First African Landing Commemoration

Join the 2019 Commemoration of the First African Landing in recognition of the first Africans brought to English North America this August 23-25, 2019. Commemorate their arrival 400 years ago at Point Comfort, site of Fort Monroe in Hampton, through museum exhibits, heritage tours, Living History interpretation, multicultural cuisine and crafts, keynote speakers and musical performances, including a Free concert at Hampton Coliseum on Saturday, August 24.

Schedule of Events

2019 African Landing Commemoration at Fort Monroe August 23-25, 2019

Thursday-Friday 8/22-8/23

Media Tours – Ft. Monroe Visitor Center, Tucker Cemetery, African American Political Pioneers Luncheon and Mayor’s VIP Reception

Friday 8/23

9:30 am-10:30 am – Tucker Family Cemetery Reflection and Commemoration

12:00 pm-3:00 pm – African American Political Pioneers Luncheon and Panel Discussion at the Hampton Convention Center

  • Hosted by: Byron Pitts of ABC Nightline, CBS Evening News, and 60 Minutes

Confirmed Panelists: Former Governor Douglas Wilder, Congressman Bobby Scott, and Former Mayor and State Sen. Howard Lee

Purchase tickets at

 6:00 pm-8:00 pm- “Evolution of a Black Girl: From the Slave House to the White House” Co-Sponsored by A.C.T. 4 Life Match Grant at the Fort Monroe Community Center-Free Youth Event

To register click HERE.

6:00 pm-9:00 pm- 1619-2019: 400 Years of Perseverance” Panel Discussion at Hampton University Memorial Chapel

  • Presented by ASALH Hampton Roads Branch. Moderated by Professor Robert Watson with panelists Dr. Derrick P. Alridge, Professor Gloria J. Browne-Marshall, Dr. Colita Nichols Fairfax, Dr. Sheila Flemming-Hunter, and Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander.

Saturday 8/24

6:30 am-8:00 am – Project 1619 Morning Sunrise Program at Buckroe Beach

9:30 am-11:00 am – 2019 African Landing Commemorative Ceremony

11:30 am-5:00 pm – 2019 Commemoration of the First African Landing

12:00 pm-3:30 pm – African Landing Day Program presented by Project 1619

  • 12:00 pm
    • Drum call
    • Drummers from around the country will be invited to participate
    • Parade of flags
  • 12:30 pm -Libation by Chiefs from Cameroon
  • 12:30 pm -National Day of Prayer for Reconciliation and Healing from the Legacy of Enslavement
  • 1:20 pm
    • Welcome by Mayor Tuck and Project 1619 Representative
    • Introduction of dignitaries from America and Africa
  • 2:00 pm- KanKouran West African Dance group
  • 3:00 pm -African Naming Ceremony
  • 3:15 pm -Procession to the fishing pier for flower petal throwing ceremony

12:00 pm-4:00 pm – Black Heritage Tours sponsored by the NPS at Fort Monroe (With park rangers and Vols.)

*Sign up in advance at the Welcome Tents. 25 participants per tour.

6:30 pm-10:00 pm – African Landing Day Concert at the Hampton Coliseum – Sounds of Blackness

Sunday 8/25

3:00 pm-5:30 pm – Day of Healing and Gospel Music Festival at Continental Park

Bell Ringing Across the U.S.

-Gospel Choir Performances

– Keynote Speaker: Rev. Michael Battle, Ph.D.

Bell Ringing Across the U.S., Gospel Choir Performances, Libation Ceremony, Blessing of the Land, Ghanaian Drumming. Invocation by Dr. Rex M. Ellis, Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs of the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution; Welcome by Anita Blanton, Evening Anchor, WAVY TV10; and Keynote Addresses by Rev. Dr. Michael Battle, General Theological Seminary and Director of the Tutu Center and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Georgetown University Professor of Sociology.