rotating decorative images from SCUA collections

Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage Records

1975-2006 (Bulk: 1997-1999)
6 boxes (6.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 758

Organized at the New England Peace Pagoda in Leverett, Mass., the Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage was a twelve-month walk through the eastern United States, the Caribbean, Brazil, West Africa, and South Africa in 1998-1999, reversing the direction of the Middle Passage symbolically and geographically. A "living prayer of the heart, mind, and body for the sons and daughters of the African Diaspora," the Pilgrimage was intended by the participants to contribute to a process of healing the wounds inflicted by hundreds of years of slavery and racial oppression. Along the way, participants visited sites associated with the history of slavery, from slaves' quarters in Virginia to stations on the Underground Railroad and villages that had been raided in Africa, offering prayers for those who had suffered under slavery and commemorating the dignity of those held in bondage and those who resisted.

Chronicling the course of the Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage from conception to conclusion, this collection contains a rich textual and visual record of a spiritual approach to addressing the legacy of slavery in the Americas. The collection includes the range of materials collected by participants during the Pilgrimage, including lists of reading materials, information on the sites visited, a handful of mementoes and souvenirs, some correspondence, and notes and photographs taken along the way.

Background on Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage

Conceived and organized by a Buddhist nun based at the New England Peace Pagoda in Leverett, Mass., Sister Clare Carter, and a performance artist and activist, Ingrid Askew, the Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage was a year-long walk from the eastern United States to Africa, reversing the direction of the Middle Passage symbolically and geographically. A "living prayer of the heart, mind, and body for the sons and daughters of the African Diaspora," the Pilgrimage was intended by the participants to contribute to a process of healing the wounds inflicted by hundreds of years of slavery and racial oppression. Intellectually and spiritually, it would acknowledge the painful legacy of slavery as an issue affecting not just black African Americans but also white European Americans and would be a way to draw whites into the cultural conversation about race and racism. Traveling mostly on foot, the pilgrims would visit sites associated with the history of slavery, offering prayers and connecting with local residents. The organizers put together an advisory board that included scholars, religious leaders, politicians, activists, and artists, and while it was mostly drawn from the western Massachusetts community, Bishop Desmond Tutu served as honorary chair. In addition, the organizers and pilgrims made and relied on local connections as they planned the walk as well as during the walk itself.

The journey began in Massachusetts on May 30, 1998, and continued down the east coast. Passing through more than 200 U.S. cities, the pilgrims arrived in Louisiana. From New Orleans they traveled by boat through the Caribbean, finally crossing the Atlantic Ocean to arrive in western Africa. The Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage pilgrimage ended in Cape Town, South Africa, on June 12, 1999. The diverse group of pilgrims included ten who traveled the whole route, and hundreds more sharing part of the journey, from a day or a few days to weeks or months.

Scope of collection

The materials in this collection document the Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage from its earliest planning stages, through the journey itself, to its aftermath, a record of the hope and vision for transformation that inspired and sustained it, as well as financial and organizational challenges. The bulk of the collection is directly related to the pilgrimage, but some material is connected to Peace Pagoda in Leverett or to individuals involved in the pilgrimage. There is also material about similar or related events, organizations, and journeys, speaking to the organizers' awareness of the global nature and broad reach of their endeavor.

Series descriptions

Materials concerning the planning of the pilgrimage--both before the start of the pilgrimage and while it was under way--as well as the pilgrimage itself and its aftermath comprise this series. They include correspondence, proposals, research materials, fundraising, publicity, and outreach materials, notes, mailing lists, lists of participants, information for walkers, itineraries, and files on each stop on the route. The files in the latter subgroup are arranged to reflect the order of the pilgrimage itinerary.

The photographs and photograph albums in this series were apparently taken or assembled by various pilgrims. Also here is an assortment of mementoes, mostly received or collected along the way, including gifts from local residents or local government offices.

The clippings are mainly of published articles and stories about the pilgrimage from a range of sources. The assortment of full publications are mostly single or select issues of periodicals, containing articles about the pilgrimage or of interest to the pilgrims.

