FOX POINT CAPE VERDEAN HERITAGE PLACE AT INDIA POINT: PROCESSION, COMMEMORATION AND CELEBRATION
[PROVIDENCE, RI] On Sunday, September 4, 2016, a procession to commemorate and celebrate the Cape Verdean community in Fox Point will commence at 10:00AM from the corner of South Water and Power Street in the heart of the oldest Cape Verdean community in Providence, Rhode Island. All are welcome to join the procession led by drummers and the banner of the St. Antonio Association (founded in l934), the first Cape Verdean Beneficent Society in Rhode Island. The procession will make its way to the site designated for the Fox Point Cape Verdean Heritage Place Memorial at India Point Park for a ceremony of reflection and celebration.
The Cape Verdean Heritage Place Memorial is a project of the Fox Point Cape Verdean Heritage Park Committee. The organization is an independent, community-based initiative founded in 2013 and incorporated in 2014, by former residents and descendants of the founding Cape Verdean families. These families first settled in the Fox Point section of Providence, Rhode Island at the end of the l9th and beginning of the 20th century. The mission of the FPCVHP is to preserve and commemorate the legacy of the Fox Point Cape Verdean community that was displaced by the College Hill Plan, the construction of I-195, gentrification and the expansion of Brown University. The project, in association with the Rhode Island Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, also commemorates the transatlantic history between Providence, Fox Point and Cape Verde.
Cape Verdeans are the first people of the African diaspora to immigrate voluntarily to the United States, now home to the largest population of Cape Verdeans in the world outside of Cape Verde. Lying 240 nautical miles off the coast off West Africa, the ten- island archipelago was uninhabited prior to discovery in 1462 by the Portuguese. Cape Verdeans evolved as a distinct cultural mix of Africans, Portuguese, and other European voyagers. In the period of the Atlantic slave trade it was a staging post and slavery was part of the island’s history until it was abolished in 1878. Cape Verde won its independence from Portugal on July 5, 1975.
Slated for completion by 2019, the Memorial Point Park, is designed by world renowned landscape architect Carol R. Johnson. The site is located a short distance from the dock where the packet boats carrying immigrants from the Cape Verde islands arrived in Providence, and where longshoremen of Local 1329 of the I.L.A. (International Longshoremen’s Association) the first black, predominantly Cape Verdean Union on the eastern seaboard, loaded scrap iron.
CONTACT: Claire Andrade-Watkins