Sunday, April 14, 2024

Jamestown Settlement to Honor Legacy of First Africans Brought to Virginia Aug. 19

Chadra Pittman is an anthropologist, author, activist and the founder and executive director of The Sankofa (San-Koy-Fuh) Projects, an educational, cultural and social justice organization focused on African Diaspora.
JAMESTOWN — Jamestown Settlement will honor the legacy of the first recorded Africans brought to Virginia in 1619 with special programming that reflects on history through an African American lens on Saturday, Aug. 19.
The program will feature a moderated conversation on the role of land and place in creating community and establishing freedom from 1619 forward, it said.. 
The First Africans Commemoration program will feature a dialogue between historian Tony Cohen and anthropologist Chadra Pittman moderated by Barbara Hamm Lee, executive producer and host of the radio talk show “Another View.” 
Barbara Hamm Lee is executive producer and host of “Another View,” a weekly radio talk show on 89.5 WHRV-FM that examines today’s issues from an African American perspective.
The 90-minute program begins at 2 p.m. in the Robins Foundation Theater and is included with museum admission. The conversation will include time for questions from members of the audience, accordin to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation (JYF). 
Tony Cohen is a historian, author and the founder and president of the Menare Foundation, Inc., a national non-profit organization “preserving the legacy of the Underground Railroad.” 
Guests will also be able to learn about African and African American experiences in 17th-century Virginia in Jamestown Settlement’s permanent gallery exhibits, dramatic films and interactives that share the story of Virginia Indian, English and West Central African cultures, the foundation said. 
Exhibits featuring period artifacts and innovative technology share historical accounts of the first documented Africans taken from their homeland in Ndongo (Angola) in 1619 to life in the Virginia colony, the establishment of slave laws and the evolution of a new African American culture. The “From Africa to Virginia” multimedia theater chronicles African encounters with Europeans, its impact on African culture and the development of the transatlantic slave trade. 
According to JYF, the “1607: A Nation Takes Root” docudrama traces the evolution of the Virginia Company that sponsored the Jamestown colony, examining the relationship between the English colonists and Powhatan Indians, and chronicling the arrival of the first recorded Africans in 1619. It includes the story of Angelo, one of the first African women named in Jamestown’s historical record.  
The First Africans Commemoration special event is included with museum admission: $18 for adults, $9 for children aged 6-12 and free for children ages five and under. Parking is free. 
Residents of James City County, York County and the City of Williamsburg, including William & Mary students, receive free admission with proof of residency. 
Jamestown Settlement is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day, and is located at 2110 Jamestown Road near Williamsburg. For more information, call 757-253-4838 or visit

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