Photo via City of Pensacola

Pensacola to celebrate Middle Passage Historic Marker on June 26 at Plaza De Luna

The community is invited to celebrate the dedication of the City of Pensacola’s newest historical marker, “Middle Passage to Pensacola/African Presence in Colonial Pensacola,” on Saturday, June 26 at 10 a.m. at Plaza De Luna. The historical marker highlights Pensacola’s role in Middle Passage, the transportation of about 12 million enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to the Americas. The marker also provides an introduction to  the significant African presence in Colonial Pensacola and the impact their skills and cultural practices had on the development of Pensacola.

“Pensacola has an incredibly rich history, and I’m proud to recognize our African ancestors and their contributions to making Pensacola what it is today,” Mayor Grover Robinson said. “I hope that this historical marker will not only educate the community about our past, but also promote a more inclusive Pensacola for all of our citizens.”

Pensacola is one of 28 documented sites of memory for slave arrivals in the United States. This historical marker was placed through the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, which is a nonprofit organization established in 2011 to honor the 2 million captive Africans who perished during the transatlantic crossing known as the Middle Passage and the 10 million who survived to build the Americas.

The historical marker was made possible by a partnership between the local Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project Committee, City of Pensacola/Office of the Mayor, University of West Florida Historic Trust, the Florida Department of State, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Slave Trade Project, National Middle Passage Project and other community groups of Pensacola.

The marker’s placement on the waterfront near the statue of Spanish conquistador Tristan De Luna symbolizes where the first Africans in Pensacola arrived and the conditions that brought them here.

“The marker reminds us that Pensacola has been a multi-ethnic city since 1559,” District 5 Councilwoman Teniadé Broughton said. “It shows how African people’s significant contributions shaped our city’s development and culture. I hope that locals and visitors at Plaza De Luna will pause in deep reflection after reading the marker, an uncomfortable but necessary recognition of Pensacola’s long history.”

Plaza De Luna is located at 900 S. Palafox St. in downtown Pensacola.

 

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