Annual Tribute To Ancestors

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Honoring Ancestors

On Saturday, June 9th, from 12 Noon to sunset, the 18th Annual Tribute to Our Ancestors of the Middle Passage will be held on the boardwalk at West 16th Street (Ancestors Circle) in Coney Island, Brooklyn, the site where some of the earliest slave ships once docked.

Sponsored by Akeem Productions and the People of the Sun Middle Passage Collective in conjunction with Medgar Evers College, this annual tribute is in remembrance of the tens of millions of Africans who, after being kidnapped from their homeland, died during the voyage across the Atlantic – the Middle Passage – and their bodies were plunged into the Atlantic Ocean, which was to become the largest African burial ground in the world.

"Our mission is to educate people about what happened during the Middle Passage,” said Tony Akeem, head of Akeem Productions. “A lot of folks don't really understand. We want them to walk away with information about what their ancestors endured."

Prayers for all ancestors will be begin at exactly 12 Noon so that they take place simultaneously with other gatherings carrying out this same rite around the world.  This year special tributes will be made to Rosa Parks, Sean Bell, Carlton Engleton, James Brown, Ed Bradley, Louise Bennett and Medgar Evers’ own Alana Archer, as well as to all other recent ancestors.

Following the drumming tribute, there will be speakers such as the noted Dr. Mary Umolu and Ali Abdul Perez, interspersed with singers, drummers, dancers and other cultural presentations by Shanto, Something Positive, Epiphaney, Osagyefo, Ngomo, Crown Heights Youth Collective, Kowteff, MEC Drama Club, Ruhamah, and The Lola Lewis Creative & Performing Arts Studio.

The event will culminate in the final Ancestral Offering, during which the Ancestral Drummers will lead the assembled people to the water's edge where each person will place flowers into the Atlantic Ocean, the largest African burial ground in the world.

All drummers are invited to take part in the ancestral drumming, which will continue all day. The event is supported By PRIDE-Coney Island and Congo Square Drummers.

For more information, contact Akeem at (718) 270-4902 or 659-4999 or email him at

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