On August 25, 1619, approximately 20 African slaves landed with their captors at Point Comfort in Virginia, now known as Fort Monroe.
National parks and monuments across the United States will ring bells on Sunday, August 25, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of enslaved Africans landing by boat in North America, and thus, 400 years of African American history.
In addition to the bells ringing at 3 p.m. ET, national parks will honor the event in individual ways, such as readings, performances, the singing of spirituals, and wreath-layings, among other things. The bells will ring for four minutes—one minute for each century since the landing of the White Lion at Point Comfort, Virginia.
According to WTOP, the DMV sites that will be participating in the bell-ringings and other activities include:
Carter G. Woodson Home
Mary McLeod Bethune Council House
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
Monocacy National Battlefield
George Washington Memorial Parkway
Prince William Forest Park
Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
English colonist John Rolfe recorded the arrival of "20 and odd Negroes, w[hich] the Governo[r] and Cape Merchant bought for victuall[s]."
"Despite the skills, innovations, and creativity they brought to this new land, they would undergo generations of hardship and turmoil," the NPS website says. "Those first '20 and odd' Africans who landed at Point Comfort marked the beginning of 246 years—almost two and a half centuries—of slavery in the United States."
Read the full story of the history of African Americans in the United States, and learn more about the Day of Healing and Nationwide Bell Ringing Ceremony.
Do you plan to participate on Sunday? Will you be attending one of these events or ringing bells on your own? Tell us in the comments and let us know!