African Landing Memorial Vision
This one-of-a-kind sculpture will commemorate a singular moment that reverberates through the fabric of more than 400 years of American history—the landing of the first Africans to the Virginia Colony in English North America in August, 1619, here at Point Comfort. Collectively, this memorial and interpretive and education programs will provide an opportunity for national and international audiences to openly discuss together our past to foster a new understanding of our nation’s beginning.
The UNESCO Slave Route Project
The UNESCO Slave Route project: Resistance, Liberty, Heritage
Launched in 1994, the international and inter-regional project ‘The Slave Route: Resistance, Liberty, Heritage’ addresses the history of the slave trade and slavery through the prism of intercultural dialogue, a culture of peace and reconciliation. It thereby endeavours to improve the understanding and transmission of this human tragedy by making better known its deep-seated causes, its consequences for societies today and the cultural interactions born of this history. The project is structured around five key fields of activity: scientific research, development of educational materials, preservation of written archives and oral traditions, promotion of living cultures and contributions by the African diaspora and, lastly, preservation of sites of memory.
The promotion of the memorial heritage related to the slave trade and slavery plays a decisive role not only in educating the general public, and young people in particular, but also in facilitating national reconciliation and social cohesion processes in societies.
It is in this perspective that ‘The Slave Route project has created a label to encourage the preservation of sites of memories and the establishment of itineraries that can tell this story and ensure that this heritage receives due attention at the national, regional and international levels. This site fulfils the quality criteria set by the UNESCO Slave Route Project in conjunction with the International Network of Managers of Sites and Itineraries of Memory.
The memorial will present an occasion to reflect on the history, stories, and contributions of Africans and their descendants in this new world; through demonstrated examples of survival, resistance, perseverance, and ingenuity.
A Journey from Africa to America in 1619
Map image by USA Today