Remembering the First African American Bahá'í

Design Composition

The design is composed of three essential components:

  1. A rough-cut basalt superstructure with a large circle, approximately 3 feet in diameter, cut through the stone.
  2. A cast bronze door depicting an image of Robert Turner affixed to the surface of the superstructure. The open void and the door refer to the statement attributed to ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, that Mr. Turner “would become a door through which an entire race would enter the Kingdom.” This quote is carved into the body of the basalt superstructure.
  3. Finally, the dark bronze burial marker, fabricated in the shape of the universal symbol for the soul, distends like a womb rising from the earth. Across the body of the form is a quote by ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, referring to the spiritual qualities of Mr. Turner. At the top end of the burial marker is the Bahá’í star, highly polished, while at the other end of the marker is the West African Adinkra symbol Sankofa, which is a directive to reclaim our past so we can know our way forward.
Gracious God! What a shining candle was lighted within that black-coloured lamp. Praise be to God that this candle ascended from its earthly lamp unto the immortal Kingdom, to gleam and shine in the assemblage of heaven. `Abdu’l-Bahá
Remembering the First African American Bahá'í