On Sunday, August 25th local, regional and national partners will host a multicultural community ceremony to mark the 400th anniversary of the first recorded Africans to arrive in English-occupied North America at Old Point Comfort.
In the 1700s there were two ports of entry on the York River–Yorktown and West Point. Africans arrived here in bondage as part of the Bristol slave trade. As of July 2019, the Town of West Point, Virginia is now one of the 42 documented U.S. Middle Passage arrival locations designated as a Site of Memory associated with the UNESCO Slave Route Project.
The purpose of the ceremony, workshop and tour are remembrance, healing and reconciliation. We will come together as a diverse community and region for the ringing of the bells, music, butterfly release, history and fellowship.
2:45 Arrive at St John’s Episcopal Church, 916 Main Street, West Point, VA
3:00 Ringing of the bells in honor of African ancestors
3:05 Welcome and Opening Remarks
3:10 Praise dance performance
3:30 to 6:45 Free butterfly tent open to the public for interaction
4:00-5:30 Workshop “Flying Africans: Healing the Land We Share” (free workshop provided by the Braxton Institute–space is limited however so you must register in advance). E-mail email@example.com to reserve your spot
6:00 Walking Tour (with guide or on your own with map) of select local sites of significance
7:00 Release of the butterflies in honor of freedom, peace, healing, remembrance and reconciliation