National Park event to follow journey from slavery to freedom

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In July, the Virginia Black Storytellers, held a Freedom Stories event at Freedom Park to honor African Americans who lived inside Freedom Park. (Photo courtesy of James City County)
In July, the Virginia Black Storytellers hosted a Freedom Stories event at Freedom Park to honor African Americans who once lived where the park now stands. (Photo courtesy of James City County)

This Saturday, in honor of Historic Green Spring day, the National Park Service will hold an event tracing the African American journey from colonial-era slavery to freedom.

According to a NPS news release, the family friendly event will remap the physical and historical pathway to freedom by charting a course from Green Spring to Freedom Park.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature National Park Service interpretive Ranger Jerome Bridges portraying a Green Spring slave, sharing the narrative of his journey. 

Visitors will be able to tour the outline of Crown Governor Berkeley’s mansion and see the original Green Spring for which the park is named. A park hydrologist will be present to answer any questions. Historical reenactors of Governor and Lady Berkeley will also be in attendance, along with an archaeologist who has explored Green Spring.

Freedom Park will host a storytelling event, featuring the stories of the freed Green Spring slaves, retold by a descendant who can trace his lineage back to slavery. Interpreters will also discuss the reconstructed houses at Freedom Park, built for newly freed slaves and the subsequent larger settlement called Centerville.

Other event offerings include colonial games, music, dance, and crafts provided by Jamestown High School students from the Rho Kappa History Club.

Free refreshments will be provided as well as a free shuttle service to the park from the National Park Visitor Center on Jamestown Island and at Freedom Park on Centerville Road. The shuttle service will begin operations at 9:30 am.

In case of inclement weather check here for event updates.