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What is MAAFA?

The Kiswahili word “MAAFA,” translated as “great disaster or terrible occurrence,” is commonly used to refer to the tragic history of the Transatlantic African Slave Trade, and its ensuing effects on people of African descent.


Recently, the term has come to broadly denote the dreadful social & economic conditions which circumscribe Black and Brown lives in America’s urban centers. Inspired by the artwork of the late Tom Feelings, New Mount Pilgrim church installed the world's largest iconic display of the "Middle Passage" in 2000. Deemed the "MAAFA Remembrance" stained-glass window, the art piece was designed to commemorate the tragic impacts of the slave trade, and inspire viewers to reflect on the redemptive work of remembering the past in order to create a more just and verdant present and future.

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