First African Landing Commemoration

Free Family Fun Events

Wear your African inspired clothing

Bring chairs, umbrellas, water, and comfortable walking shoes

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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 a weekend of events and activities, exhibits, heritage tours, keynote speakers and musical performances, including a Free concert at Hampton Coliseum on Saturday, August 24.

Interested in being a volunteer? Please fill out the volunteer form at the bottom of the page.

Schedule of Events

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

Thursday 8/22

12:30 pm-1:30 pm Africa to America: The Odyssey of Slavery Town Hall at Norfolk State University Brown Hall

700 park Ave. Norfolk, VA 23504

1:00 pm-4:00 pm 400 Years of African American History Commission Public Hearing

490 Fenwick Rd, Hampton, VA 23651

Friday 8/23

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

1 Sharon Court, Hampton, VA 23666

*Rain Location Hampton Roads Convention Center, 1610 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, VA 23666

12:00 pm-1:00 pm – Live Broadcast of “Another View” from Fort Monroe Theatre

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

1610 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, VA 23666

  • Hosted by: Beverly Burke
  • Confirmed Panelists: Kentucky Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton, Former Governor Douglas Wilder, Congressman Bobby Scott, Sen. Mamie Locke 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

100 Stillwell Drive, Hampton, VA 23651

Event is sold out. For event details click HERE.

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

100 East Queen Street, Hampton, VA 23669

  • 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 -“Take Me to the Water: Evolving Beyond Slavery”

First Street and Pilot Avenue, Buckroe Beach, VA 23664

  • This sunrise service will include a spiritual cleansing and African Naming Ceremony. You must register to participate in the ceremony. The public is invited to attend and witness this spiritual event conducted by African Queen Mothers.

9:30 am-11:00 am2019 African Landing Commemorative Ceremony presented by 2019 Commemoration America’s Evolution and Fort Monroe Authority in partnership with the National Park Service and the City of Hampton. Early arrival is encouraged – FREE

Commanding General’s Residence 20 Ingalls Rd., Fort Monroe, VA 23651

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

Chairs and umbrellas permitted.

Near Fenwick Rd. and Ingalls Rd.-Fort Monroe, VA 23651

12:00 pm-3:30 pmAfrican Landing Day Program presented by Project 1619 -FREE

Commanding General’s Residence 20 Ingalls Rd., Fort Monroe, VA 23651

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

12:50 pm -National Day of Prayer for Reconciliation and Healing from the Legacy of Enslavement


  • Welcome by Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck and Calvin Pearson, Founder of Project 1619
  • Introduction of dignitaries from America and Africa

1:50 pm– African Naming Ceremony

2:20 pm -KanKouran West African Dance group

3:00 pm -Procession to the fishing pier for flower petal throwing ceremony

12:00 pm-4:00 pmBlack Heritage Tours sponsored by the NPS (12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm and 4:00pm) – FREE

Tours leaving from the Welcome Tents at Continental Park-Fort Monroe, VA 23651

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

6:30 pm-10:00 pm2019 Commemoration of the First African Landing Concert at the Hampton Coliseum – Featuring COMMON with Sounds of Blackness – FREE

1000 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, VA 23666

Tickets are available at Hampton Coliseum Box Office, The American Theatre Box Office, and online at (fees apply). Tickets are free to the public with a limit of 4 tickets per household.

Everyone MUST have ticket to attend.  Concert is currently sold out.

Sunday 8/25 Healing Day

Healing Day 2019 will recognize the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in English North America in 1619. On August 25, 2019, bells around the nation will ring for 4 minutes, one minute for every 100 years. On this day, through reflection, remembrance and celebration, we can unite and show our appreciation for 400 years of American history.

Healing Day activities include: Children’s Area, Food Trucks, Vendor Booths

1:30 pm National Park Service Commemorating 400 Years: Places of Struggle, Community and Triumph 1619-2019

Fort Monroe Theater 42 Tidball Rd, Fort Monroe, VA 23651

Panel Discussion

Tara Morrison, Superintendent, National Capital Parks – East

Dr. Joy Kinard, Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument

Lewis Rogers, Petersburg National Battlefield

Deanda Johnson, National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom

Barbara Tagger, Horseshoe Bend National Military Park

2:30 pm National Bell Ringing Program

Gazebo at Continental Park 2 Fenwick Rd. Fort Monroe, 23651

Commemorative Bells for the first 300 participants

Elegba Folklore African Drummers and Dancers

Blessing of the Land, Chief Walt Red Hawk Brown, Cheroenhaka Nottaway Tribe

Libation Ceremony, Chadra Pittman, Sankofa Project

Healing Calls, Professor Marian D. Clifton, Poet

Healing Launch, Bell Ringing Countdown, Terry E. Brown, Superintendent, Fort Monroe National Monument

3:00 pm National Ringing of Bells (4 Minutes, 1 Minute for each 100 years)

3:45 p.m. Healing Day Program

Commanding General’s Residence 20 Ingalls Rd., Fort Monroe, VA 23651

  • Emceed by Anita Blanton, WAVY-TV10 and Fox43 Anchor

Program to include:

  • Military Tributes

Presentation of the Colors and 21 Gun Salute, Joint Base Langley-Eustis 633 Air Wing

  • Musical Selections

United States Colored Troops Ensemble

Nicole Michelle Aponte, Award Winning Recording Artist

  • Healing Day Addresses

Dr. Michael Battle, General Theological Seminary and Dir. Of the Tutu Center

Rev. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Academic, Author, Media Personality 

  • Performing Arts

Transcendence Aerial Dance

Addison Messick – Virginia Gymnastics First Place All Around Champion

Teens with a Purpose

  • Gospel Concert

4 Him Gospel Quartet

Damien Sneed – Recording Artist, 2014 Sphinx Medal of Excellence Recipient

First Baptist Church Choir, Hampton, Virginia

Directions and Parking

Take I-64 to exit 268. Follow signs to Fort Monroe.

Event Staffing will direct you to Free Parking and shuttles will transport you to the hub of 2019 Commemoration activity.