Join us at Jamestown Settlement on Wednesday, June 14, for a thought-provoking evening of history and performance exploring the precarious nature of freedom from 17th-century Jamestown to Juneteenth.
Although Juneteenth springs from events that happened in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, the event celebrates liberation from a system of slavery with origins in Jamestown, Va., as the place where the first recorded Africans in 1619 were brought after landing at Old Point Comfort and where the first slave laws enacted in the mid-17th century impacted the lives and status of Africans and their descendants.
As a prelude to Juneteenth, Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander, Endowed Professor of Virginia Black History and Culture at Norfolk State University, takes up that legacy in history 246 years later at the end of the American Civil War to share the story of Black regiments attached to Virginia’s Army of the James.
Some of these regiments were sent to Texas after the war to patrol the gulf region that included Galveston. Among their duties was keeping the peace after news of the Emancipation Proclamation was delivered to Galveston’s enslaved inhabitants.
Interludes of song by Sylvia Tabb Lee & the Rejoicing Singers and dramatic readings from primary sources will complement the evening.