This event serves to recognize the 400th anniversary of the landing of the first enslaved Africans in English- occupied North America at Point Comfort in 1619. It will feature a commemorative ceremony, food, storytelling, dance, drumming, musical performances, and more. This First African Landing Commemorative Day will offer an opportunity for those who are interested to learn about the heritage, struggles and triumphs of the first Africans who were brought to the shores of what would become the United States.
As recorded by English colonist John Rolfe, the arrival of “20 and odd” African men and women in late August 1619, was a pivotal moment in the nation’s history. These Africans were stolen by English privateers from a Spanish slave ship and brought to Point Comfort on a ship called the White Lion. They were the first Africans to be brought to English North America. Though this first annual African Landing Day Commemoration does not celebrate the circumstances surrounding the arrival of the first Africans to our shores, the commemoration serves as a marker in history that shines a light on the incredibly powerful 400- year journey, and offers some hope in the continued struggle to dismantle the systems of oppression created by the original sin.
The Episcopal Church in Vermont is an event sponsor.