This event will commemorate the First Landing of enslaved Africans

(WYDaily file photo/Courtesy of Hampton History Museum)
(Southside Daily file photo/Courtesy of Hampton History Museum)

The 2019 Commemoration Commission and the Hampton History Museum are commemorating 1619 which signifies the First Africans landing at Point Comfort in Hampton.

“If for no other reason, it is important we have a conversation about what took place at Point Comfort in 1619 because it forever changed the course of the country,” said Luci Cochran, executive director at the Hampton History Museum. “The legacy of this event affects us all and understanding this complex history and legacy helps us to come together as Americans.”

The enslaved Africans arrived via White Lion, an English privateer ship and were traded in exchange for supplies, according to the city of Hampton’s news release. In addition, these people were the first recorded Africans to arrive the English controlled American Colonies.

There will be a variety of events during the weekend of Aug. 23-25 besides the Commemoration ceremony, including reflections, panel discussions and cultural activities. The museum will also share its traveling 1619 exhibit. See their research report and other frequently asked questions here.

The 2019 Commemoration of the First African Landing is at Fort Monroe, near Fenwick Road and Ingalls Road on Aug. 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Those interested in volunteering for the Commemoration or other events happening at Fort Monroe should visit the First African Landing website. For more information of the Commemoration and other activities, visit the Hampton 1619 Commemoration website.

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John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.