HAMPTON, Va. — Author's note: the above video is from August, 2019.
America wouldn't be the place it is today without the influence of African Americans - and on August 22, Virginians are invited to come together virtually to observe the 401st anniversary of Africans arriving in Hampton.
The first "20 and odd" African slaves landed at Point Comfort in late August, 1619.
This year, the theme is "Reflect on the Past, Embrace Change and Engage for the Future." It's a team effort, spurred by the city of Hampton, the National Park Service, Project 1619 and the Fort Monroe Authority.
Organizers have scheduled a town hall, drum and dance performances, virtual quilting, a wreath laying, and speeches by Governor Ralph Northam, Congresswoman Elaine Luria and Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck.
Participants can join the streamed ceremony on Facebook and YouTube Saturday morning, starting at 10 a.m.
The online celebration will help prevent the spread of coronavirus that could come with usual, in-person festivities.