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African Arrival Day at Fort Monroe

Join us August 19th and 20th for a weekend of remembrance activities in honor of the First African Arrival at Point Comfort. The tribute begins at 9 a.m. on August 19 with free, public tours of the ship Godspeed and wraps up Sunday evening with a film festival at 5:00 p.m.

Representatives from five African nations attended the 2015 ceremony to unveil the official Virginia Department of Historic Resources marker located near Engineer Wharf. It commemorates the anniversary of the first “20 and odd” Africans who landed in English-occupied North America.

Review the Full Weekend List of African Arrival Day Special Events:

Friday, August 19th

Public Tours of the Godspeed
Step aboard one of the re-created ships from Jamestown Settlement that brought America’s first permanent English colonists to Virginia.
Hampton Maritime Center, Hampton Public Pier
9:00 am – 2:00 pm (Free Admission)
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Dedication of the William Tucker Family Cemetary
11:00 am – William Tucker Cemetery Dedication, located at 1 Sharon Court in Hampton’s Aberdeen Gardens neighborhood
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Saturday, August 20th

Traditional African Naming Ceremony
Performed by an African spiritual leader based on the individual’s spirit and social conscientiousness of their ancestry.
Continental Park
8:30 am – 9:00 am
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“Pilgrimage Prayer”
6th Annual “Pilgrimage Prayer” sponsored by the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation
Continental Park
9:15 am – 9:45 am
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Commemorative Ceremony
Annual African Landing Day Commemoration including Libation, Ethiopian African Drummers & Dancers
Continental Park
10:00 am – 11:00 am
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Family Activities and Welcome Ceremony in Continental Park
Welcome ceremony with elected officials including Governor Terry McAuliffe and Jouralist Roland Martin. Youth activities featuring African Drummers & Dancers, jewelry making, blacksmithing, storytelling, and much more.
Continental Park
11:00 am – 4:00 pm
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Live Musical Entertainment
Live regional musical artists will perfrom throughout the afternoon
Continental Park
11:00 am – 4:00 pm
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Juneteenth Jazz Concert (Tickets Required)
Special guest performance, theatrical dance performance and local favorite musicians
American Theater
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
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Sunday, August 21st

African Diaspora Film Festival (Tickets Required)
“Bound: Africans versus African Americans” addresses the little known tension between Africans and African Americans, including the moments that divide and bind the two.
American Theater
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
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For information on other 2019 Commemoration events in our area, visit hamptonva2019.com

Photo credit: Rob Ostermaier / Daily Press