African-American History Month Program
Contact: Mike Litterst, Public Affairs Officer, 757-898-2409
Jamestown, Va. – In celebration of African-American History Month, Dr. Robert Trent Vinson will speak on “Origins of the First Africans in Virginia, Where Did They Come From and What Was the Culture That They Left Behind” at the Historic Jamestowne Visitor Center on Saturday, February 16 at 2 p.m. Dr. Vinson will focus his remarks on early 17th-century Africa.
Dr. Vinson is Assistant Professor of History at the College of William & Mary, and his research focuses on South Africa, the African Diaspora and African American history. The author of several articles in the Journal of African History and African Studies Review, he is completing two books, one entitled The Americans are Coming!: The Dream of ‘American Negro’ Liberation in Segregationist South Africa and the second titled Crossing the Water: African Americans and South Africa, 1890-1965.
About Historic Jamestowne
Jamestown was the capital of Virginia from 1607-1699. In 1619, the first Africans arrived in Virginia at Point Comfort (present day Fort Monroe). By the early 1620s, blacks were documented to be living and working at Jamestown. During the course of the 17th century, the status of Africans evolved from that of servitude to slavery, which legally began in Virginia when the first slave law was passed at Jamestown by the Virginia General Assembly in 1662.
If You Go
Historic Jamestowne offers a wealth of activities for exploring the first permanent English settlement in North America. Visitors can share the moment of discovery with archaeologists and witness archaeology-in-action at the 1607 James Fort excavation; learn about the Jamestown Rediscovery excavation at the Natalie P. and Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium, the site’s new archaeology museum; tour the original 17th-century church tower and reconstructed 17th-century Jamestown Memorial Church, and take a walking tour with a Park Ranger through the New Towne area along the scenic James River. Entrance to the site is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Historic Jamestowne Visitor Center and Voorhees Archaearium are open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and the grounds remain open until dusk.
Historic Jamestowne is jointly administered by the National Park Service and APVA Preservation Virginia and preserves the original site of the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Admission is $10.00 for adults (children under age 16 are free) and includes admission to Yorktown Battlefield for seven consecutive days. National Park Service and federal recreation passes are also honored. For further information, visit www.HistoricJamestowne.org or call (757) 229-1733 or (757) 898-2410.
Did You Know?
During the Civil War, 632 Union dead were buried in the heart of the 1781 battlefield. In 1866 this cemetery became a national cemetery. Within a 50 mile radius, the remains of over 1500 Union soldiers were disinterred from their war burials and honorably placed in the Yorktown National Cemetery.