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"In the spirit of SANKOFA...Reach Back and Fetch your history & your culture so that you will take purposeful steps into the future."

~ Chadra Pittman Walke, Founder & Executive Director

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Emancipation Proclamation Day of Remembrance -- January 26, 2013

Project 1619 Celebrates Emancipation Proclamation Anniversary on January 26 --Events to be held at Hampton History Museum and Emancipation Oak-- Hampton, VA-On January 26, Project 1619 Inc., the Contraband Historical Society, and The Sankofa Projects will sponsor an Emancipation Proclamation Day of Remembrance with two very special events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation. “Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not free any Africans who were enslaved, the Proclamation has become one of the most important documents in America’s history,” said Project 1619 Inc. Founder Calvin Pearson. Beginning at Noon, the Hampton History Museum (120 Old Hampton Lane Hampton VA 23669) will host a panel discussion on the cause and effects of the Emancipation Proclamation. Panelists include Dr. William Wiggins, Professor and Historian of African Culture and Politics; Professor Robert Watson, Hampton University History Department; and Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander, History Professor at Norfolk State University. In addition to the panel discussion, there will be an audience discussion on how the Contrabands of War at Fortress Freedom (Fort Monroe) helped General Benjamin Butler and President Lincoln come to the conclusion that freeing the Enslaved Africans would help save the Union. At 2:00 p.m., the Emancipation Proclamation Day of Remembrance concludes with a Ritual of Remembrance ceremony at Emancipation Oak (Emancipation Drive, on the campus of Hampton University). Sankofa Projects Founder Chadra Pittman Walke will coordinate an Emancipation ritual that includes a prayer of invocation by Dr. Joanne M. Braxton, Founder and Director of the Middle Passage Project at the College of William and Mary; a drum call to the ancestors; and a Ritual of Remembrance ceremony. Emancipation Proclamation Day of Remembrance Saturday, January 26 Noon Panel Discussion on the Cause and Effects of the Emancipation Proclamation/Audience Disussion Location: Hampton History Museum 2:00 p.m. Ritual of Remembrance ceremony Location: Emancipation Oak on the Campus of Hampton Unviersity For more information on the Emancipation Proclamation Day of Remembrance, contact Calvin Pearson at 757/380-1319. Additional information can be found at www.project1619.org. Event partners for the Emancipation Proclamation Day of Remembrance include National Juneteenth Observance Foundation and Zel Technologies. Project 1619 Inc. is a non-profit organization whose goal is to promote Hampton’s rich African American history. The organization is also raising funds to construct a National Monument at Fort Monroe by 2019 to honor and remember the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans brought to North America on English occupied territory at Point Comfort in 1619. The Contraband Historical Society is an organization of concerned citizens whose mission is to research, preserve, and promote the history, legacy, and contributions of the enslaved Africans, who were considered “Contraband of War.” Three enslaved Africans, Shepherd Mallory, Frank Baker, and James Townsend appeared before Major General Benjamin F. Butler, Post Commander of Fortress Monroe. Major General Butler determined them to be “Contraband of War,” since the Southerners referred to them as property. These three men were liberated on May 24, 1861 at Fortress Monroe, Virginia by Commanding Officer Major General Benjamin F. Butler. Butler’s far-reaching gesture prompted thousands of Africans to run to Hampton to Fort Monroe to get behind Union lines and join in the Union’s war effort in exchange for their liberation. As a result, Fort Monroe became known as “Freedom’s Fortress”. The Sankofa Projects is an organization that hosts cultural and educational programs centered on the African Diaspora and creates national and International Rituals of Remembrance ceremonies. These Rituals of Remembrance ceremonies honor the millions of African men, women, and children who perished during the Trans-Atlantic enslavement trade. The Sankofa Project acts as a liaison between the grass roots and the academic community and works to ensure that the cultural influences and contributions which Africans made to the United States and across the globe are reflected in the historical record. Partially bordered by the Hampton Roads harbor and Chesapeake Bay, Hampton, with the 344,000 sq. ft. Hampton Roads Convention Center, is located in the center of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. Hampton is the site of America's first continuous English-speaking settlement and is home to such visitor attractions as the Virginia Air & Space Center and Riverside IMAX ® Theater, Hampton History Museum, harbor tours and cruises, Hampton University Museum, Fort Monroe, award-winning Hampton Coliseum, The American Theatre, among others. From the CVB

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