Annapolis in Anne Arundel County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Kunte Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial
Erected 1981 by V.O.T.E., Anne Arundel Coalition of Tennants.
Location. 38° 58.656′ N, 76° 29.225′ W. Marker is in Annapolis, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and Compromise Street, on the left when traveling south on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at the Annapolis harbor. Marker is in this post office area: Annapolis MD 21401, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. History Stone (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Kunte Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Memorial Circle & Market House Plaza (within shouting distance of this marker); Leonard A. Blackshear Walk (within shouting distance of this marker); Alfred A. Hopkins Plaza (within shouting distance Middleton Tavern (within shouting distance of this marker); Shiplap House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 41 Cornhill Street (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Annapolis.
More about this marker. Marker is three-sided.
Also see . . . History of Development - A Luta Continua!. A Luta Continua is a Portuguese slogan that literally means “the struggle continues.” It has indeed been a struggle to erect the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial. A struggle that took over twenty years!
When Alex Haley’s best selling story Roots won national acclaim, a group of Annapolis, Maryland citizens recognized the significant role of Annapolis in the story. Led by Carl O. Snowden, the group approached the Annapolis City Council in 1979 to discuss placing a memorial in honor of Kunta Kinte at the Annapolis City Dock. The Mayor at the time was quoted in the Washington Post opposing the idea, indicating that Kunta Kinte was not an Annapolitan.
Within two years a new Mayor was elected who ran on a platform that included supporting a plaque at the City Dock commemorating Kunta
But that was not the end of the story. Within 48 hours of the plaque’s dedication, it was stolen, allegedly, by the Ku Klux Klan. The news of the theft made international headlines. The plaque was never recovered. Alex Haley was quoted in the Capital, saying “the theft of the plaque spoke volumes about the people who stole it.” Within two months local citizens had raised enough funds to replace the stolen plaque.
In 1992, the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation, under the leadership of President and Founder, Leonard A. Blackshear, started the process of building the now completed Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial, which includes the restored 1981 replacement plaque commemorating Kinte’s arrival.
That process was finally completed after over 23 years of challenges and struggle. On June 12, 2002 the final phase of the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial was dedicated. The Baltimore Sun wrote, “At last, Annapolis will honor one of its most famous sons in proper fashion. After years of plodding debate over whether to erect a statue at
Today the Memorial is seen by some 1,000,000 visitors a year. Although Alex Haley did not live long enough to see this Memorial completed, if he were here today, we are sure that he would say that it “speaks volumes about the many people and organizations from around the world who helped build it!” (Submitted on November 27, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
Categories. • African Americans • Civil Rights • Notable Events • Notable Persons •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 21, 2007, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 4,463 times since then and 54 times this year. Last updated on February 21, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on November 21, 2007, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. 4. submitted on December 29, 2007, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 5, 6. submitted on November 21, 2007, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. 7. submitted on March 19, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.