CAMBRIDGE — The Third Annual Day of Resilience on Sept. 11 commemorated the theme, “Honoring our Ancestors by Reconnecting with Our Roots”. The event had proved to be so popular, it was extended throughout the weekend this year, with meetings, displays and concerts at a number of locations in the city.
Organized by Alpha Genesis Community Development Corp., the Day of Resilience was first held in 2019 in Cambridge to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. In 2020, the observance was highlighted by the unveiling of a traveling sculpture of Harriet Tubman at the Dorchester Courthouse.
The event was organized by Adrian Green Holmes of Alpha Genesis Community Development Corporation. Among its activities throughout the year has been a drive to fund a permanent statue of Harriet Tubman at the court house.
Ambassador Sidique Wai of Sierra Leone presented remarks at a welcoming ceremony on the steps of the Circuit Court. The location has strong symbolic meaning, as the site in the 1800s where enslaved persons were once auctioned.
As guests gathered on the court house lawn, they were greeted by traditional drummers led by Dennis Minus of Dover, Delaware. An altar had been prepared, filled with artifacts commemorating the African experience, past and present.
Cambridge Mayor Andrew Bradshaw and City Council President Lajan Cephas were present, with the mayor saying, “Our city continues to grow and changes.” Events like this one recognize the past and provide a catalyst for change. He added, “If any community has shown resilience, it was this one.”
Ambassador Wai went to the podium, where he noted that Cambridge his West African nation both share a maritime history and deep-water ports. As he began his remarks, he brought to his side founder of the Constituency for Africa Melvin Foote, saying he is “one of the best Pan-Africanists in the U.S.”
After last year’s successful exhibition of Wes Wofford’s sculpture of Harriet Tubman, work has continued to bring a newly designed and permanent statue. Organizers of “Harriet’s Journey Home” have so far raised $160,000 of the $250,000 required to create the monument.
The group will hold “Bike the UGRR” on Oct. 17, following some of the Harriet Tubman Byway. The registration fee of $60 will go to fund the statue.
To learn more about the ride, visit biketheugrr.com.
To learn more about Alpha Genesis CDC, visit alphagenesiscdc.org.