Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Fort Monroe is asking for public input on its African Landing Memorial

National Park Service Superintendent Terry E.Brown and National Association of Black Journalist President Sarah Glover meet at Fort Monroe at the Start of the Region 1 Fort Monroe Tour, April, 2019. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Cheryl Ross)
National Park Service Superintendent Terry E.Brown and National Association of Black Journalist President Sarah Glover meet at Fort Monroe at the start of the Region 1 Fort Monroe Tour, April 2019. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Cheryl Ross)

The Fort Monroe Authority is one of several organizations asking for public input on a memorial planned for Fenwick Road at Fort Monroe.

The National Park Service and the 400 Years of African American History Commission are among those traveling with Brian Owens, the artist commissioned for the project, for four scheduled public listening sessions, according to a news release.

The “listening tour” starts in Washington, D.C. and stops in Richmond before the team makes their way to the Peninsula with sessions at the First Baptist Church in Williamsburg and the Fort Monroe Visitor’s Center in Hampton.

“It is important that the public have a voice on a project as significant as this one is to our history,” said Glenn Oder, executive director for the Fort Monroe Authority. “We hope to hear from many different people and gain perspectives from them.”

Owens, a Florida-based sculptor and visual artist, was chosen to design the African Landing Memorial. Nonprofit organization, Project 1619, developed the project as a dedicated commemoration to the legacy of the first Africans in North America.

The state has allocated $500,000 for the memorial with the Fort Monroe Foundation raising additional funding.

“[Project 1619] is collaborating with the Fort Monroe Authority, the National Park Service, the Fort Monroe Foundation, the Contraband Historical Society, and the Virginia Arts Commission on the project,” according to the news release.

A timeline for the memorial is still in the works but they’re hoping to hear from the public on the Peninsula in sessions scheduled in Williamsburg, 727 Scotland St., on Wednesday (Feb. 26) at 6 p.m. and Hampton, 30 Ingalls Road, on Feb. 27 at 6 p.m.

To learn more about the public listening sessions, click here. 

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