Inventory

Series 1. Pilgrimage
1975-2006
Correspondence, general
ca.1991-1999
Box 1:
Correspondence, general
1994-1997
Box 1:
Correspondence, general
ca.1997
Box 1:
Correspondence, general
1998
Box 1:
Correspondence, general
1999 March
Box 1:
Correspondence, general
1999
Box 1:
Correspondence, general
1998-1999
Box 1:
Correspondence, general: pre-walk planning
1994-1998
Box 1:
Correspondence, general: contacts to call
1997 Jan-1998 June
Box 1:
Correspondence, general: incoming
1998 Jan-June
Box 1:
Correspondence, general: incoming
1998 July-Dec
Box 1:
Correspondence, general: incoming
1999
Box 1:
Correspondence, general: incoming
1999
Box 1:
Correspondence, general: incoming
undated
Box 1:
Correspondence, general; notes
1998 May-July
Box 1:
Correspondence, general: "on the road"
ca.1998
Box 1:
Correspondence, general: outgoing; newsletters
1999 Feb-2001 Aug
Box 1:
Correspondence, general: updates
1998 April-Aug
Box 1:
Correspondence, general: updates
1999 Jan-Feb
Box 1:
Correspondence, general: updates
1999 April-Nov
Box 1:
Correspondence, planning: Africa
1997-1999
Box 1:
Correspondence, planning: Africa
1998-1999
Box 1:
Correspondence, planning: Africa--Benin contact
1999 March-April
Box 1:
Correspondence, planning: Africa--Reifel, Robert
1999 May
Box 1:
Correspondence, planning: Africa--South Africa, Cape Town
1999 July
Box 1:
Correspondence, planning: community organizers
ca.1998
Box 1:
Correspondence: Alvord, Rev., prayers for
1999 May
Box 1:
Correspondence: Askew, Ingrid, birthday
1999
Box 1:
Correspondence: Carstens, Kenneth
1993-1997
Box 1:
Correspondence: children
1998 Sept
Box 1:
Correspondence: Fihankra Project
1998 March-April
Box 1:
Correspondence: Tutu, Bishop Desmond
1997-1999
Box 1:
Correspondence: U. S. Senators
1998 July
Box 1:
Correspondence: "unfinished business"
1998-1999
Box 1:
Correspondence: retreat
2000 Feb-March
Box 1:
Fundraising
ca.1997-2000
Box 1:
Fundraising: appeals
ca.1997-1998
Box 1:
Fundraising: donor lists
1997-1998
Box 1:
Fundraising: Gospel requiem
1996
Box 6:
Fundraising: ledger
ca.1998-1999
Box 1:
Fundraising: T-shirt order form, fliers
ca.1998-1999
Box 1:
Planning: address lists
ca.1998
Box 1:
Planning: address lists, AFSC
1998 Feb-May
Box 1:
Planning: address lists, churches
1995
Box 1:
Planning: address lists, clergy
1996 Sept
Box 1:
Planning: address lists, from database
ca.1998
Box 1:
Planning: addresses, business card file
ca.1998
Box 1:
Planning: advisory board
1997-1998
Box 1:
Planning: African ambassadors
1998 Feb-March
Box 1:
Planning: calendars
1998
Box 1:
Planning: calendars
1998
Box 1:
Planning: contact lists
ca.1998 June
Box 1:
Planning: early stage notes and research
1983-1995
Box 1:
Planning: early stage notes and research
1995-1997
Box 1:
Planning: early stage notes and research
1996-1997
Box 1:
Planning: early stage notes and research, planning events
1996
Box 1:
Planning: proposal and research
1993-1994
Box 1:
Planning: proposal and research
1994
Box 1:
Planning: notes
1993-1997
Box 1:
Planning: notes
ca.1998
Box 1:
Planning: notes
ca.1998-1999
Box 1:
Planning: notes--notebooks
ca.1998
Box 1:
Planning: notes--notebooks
ca.1998
Box 1:
Planning: notes--notebook
undated
Box 1:
Planning: notes--notebook
undated
Box 1:
Planning: notes--notebook
undated
Box 1:
Planning: notes--"precious scraps"
1997-1998
Box 1:
Planning: organizing committee materials
ca.1998 May-July
Box 2:
Planning: organizing and orientation
1998
Box 2:
Planning: research
1997
Box 2:
Planning: research
ca.1997-1998
Box 2:
Planning: research--Africa
ca.1993-1997
Box 2:
Planning: research--Africa
ca.1993-1997
Box 2:
Planning: research--Africa
ca.1993-1997
Box 2:
Planning: research--Boston Globe op-ed articles
1997
Box 2:
Planning: research--hate violence
1995
Box 2:
Planning: research--related articles
1981-1993
Box 2:
Planning: research--slave trade
1994, 1998
Box 2:
Planning: research--slave trade (exhibit)
1996
Box 2:
Planning: research--slavery
1997-1998
Box 2:
Planning: research--underground railroad
undated
Box 2:
Planning: research--walks
undated
Box 2:
Planning: research--"Willie Lynch"
undated
Box 2:
Planning: "specialized documents"
1997 Dec-1998 June
Box 2:
People: Feelings, Tom
1995-1996
Box 2:
People: MacDonald, Rev. Timothy
1997 Oct
Box 2:
People: Tutu, Bishop Desmond
1997 Aug
Box 2:
People: Williams, Teresa
1999 Jan
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: announcements
ca.1997-1999
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: announcements
