Middle Passage

Middle Passage Project


For 350 years, ships brought 12 million Africans to be enslaved in what is now the United States. Millions of others didn’t survive the trip.

Saint Augustine and Amelia Island were among the 50 ports along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts where the slaves were sold.

Now the Middle Passage and Port Markers Project aims to place memorials at each of the ports.

Thursday on First Coast Connect we heard a review of the just completed term of the U.S. Supreme Court and the potential effect of the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy with the Florida Immigrant Coalition’s Basma Alawee and Adrienne Wilmoth Lerner, director and pre-law instructor in the Department of Political Science at the University of North Florida (01:22).

Shannon LeDuke / WJCT

We speak with City Councilman and mayoral candidate Bill Bishop about the focus of his campaign in the primary against incumbent Mayor Alvin Brown and leading GOP candidate Lenny Curry.

Ann Chinn and Ann Cobb of the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project join us to discuss the history of Africans in St. Augustine. The group will unveil an historic marker to commemorate the slaves who were brought to the nation’s oldest city this weekend.

They were the notorious slave ships ferrying Africans from their homeland into bondage on U.S. shores.

The Middle Passage, or the route the slave ships took, brought more than 10 million people to America who would become slaves. Two million more died in the ocean crossing. 

The Middle Passage Project is now working to place historic markers around the Florida coast, at ports where the slave ships docked. Future sites of remembrance include Amelia Island and St. Augustine.