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The Dove Return Documentary Project

This is a grassroots effort to document an amazing story that belongs to the world.

It is about healing and triumph and historic destiny. It is a story that represents hope redemption and wholeness for humanity.

This project offers the chance for others to participate  in the great telling of this story.

Video Discussion 

Silvia Fraser


Grant Coffey

With Michael Dove

Mark Newsome 


“The last thing I expected,” says Michael Dove, an American Spiritual Teacher, “when I travelled to India in March, 2020 was to find my roots and a royal heritage.” Just after Dove left the United States on the 3rd of March, it had shut down due to COVID-19. Then upon his arrival in Varanasi, India’s transportation was also abruptly shut down thus stranding him there. Able to continue his regular work via the internet, Dove stayed busy. However, with tourism suspended, many of the city’s poor which rely on the heavy tourist trade began showing signs of suffering. “I couldn’t just let them go hungry,” says Dove who then created Meals on the Ganges, a non-profit organization, to help them. Reaching out to supporters, Dove was able to initially feed over 6,000 people to date and counting. The continuing events were expanded to feed and provide necessary toiletries to over ever more people.  

In July 2020, Dove learned of a newly released book titled SOLD! by Author Cynthia Marlowe, which tells the story of Maharani Narayan who was forced to transform from royalty to slave when she was sold into slavery in the American colonies in 1682, where she became known as Mary Dove.

Then, three generations later, the Dove family’s royal heritage clashed with the institution of slavery in the courts of Craven County, North Carolina and they were finally freed. “I had done a DNA test years ago and was surprised to find a mysterious South Asian/Indian genetics. Hearing about the book, I was fascinated. It resonated with me,” says Dove who immediately ordered a copy and contacted Marlowe. Within days the two were chatting online and Marlowe was able to confirm that Michael Dove is indeed a descendant of Mary Dove. “Michael Dove is the first Dove descendant of the original Narayan line that I am aware of who has returned to India. I was fascinated about not only the details of his journey to India, but also the ease with which he slid into a proprietary role of belonging, coupled with the ability to see and understand a need, then engage a solution.. Maharani Narayan, or Mary Dove, would have been proud.” says Marlowe, SOLD! is the first book to take a female victim of American colonial slavery and her descendants from the country of origin, through slavery, to finally obtaining freedom. SOLD! also breaks new literary ground with the fact that the subject is a slave that did not come from Africa and was proven to be from East India. “Truth and understanding,” says Marlowe, “are critical in the healing process. Mary Dove’s story has been an open wound that has festered for over 300 years. Most of her descendant’s aren’t even aware of her, much less the facts of who she truly was or the circumstances of her life.” “Who we are is more than just strands of DNA. We carry within us habits born of necessity, beliefs passed through generations, traditions from distant cultures and knowledge nurtured though time.

It is all those things woven together which truly make us who we are as unique and special individuals. Secrets, or injustices, are carried in our genetic memory at a cost. Truth, even if shocking or difficult, is still freeing to both the victim and the perpetrators. We are always guided to completion and healing. This is an example of that,” states Marlowe. “I am staying on the Ganges where I can literally see what my ancestors created,” marvels Dove. Living next to ancient temples and palaces his ancestors once occupied has given Dove, who has decided to stay in India indefinitely to expand Meals on the Ganges to a monthly program, a sense of coming full circle as well as a profound feeling of being home. Armed with his copy of SOLD! Dove took it with him to visit the palace. “I could feel Mary Dove as I approached (the palace). There was an uncanny sense that finally, 338 years later, a profound healing and correction had occurred, like a closing of the universal circuitry that has been open and flawed for far too long.” “We are living in a time where lies and secrets are causing our nation to convulse with rage and despair,” says Marlowe, “though the process of exposure is uncomfortable, we do have a natural bias towards the truth, and anything less than that is unacceptable. Yes, truth can hurt, but then we heal.”

Grace Alexander

The Dove Return


Trailer 2 

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