ca.1997-1999
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: articles
1998-1999
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: articles (packet)
1998 May-1999 Feb
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: certificates, participation
1999 June
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: certificates, testimony of gratitude
ca.1999 June
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: collaborations
ca.1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: forms
ca.1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: forms--registration, questionnaire
1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: Hampshire College students
1998 Oct-1999 Jan
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: handouts
1997-1999
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: information packet
ca.1997-1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: inquiry sheets
ca.1998 April-Aug
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: inquiry sheets--families/parents/friends
1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: inquiry sheets--media/PR
1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: notes on dynamics, organizing
ca.1998 July
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: notes on "spiritual council"
ca.1998-1999
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: notes on "workshop/white folks (yeshi)"
ca.1999
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: opening ceremonies
1998 May
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: prayers
ca.1995-1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: prayers, writings
ca.1997-1999
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: reading lists
ca.1997-1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: register (notebook)
ca.1998 June
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: registered pilgrims' emergency information
1998-1999
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: report, final
ca.1999
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--"daily itinerary/words from Elaine"
1998-1999
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--maps
ca.1998-1999
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--maps (printed)
1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--schedules, U.S.
1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--schedules, Africa
1999
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Massachusetts
1998 June
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Rhode Island
1998 June
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Connecticut
1998 May-Aug
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: New York
1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: New York
1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: New Jersey
1997 May-1998 June
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Pennsylvania
1998 May-June
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Delaware
1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Washington, D.C.
1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: U.S. south (from Virginia to Georgia)
1998 July-Aug
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Virginia
ca.1998 July
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: North Carolina
1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: North Carolina
1989-1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: North Carolina
1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: North Carolina
1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: South Carolina
1998 Aug
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: South Carolina
ca.1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Georgia
ca.1997-1998
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Georgia
1998 Sept
Box 2:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Alabama
1997-1998
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Alabama
1997-1998
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Mississippi
1997-1998
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Louisiana
1998 Oct-Nov
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Louisiana
1998
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Louisiana (New Orleans workshop)
1998 Oct-Nov
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Caribbean region
1998 Aug-Sept
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Jamaica
