African-American Burying Ground

Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail Sankofa Tours

Meet at Liberty Flag Pole, Prescott Park, Marcy Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801
(603) 436-8433; call (603) 380-1231 for reservations

Tours run from May 7-September 3. Unless otherwise noted, all tours begin Saturdays at 2pm at the Liberty Flag Pole on Marcy Street across from Strawbery Banke Museum. Each tour ends at the site of the colonial-era African Burying Ground and Memorial Park. Tickets are $20. Call 603-380-1231 for reservations. Tours limited to 25 people.

Sankofa Tour 2pm Saturdays: May 7, June 4, July 2, August 6
“Let Freedom Ring: Resistance, Abolition and Civil Rights”
Sankofa Tour Guide: Nur Shoop
Colonial Portsmouth newspapers testify to local the slave trade, runaways, abolitionists and anti-abolitionist activities, followed by conflicting opinions of the Civil War. In the 20th century, the legacy of that early history was reflected in news about de facto segregation in housing and public places. This tour includes many of those historic landmarks.

Sankofa Tour 2pm Saturdays: May 14, July 9, August 13

“Creating Community: White Enterprise and Black Society”
Sankofa Tour Guide: Angela Matthews
Institutionalized slavery in the Americas provided immense wealth and material culture to many European immigrants and their descendants in the Americas, as Portsmouth’s house museums bear witness. This tour brings into focus an economic system dependent upon the unpaid labor of enslaved African captives and their descendants who, in spite of the odds, created one of this country’s oldest Black communities.

Sankofa Tour 2pm Saturdays, May 21, July 16, August 2
“Out of the Shadows: Enslavement and Emancipation”
Sankofa Tour Guide: Kevin Mitchell
Daily life for enslaved children and adults in New England was variable according to the occupations of their owners and the changing seasons of the year. Captives became taxable property with few human rights, yet each individual was endowed with a particular range of abilities and talents, with different experiences and opportunities shaping their lives before, during and after enslavement. This tour will reveal some of these personalities.

Sankofa Tour 2pm Saturday, May 28
“Ona Marie Judge, The President’s Runaway Slave
Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail’s Director, JerriAnne Boggis, will lead this special walking tour that will begin at the Portsmouth waterfront where Ona landed as a runaway slave. The tour will end at Governor John Langdon House Museum with a living history performance featuring professional actress and storyteller Quezaire-Presutti as Ona Judge. There will be a guided tour of the museum following the performance.

Sankofa Tour Saturday, June 11
“Market Square Day”
The guided tour will be replaced by Sankofa Guides greeting visitors at the African Burying Ground Memorial on Chestnut Street, 10am – 4pm.

PBHT June 18 – Special event for “Juneteenth Celebration”
11am We invite people to meet at Langdon Slave Cemetery for a special remembrance before going on to South Church for a
12noon Pot Luck Lunch at South Church 273 Court St, Portsmouth
1pm “Coming to the Table”: featuring Sheila Reed Findlay and Lang Marsh who will share their personal stories of discovery as descendants of slaves and slave owners, Others at the Table will describe their own experiences upon finding inter-racial leaves on the family tree
3pm Juneteenth Jamboree at African Burying Ground Memorial, Chestnut Street.

Sankofa Tour Saturday Sept 3

Special Labor Day Tour: “Port of Entry: Boys and Girls for Sale”
Sankofa Tour Guide:
Local newspapers carried merchants’ ads for ships returning to the port of Portsmouth laden with cargo from trade ports on the West Coast of Africa, the West Indies and the middle Atlantic coastal cities of Colonial America. Visit local wharves and auction sites related to the Atlantic Slave Trade, where a captive could be exchanged for “cash or good lumber” to serve in the master’s house or work on the docks or on a ship. See how slavery in the North compared to the South.

Sankofa Tours can be scheduled for other dates by contacting [email protected]

Hours:Tours run from May 7-September 3. Unless otherwise noted, all tours begin Saturdays at 2pm at the Liberty Flag Pole in Prescott Park on Marcy Street, across from Strawbery Banke Museum.
Season:Spring, Summer
Cost:Tickets are $20.