First African Landing at Old Point Comfort, Virginia in 1619

In 2019, join the global commemoration of the 400th anniversary of four pivotal happenings in English North America’s Virginia colony: the landing of the first Africans, the landing of women, convening of the first General Assembly, and celebration of the first Thanksgiving. The First African Landing occurred at Point Comfort in 1619, present site of national monument Fort Monroe in present-day Hampton, Virginia.

The Hampton 2019 Commemorative Commission, the Virginia 2019 Commemoration, City of Hampton, Fort Monroe Authority and the National Park Service invite you to participate in commemoration activities on August 23-25, 2019 in recognition of the first Landing of Africans in English North America.


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“Go back to where you started, or as far as you can, examine all of it, travel your road again and tell the truth about it. Sing or shout or testify or keep it to yourself: but know whence you came.”

– James Baldwin, Go Tell it on the Mountain

2019 marks the 400th anniversary of the first African landing in English North America.

The Mural: The Wave of History

The first 20 to 30 enslaved Africans brought to English North America came held as captives aboard the White Lion. The ship landed on or about August 25, 1619 at Point Comfort, present site of Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia.

As part of Hampton’s yearlong commemoration of this important event, a public mural entitled “Wave of History” is currently on display in Brooklyn, New York, at the intersection of Columbia and Degraw Streets. An evolving color palette against a cresting wave depicts the progression of our nation’s complicated history, from the first Africans brought to Point Comfort, through the triumphs of the Civil Rights movement—and our hopeful future as a multicultural nation in pursuit of true unity and equality. The mural’s purpose is to encourage reflection and public discourse by raising awareness of this pivotal moment in America’s formation and the four centuries of African-American impact that followed.

The Commemoration: August 23-25

Hampton and its 2019 Commemoration partners will host a weekend of events in honor of African Landing Day, including public discussion panels, African-American heritage tours, historical exhibitions, living history re-enactments, spoken word, and musical performances featuring headliner Sounds of Blackness in a free concert at the iconic Hampton Coliseum. The weekend will conclude with the Day of Healing and Gospel Music Festival at Continental Park, and a commemorative bell ringing across the U.S. We hope you’ll join us in Hampton.