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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Annapolis in Anne Arundel County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Kunte Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial

 
 
Kunte Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., March 15, 2008
1. Kunte Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial Marker
The compass rose is immediately behind the marker.
Inscription. The Memorial commemorates the arrival in Annapolis of Kunte Kinte, Alex Haley’s ancestor, as told in his book, Roots. That arrival was not a voluntary one. Kunte Kinte was one among one hundred-forty Africans forced into the hold of the slave ship Lord Ligonier. The ship left the Gambia River in Africa on July 5, 1767, and cleared customs in Annapolis on September 29, its cargo reduced to ninety-eight survivors. The Africans were sold into slavery on October 7. An advertisement for that sale appeared in the Maryland Gazette. The original can be viewed at the nearby Maryland Archives.

Millions of African men, women and children were taken from their homelands and forcibly migrated to the New World under horrible conditions. People were packed into ships for months with very little space and care. Many died on the journey known as the Middle Passage. Kunta Kinte was one of those who survived the Middle Passage and told his story which was shared with the world by his descendant, Alex Haley.

The Kunte Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial symbolizes for all people the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. That triumph grows out of faith, love of family, and pride in cultural heritage.

This memorial is dedicated to our country’s African ancestors whose names, unlike Kunta Kinte’s, are lost
Notice for sale of the slave cargo that included Kunta Kinte image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., March 15, 2008
2. Notice for sale of the slave cargo that included Kunta Kinte
Provided for the marker courtesy of Maryland Archives.
forever. It is hoped that the Memorial will be:
A PLACE FOR LEARNING,
A PLACE FOR STORY SHARING,
A PLACE FOR INSPIRATION
A PLACE FOR REFLECTION AND HEALING.

Alexander Murray Palmer Haley
(1921 – 1992)


As a boy, Alex Haley first heard of his ancestor Kunta Kinte in family stories recounted by his maternal grandmother. Those stories told of Kunta Kinte landing with other Gambian Africans in “Napolis.”

Haley visited “Napolis” (Annapolis) many times. Here at Maryland Archives, he found key information in his quest to learn more about his family history. That search resulted in Roots, a book that enjoyed worldwide success and was made into a popular television mini-series.

Early in his writing career, Haley achieved the first-ever journalist rating in the U.S. Coast Guard. In 1999 that service honored him by naming a cutter after him. Haley’s personal motto, “Find the Good and Praise It,” appears on the ship’s emblem.

The Story Wall, a row of ten plaques, is just beyond the sculpture group. Each plaque displays a quote from Roots and an interpretive thought. Share these messages with others.
The Sculpture Group, across the street, depicts Alex Haley reading to three children of different ethnic backgrounds. Join
American slave ship and diagram of how Africans were stored in the hold image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W.
3. American slave ship and diagram of how Africans were stored in the hold
U.S. brig Perry taking the American slave ship Martha off the coast of Africa, June 6, 1850. Diagram depicts how Africans were stored in the hold. Provided for the marker courtesy of Dept. of the Navy, Naval Historical Center.
with them and recall your own family stories. A plaque next to them commemorates the arrival of Kunta Kinte. Haley attended the plaque’s dedication in 1981, an event led by Carl O. Snowden, a prominent Annapolitan.
The Compass Rose, comprised of granite and bronze, points to true north. The City of Annapolis is located at the map’s center. Stand there and face the direction of your ancestor’s origins.

The Kunte Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation, dedicated to keeping alive the messages and spirit of Roots, built the Memorial with broad support. The Foundation acknowledges with gratitude the following:

The State of Maryland, Parris N. Glendening, Governor
Anne Arundel County, Janet S. Owens, County Executive
City of Annapolis, Ellen O. Moyer, Mayor.

The Haley family, William A. Haley, and the estate of Alex Haley
Doubleday & Company and Ballantine Books

Architect, Gary S. Schwerzler · Sculptor, Ed Dwight · Designer, Peter D. Tasi · Writer, Wiley A. Hall III · Contractor, Pagliaro Brothers Organizations and citizens from points around the Compass Rose

Leonard A. Blackshear, Foundation President
 
Erected 2002 by The Kunte Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation.
 
Location. 38° 58.668′ N, 76° 
The Compass Rose image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., March 15, 2008
4. The Compass Rose
"The City of Annapolis is located at the map’s center. Stand there and face the direction of your ancestor’s origins."
29.241′ W. Marker is in Annapolis, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County. Marker is on Memorial Circle. Touch for map. 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 (here, next to this marker); Memorial Circle & Market House Plaza (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Kunte Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Alfred A. Hopkins Plaza (within shouting distance of this marker); Middleton Tavern (within shouting distance of this marker); Leonard A. Blackshear Walk (within shouting distance of this marker); Shiplap House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 41 Cornhill Street (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Annapolis.
 
Categories. African AmericansNotable Persons
 
Kunte Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial Markers image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, July 18, 2008
5. Kunte Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial Markers
The Kunte Kinte bench memorial (foreground) is across the street from the Alex Haley sculpture memorial (background). Annapolis harbor is in the distance.
Kunte Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial Markers image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, July 18, 2008
6. Kunte Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial Markers
View of the Kunte Kinte bench (distant background) and surroundings taken from across the street from this Alex Haley memorial sculpture.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 19, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 4,150 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 19, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   5, 6. submitted on July 18, 2008, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.
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