The Fifth Annual Day of Resilience on Sept. 9 will feature a procession down High Street to Long Wharf, followed by a ceremony at the Dorchester Courthouse where the Harriet Tubman Beacon of Hope sculpture will be formally dedicated to the Dorchester County Commissioners. The day’s events will continue in the afternoon the Harriet Tubman Take My Hand mural at Cannery Way.
“The fact that it has been five years since our first Day of Resilience is monumental,” said Adrian Holmes, director of Alpha Genesis Community Development Corporation. “It is a tradition that many people in the community look forward to every year.”
In preparation for the event, the public is invited to join Sculptor Wesley Wofford and his wife, Odyssey Wofford, at 9 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 4, for the first official cleaning of the Harriet Tubman sculpture. The Woffords will supervise the process and teach participants the proper way to clean the sculpture so that the community can take responsibility for it in the future.
The public also is invited to participate in the Day of Resilience commemoration and related events on Sept. 9:
Drum Processional and Waterside Libations, which will begin with Nana Malaya Rucker-Oparabea leading a walk at 10:30 a.m. from the Dorchester County Courthouse, continuing down historic High Street to Long Wharf Marina, where ships bearing enslaved persons once docked. Participants are asked to dress in white and meet at the Courthouse, 206 High Street, at 10:15 a.m.
Ceremony at noon at the Courthouse, which will include a decree from Alpha Genesis formally dedicating the sculpture to Dorchester County. The program also will honor Melving Foote and Jeannine Scott, from the Constituency for Africa, who have been involved with the Day of Resilience since the beginning by coordinating discussion forums and the attendance of African ambassadors each year.
Vendor Market at Cannery Way, with food, crafts and other items, will be set up from 12:15 p.m. – 8 p.m. There also will be music outside throughout the afternoon and inside the Art Bar 2.0 in the evening.
Blessing ceremony at the “Take My Hand” mural, which also is celebrating five years since its installation on the side of the Harriet Tubman Museum, 424 Race Street. The ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. and will include Lovie, who at age 3 was featured in the iconic photo showing her reaching out to take Harriet Tubman’s hand. The program also will include an overview of the public projects planned for the Cannery Way area and neighboring buildings.
Quilt display of approximately 100 handmade quilts at the Art Bar, 420B Race Street. with an evening wine and cheese reception for the Nubian Quilters.
On Sunday, Sept. 10, the Art Bar also will host a Gospel Brunch from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
For more information about the schedule for the Day of Resilience and the weekend events and for tickets, visit the Alpha Genesis website at alphagenesiscdc.org/a-day-of-resilience-2023.
The Day of Resilience was first held in 2019 in Cambridge to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. That event received gubernatorial, senatorial and congressional citations and received the Outstanding Heritage Project Award from the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area. The event has grown every year since then, and in 2020, the observance was highlighted by the unveiling of a traveling sculpture of Harriet Tubman.