Using archival research to identify the names given to people enslaved on Martha’s Vineyard and students/community members as research assistants, artists and writers a memorial trail will be created. A rock will be used to identify each person, and as the original African names are not known, we will incorporate rocks bearing cultural symbols from West Africa. The purpose of the Trail is to give voice to those whose voices and stories were not included in the community narrative and to honor the African contribution to our Island story. The Trail will be completed by a stone on which a bronze plaque in a similar style to other plaques on the African American Heritage Trail will be placed. This plaque will explain the project and list the names of the people enslaved and the names of the creators of this Naming Trail. This complete project{the Naming Trail} will be site number 31 on the African American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard and will be available to the community and to the seasonal visitors and all will be educated about the inclusive history of Martha’s Vineyard.

The African American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard is a public history project. There are 30 dedicated sites and they are in every town on Martha’s Vineyard. The first site was dedicated in 1998 and the most recent in 2018/19. We provide education within the Island community, advocacy and a summer tour program that helps to finance our educational program and which provides economic opportunity for Island people. For more information visit their website.

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