The African-American Heritage Cultural Center (AAHCC) is hosting a “Day of Prayer” on Saturday, March 24 at 1350 Port of New Orleans Pl. The day will be a “reconciliation prayer service and cultural event,” in celebration of New Orleans’ tricentennial. The event is the AAHCC’s first, and will be free and open to the public.
The activities begin at 11 a.m. with a discussion of New Orleans culture led by Cyril Neville. The interfaith prayer service starts at 12 p.m., with representation from the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Catholic Diocese of New Orleans, Episcopal Church Diocese of Louisiana, and Baptists, Methodists, Buddhists, Jews, Islamic, and more. At 2 p.m., a Voodoo Drumming and Dance ceremony will conclude the event.
The Day of Prayer is the first part of the AAHCC’s mission to establish a major cultural center on the river, focused on showcasing the contributions of root cultures in the Delta region. Working with the National Park Service, the Port of New Orleans, City Council and various religious organizations, the AAHCC is in the process of redeveloping several vacant wards into their Heritage Corridor and Cultural Center.
“150 years after its abolition, slavery’s effect can still be seen, heard, felt, smelled and tasted throughout the Gulf South’s heritage, history and culture,” AAHCC founder and operations director Lloyd Lazard said in a statement to the press. “The Day of Prayer is for the sins of slavery in the cradle of the slave trade and for the souls lost at sea in the Middle Passage on the way to the Americas. Africa had the Door of No Return and we are creating the Place of Spiritual Reception in New Orleans.”