1998 June-Dec
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Cuba
1998 Nov
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Haiti
1997-1999
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Puerto Rico
ca.1998-1999
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Africa
1994-1995
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Africa
1997-1999
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Africa (issues)
1997-1999
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Africa
1998-2000
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Gambia, The
1997
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Ghana
1997-1999
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Togo
ca.1998-1999
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Benin
1999
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: Nigeria
1997
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: South Africa
1981-1999
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: South Africa
1994-1998
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: South Africa
1993-2000
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: South Africa
1999 May-June
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: South Africa (Gospel Requiem)
1998 May-1999 June
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: South Africa (Cape Town closing ceremony)
1999 June
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: South Africa (Robben Island)
ca.1999
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: route--places: South Africa (slave lodge at Cape Town)
1999-2000
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: walker forms, handouts
1997 Jan-1998 July
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: walker orientation and registration information
1998
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: walker registrations
1998-1999
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: walkers, Africa
1998 March-July
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: walkers, day
1998 June-Sept
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: walkers--organizer file
1998 Aug-Sept
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: website
1998 March-June
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: organizing binder--contacts
1998-1999
Box 3:
Pilgrimage: organizing binder--itinerary
1998-1999
Box 3:
Printed materials: brochures
ca.1997
Box 3:
Printed materials: brochures and disk
ca.1998
Box 3:
Printed materials: fliers
ca.1997-1998
Box 3:
Printed materials: fliers
ca.1997-1998
Box 3:
Printed materials: mailers
ca.1998
Box 3:
Printed materials: stationery
ca.1998
Box 3:
Printed materials: stationery
ca.1998
Box 3:
Printed materials: stationery
ca.1998
Box 3:
Retreat: addresses
2000
Box 3:
Retreat: addresses
2000
Box 4:
Related organizations/events: African Faith and Justice Network
1997-1999
Box 4:
Related organizations/events: Cambodian Buddhist Temple Society
ca.1999
Box 4:
Related organizations/events: Jubilee 2000
ca.1998
Box 4:
Related organizations/events: Juneteenth
1993-1997
Box 4:
Related organizations/events: Leverett Peace Pagoda
ca.1994-1999
Box 4:
Related organizations/events: Middle Passage (exhibit, voyage)
ca.1997-1998
Box 4:
Related organizations/events: Middle Passage monument
1995 Dec
Box 4:
Related organizations/events: Middle Passage-inspired
1999 July
Box 4:
Related organizations/events: "other world event announcements during pre-walk planning"
1997-1999
Box 4:
Related organizations/events: "other world event announcements during pre-walk planning"
1997-1999
Box 4:
Related organizations/events: Parliament of World Religions
ca.1999
Box 4:
Related organizations/events: Prayer Vigil for Earth
1999 Sept
Box 4:
Related organizations/events: slave trade exhibits
ca.1994
Box 4:
Related organizations/events: Spirit Walkers
2006
Box 4:
Related organizations/events: brochures, fliers
ca.1995-2000
Box 4:
Related organizations/events: brochures, fliers
ca.1997-1999
Box 4:
Related organizations/events: brochures, fliers
ca.1998
Box 4:
Related people: writings, print materials
1994-1999
Box 4:
Related topics: Christianity
undated
Box 4:
Related topics: Islam
undated
Box 4:
Writings: Carter, Clare, notebook
undated
Box 4:
Writings: Douglass, Jim
1998 Jan
Box 4:
Writings: Guruji
ca.1975-1984
Box 4:
Writings: Rahman, Aishah
1999
Box 4:
Writings: Smith, Gregory-Dean
2000
Box 4:
Writings: Smith, Gregory-Dean
