Appointed by Hampton City Council in an effort to engage citizen experts and to bring awareness of the role that Hampton has played in the development of Virginia and the nation, the Commission will engage the public with educationally enriching and culturally relevant commemorative events and activities, accomplished through discourse, planning, promotion and implementation of commemoration activities that serve as opportunities to broadly engage public participation on local, national and international levels.

We wish to engage school children and educators, to call their attention to Hampton’s remarkable African American heritage, and encourage the teaching of this narrative, including it in curricula and SOLs. We will accomplish this through:

  • Discussions about the process for reconciliation and healing.
  • Support of legislation for a proposed Welcome Center at Fort Monroe
  • Creation of a time capsule
  • Co-sponsoring a maritime and military event with Langley AFB
  • Develop commemorative historic markers
  • Host signature events that commemorate the 2019 Landing of Africans at Point Comfort
  • Attract the attention of national entities, such as The Smithsonian
  • Host national academic and social conferences
  • Promote commemorative activities and educational materials to attract visitors to Hampton

Hampton 2019 Commemorative Commission’s mission is to implement a plan to commemorate the 1619 landing of Africans to English North America.

Hampton 2019 Commemorative Commision’s vision is to gain international recognition of Old Point Comfort in Hampton, Virginia, as the first Africans’ point of entry in English North America.

“In the latter end of August, a Dutch man of War…arrived at Point Comfort,” wrote Virginia Colony secretary John Rolfe in 1619. Rolfe further noted that the White Lion commander delivered “20 and odd negroes” who were traded for provisions and other supplies. They would become either servants or slaves. Originally from Angola, they may have been captured from the Kingdom of Ndongo during the 1618-20 Portuguese war against African kingdoms.