In Memoriam: Opening Plenary & Ceremony

We open this year’s conference with a discussion of the importance of memory at Black museums and historic sites. Join us as we honor and remember the lives lost during the pandemic through an African Diaspora-inspired remembrance ceremony.



  1. Post on Social Media

Share names and photos on social media with #AAAM2021 #AAAMancestors #BlackMuseums @blackmuseums

  1. Create your own ceremony at home
      • Photo of the beloved soul(s)/ departed one(s)
      • Source of light (candle, flashlight, small lamp)
      • Plant or flowers
      • Glass of water
      • Piece of cloth (to place your items on)
      • Journal
      • Sage or sage spray (optional)
      • Object or clothing from departed one (optional)
    • Find a comfortable space. It can be either indoors or outdoors. Try to connect close to the sun, a body of water, sand or soil.
    • Place your items on top of the cloth.
    • Prepare the space for the ceremony
      • Optional – cleanse the space by either burning sage or using a sage room spray. Instructions for sage burning
      • Sit quietly, clear all distractions from your mind take several deep breaths.
      • Think about your intentions for this moment.
    • During the ceremony
      • Touch the Earth (soil or sand) beneath your feet
      • Pour the glass of water into the plant or the Earth.
      • Say the names of your beloved soul(s)/ departed ones(s)


  1. Join the second line

Join in the second line tradition with jazz musician Delfeayo Marsalis. Dance like no one is watching as you celebrate the life of your beloved soul(s)/ departed ones(s)


  • Umbrella
  • Handkerchief
  • Celebratory Spirit


Remember, “It is in the roots, not the branches, that a tree’s greatest strength lies.” ~ Matshona Dhliwayo

 Let us REACH BACK, touch our ROOTS and do this in REMEMBRANCE of them.

 Ashe! Sankofa!


JUST ANNOUNCED: Delfeayo Marsalis Joins #AAAM2021