Honoring Our Ancestors and Making Amends
- Plaque of Remembrance—Honors Enslaved African Ancestor
- Epitaph of Atonement—To make amends for ancestors who perpetrated and perpetuated systemic slavery of African people in the US (i.e. Blackbirds—hunters of fugitive enslaved people, plantation owners, slave patrols, “patrollers” or “patty rollers”—organized groups of armed men who monitored and enforced discipline upon enslaved Africans in the antebellum U.S. southern states).
- Epitaph of Achievement—To acknowledge ancestors who opposed the enslavement of African people, an enslaved ancestor who excelled in the midst of and in spite of slavery (Frederick Douglass, Shadrach Minkins), Abolitionists (Isaac Hopper—a Quaker, John Brown, William Still), enslaved ancestors who revolted and resisted (Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman).
My great-grandfather James H. Long served with the Illinois Volunteers during the Civil War. His health was broken as a result of suffering from malaria, scurvy, and break-bone fever during the last months of the war in Texas. He died in a Veteran’s Home in Anacortes, Washington. By Sharon Miller
This is the plaque honoring an elderly Black man I discovered members of my family had brought with them when they migrated from the South where he was enslaved to Illinois. By Sharon Miller
This is out in front of our house. I hope to find out the names of the slaves that belonged to William McDowell. My Mormon cousin recently told me that this ancestor had slaves, probably in Kentucky. I will make a new plaque when I have more information. By An McDowell
There is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery. No such memorial acknowledges the thousands of enslaved persons who worked without pay, lived without freedom and died without a gravestone. My plaque is for them. By Pam Bonsper