African Burying Ground Celebration: Q&A With Chris Dwyer

RB: What has been most gratifying about your involvement?

CD: It has been really gratifying to see the ever growing number of people who are moved by the project and have become involved. Once people grasp the importance and the magnitude of the project, they want to know more about the history and they become converted to the cause. 

RB: Why is this celebration important for Portsmouth, the Seacoast, and beyond?

CD: The Burial Ground’s sankofa symbol says it all—it means “go back and get it—learn from the past.” I heard Reverend Lauren Smith translate the meaning as ”it’s never too late to learn from and correct the mistakes of the past.” Our nation needs those messages now, when racial divides have come to the forefront. Further, this is the only authenticated burial ground of its kind in New England—reminding us all of the region’s history in the slave trade. 

RB: Are you going to see the Blind Boys of Alabama at The Music Hall?

CD: Yes, I think their gospel sound will set the tone of meaningful celebration of the project— signifying a job well done as well as the beginning of a new phase.

Find out more information and a detailed calendar of African Burial Ground events.

Please join us at the Historic Theater on Saturday, May 23 at 7pm for the legendary, five-time Grammy-winning gospel group The Blind Boys of Alabama, performing in celebration and recognition of the opening of The African Burying Ground.

More Info/Tickets