2000
Box 4:
Writings: various
ca.1997-1999
Box 4:
Series 2. Photographs and memorabilia
1997-1999
Photographs: Leverett Peace Pagoda
1997
Box 4:
Photographs: Pilgrimage opening ceremony
1998
Box 4:
Photographs: New Jersey
1998
Box 4:
Photographs: Georgia
1998
Box 4:
Photographs: Alabama
1998
Box 4:
Photographs: Cuba
1998
Box 4:
Photographs: Africa
1999
Box 4:
Photograph album: Africa, Senegal
1999
Box 4:
Photographs
1998-1999
Box 4:
Photographs
1998-1999
Box 4:
Photographs
1998-1999
Box 4:
Scrapbook
ca.1999
Box 4:
Artwork
undated
Box 4:
Artwork
undated
Box 4:
Artwork: children
undated
Box 6:
Artwork: watercolors, Nwoyoke, Ann (copies)
1998 Nov
Box 4:
Badges for walkers
1998
Box 4:
Badges for walkers, day
1998-1999
Box 4:
Badges for walkers, made by children
ca.1998
Box 4:
Booklet: Gomez, Tradicion y modernidad en la obra de Oscar Fernandez Morera (dedication copies)
1998 Nov
Box 4:
Booklet: Goree: the island and the historical museum (dedication copy)
1999 Feb
Box 4:
Certificates, proclamations: Massachusetts
1998 May-June
Box 4:
Certificates, proclamations
1997/1998
Box 4:
Certificates, proclamations
1998 August-October
Box 6:
Certificates, proclamations: plaque
1998 September
Box 6:
Flag: Richmond, Virginia
1998
Box 4:
Key: Selma, Alabama
1998
Box 6:
Mementoes
ca.1998-1999
Box 4:
Mementoes
ca.1998-1999
Box 4:
Mementoes: buttons, keyrings
ca.1998-1999
Box 6:
Postcards, blank: Africa
undated
Box 4:
Postcards, blank: artworks
undated
Box 4:
Postcards, blank: Caribbean Islands
undated
Box 4:
Postcards, blank: portraits
undated
Box 4:
Postcards, blank: United States
undated
Box 4:
Posters: African holocausts (2 copies)
1994
Map case:
Signs: New Jersey
1998
Box 4:
Statuette: Happy Hill peace award (William C. Sims Recreation Center, Winston-Salem, NC)
1998
Box 6:
Series 3. Clippings and publications
1986-2000
Clippings
1997 Dec-1998 June
Box 4:
Clippings
1998 July-Oct
Box 4:
Clippings
1998 Aug-Oct
Box 5:
Clippings
1998 Oct
Box 5:
Clippings
1998 Oct-Nov
Box 5:
Clippings
1998 May-Dec
Box 5:
Clippings (other topics)
1994-1998, undated
Box 5:
ARA (Anti-racist action) news
1998 Jan
Box 5:
Africa recovery
1998 July
Box 5:
Always in season
1999
Box 5:
Askew, Irma L., Share my world
1997
Box 5:
Birthrights
2000
Box 5:
Boston Globe Magazine, the
1988 June 12-19
Box 6:
Catharsis
1997 July-Dec
Box 5:
Catholic worker, the
1998 Jan-April
Box 5:
Council spirit, the
1998 Aug
Box 5:
Cuba journal: 7th friendshipment caravan to Cuba
1997 May
Box 5:
Daughtry, Rev. Herbert: Effectual prayer; A seed planted in stone
1996-1997
Box 5:
Debt cutter's handbook, the
1996
Box 5:
Famous black quotations
1986
Box 5:
Fellowship
1997 Jan-Feb
Box 5:
For a change
1998 Aug-Sept
Box 5:
Freedomways
1999 March-April
Box 5:
Glue: the South End community magazine
1998 July-Aug
Box 6:
Handbook for nonviolent action
1991 Jan
Box 5:
IFCO news; Intelligence report
1996, 1998
Box 5:
Journey of European dissent, the
1997 May, Nov
Box 5:
Koute pale li ekri
1996
Box 5:
Modern Buddhism
1998 May
Box 5:
Newswatch (Nigeria)
1999 May
Box 5:
Peace Matters
1999 Jan-Feb
Box 5:
Peace Pagoda News
1995
Box 5:
Peacework
1993 Dec-1997 Dec
Box 5:
Peacework
1998 May-Aug
Box 5:
Peacework
1999 Dec-1999 June
Box 5:
Real McCoy, the: pages from history
1998 April-June
Box 6:
Revue officielle de l'Assemblie Nationale (Togo)
ca.1997
Box 5:
Sister to sister/S2S
1998
Box 5:
Sojourners
1993 Dec, 1997 March-June
Box 5:
Sojourners
1998 May-Aug
Box 5:
Sojourners: America's original sin
1995
Box 5:
Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) national magazine: convention issue
1998 June-Aug
Box 5:
Speak out!
1995-1996
Box 5:
Turning Wheel
1999
Box 5:
UNESCO publications
1998 Dec-1999 Jan
Box 5:
United Nations publications
1998 Nov-1999 April
Box 5:
University of Massachusetts Amherst publications
1996-1997
Box 5:
Witness, the
1995 June
Box 5:
Witness, the
1997 Nov-Dec
Box 5:

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Provenance

Gift of Ingrid Askew, November 2012.

Processing Information

Processed by Sam Arthur and Caroline J. White, April 2018.

Language:

English

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage Records (MS 758). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Africa
  • Pilgrims and pilgrimages
  • Slavery--History
  • Tutu, Desmond
  • United States
  • West Indies

Contributors

  • Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage [main entry]

Genres and formats

  • Photographs