Wednesday, May 27, 2015


The Memorial design, including the site plan as well as conception and fabrication of all sculptural elements by Jerome Meadows. Shown here during sculpture installation. (Click on images to enlarge)

I stand for the Ancestors Here and Beyond

I stand for those who feel anger

I stand for those who were treated unjustly

I stand for those who were taken from their loved ones

I stand for those who suffered the middle passage

I stand for those who survived upon these shores

I stand for those who pay homage to this ground

I stand for those who find dignity in these bones

Jerome Meadows

Formal entry into the memorial.

Life size bronze figure representing the first enslaved individual brought into Portsmouth in 1645.

Life size bronze female figure on the opposite side of the dividing wall representing Mother Africa.

The hand of each figure reaches towards the other around the dividing wall, remaining separated.

Proceeding through the Memorial along the Petition Line containing excerpts from a formal document submitted to the New Hampshire legislature in 1779 by 20 enslaved individuals  petitioning for their freedom (to no avail). To the right is the Information Marker which provides context with regards to the objective of the Memorial and the artistic elements in it, as well as the poem - I Stand For Those Forgotten.

The Ceremonial Plaza contains a reburial vault (foreground) sealed with a large mosaic Sankofa symbol.  The vault, designed to hold exhumed remains placed in 9 wooden boxes, was permanently sealed on the day of the dedication.  

The 8 vertical bronze and concrete Community Figures represent the contemporary community standing up in recognition of the 200 souls buried here. Each figure contains an etched line from the poem, presented above, written in keeping with the theme of the Memorial.

Ceramic tiles set into the railing designed around a motif based on a Kinte cloth pattern. The 110 tiles were derived from original drawings created in a workshop which I undertook with students from a local Middle School.

The Portsmouth, NH African Burying Ground on Chestnut Street between State and Court.

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