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 corten steel door with an engraved image of Mr. Turner affixed to the surface of the superstructure. Corten is a type of steel that oxidizes to a certain point and then stops. It has an orange–brown color that has a raw, workmanlike beauty. 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.
Remembering the First African American Bahá'í