The memorial has been remarked for its historical as well as its artistic significance. It’s historical importance cannot be understated because while it stands as a monument to Kunta Kinte and the odds he overcame, it tells the story of all slaves like him. This fact isn’t lost on the creators of the memorial who have included information kiosks in addition to the numerous plaques to provide visitors and passersby with a few facts on the history of slavery.
The struggle to erect the memorial is a remarkable one. Shortly after it was dedicated in the winter of 1981, the plaque was stolen, allegedly by the Klu Klux Clan. The series of events that followed made international headlines and although the original was never recovered, donations poured in from all over the nation to fund a new memorial. It wasn’t until 2002, however, that the current Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial was presented. It stands as a fitting tribute to the struggles of Kunta Kinte and slaves like him who were uprooted from their homes and brought to the New World in chains. The memorial is one of the most visited destinations in the city of Annapolis drawing in an estimated one million visitors annually.