No plans yet for Saturday morning?

A trip to Sullivanís Island for a little history, a drum march to the beach and a chance to ďdip your feet in the water where millions of slaves came inĒ could be the thing to do.

Azikiwe Chandler thinks so.He chairs the committee sponsoring the 15th annual Charleston Middle Passage Remembrance Program to pay homage to Africans who perished during that period.

(Remember the movie ďAmistadĒ?)

The ceremony starts at 9 a.m. in the auditorium at Fort Moultrie Visitorís Center, and Chandler promises the four hours go by quickly.

Take a youth with you.You canít go wrong by sneaking in a little history to the rhythm of African drums.

A piece of historyA visitor will learn a little about the fort and hear historian and author Herb Frazier talk about the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade.

From the late 16th to early 19th centuries, historians estimate millions of Africans died during the slave voyages and were dumped into the ocean.

About 40 percent of all slaves to North America came through Charleston. Many who survived were quarantined in pest houses on Sullivanís until they were healthy enough to be sold.

Afterward, a drum-led procession will march to the beach where attendees can toss flowers and fruit they bring into the ocean to honor the dead.

They can even step in the water where the slaves were brought in, Chandler said.

At noon, libations will be poured, coinciding with those being poured at ports worldwide ó including New York, San Francisco, Ghana, Panama and Brazil.

The ceremony will end with everyone in a drum circle as attendees call out the names of people to be prayed for. Clergies of all denominations are asked to attend and participate.

Open to allThe ceremony is open to everyone, but only about 50 people have been attending. Chandler would like that number to be higher, similar to the Jewish commemoration of the Holocaust.

This is his first year leading the event, taking over from his father, Osei Chandler. The ceremony coincides with the anniversary of his motherís death a few years ago, and that has been difficult for his father, he said.

The ceremony is a memorial and healing rite, Chandler said.

So why not start your day at the beach? Wear white or African attire.

For more info, contact Chandler at or 296-0479.

Reach City Editor Shirley A. Greene at 937-5555 or sgreene@postand