving backdrop to the African rhythms that reverberated around the harbor.
besides the numerous booths, food vendors and musical entertainment
the festival had a children’s booth that kept hands and minds active:
dress up in various African-print cloths,
making medallions with your name in Arabic,
printing with adinkra stamps,
and making west African instruments with recycled materials.
“Kunte Kinte’s experience symbolizes the struggle of all ethnic groups
to preserve their cultural identity”,
and the Kunte Kinte Heritage Festival
— a yearly event —
highlights the contributions of African Americans
and the strength of African traditions in the US.