Hampton, Virginia – The Virginia General Assembly’s African American Cultural Resources (AACR) Task Force will hold its first public event—the Virginia Black Cultural Preservation Summit—on Saturday, August 11, 2018, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia.
In May 2017 then governor Terry McAulliffe signed HB 2296, calling for a task force to “identify the history of formerly enslaved African Americans in Virginia and determine ways to preserve the history for educational and cultural purposes.” After a year of outreach to statewide preservation experts and community stakeholders, the AACR Task Force is inviting the public to a free event exploring preservation efforts in Virginia. The summit is co-hosted by Virginia Humanities, the Department of Historic Resources, Preservation Virginia, and Virginia Africana Associates.
In addition to examining the history of formerly enslaved Virginians, the bipartisan AACR Task Force is charged with improving statewide documentation, preservation and promotion of Virginia’s African American historical sites. “I think we have an obligation as Virginians, legislators, historians, and educators to bring relevancy to the lives of those who sacrificed blood, sweat, and tears building the landscape of Virginia,” says Delegate Delores McQuinn (D-Richmond), the task force chair.
Brent Leggs, director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s newly launched $25 million African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, will deliver remarks and answer questions during the August 11 meeting at Fort Monroe. The National Trust for Historic Preservation recently awarded $125,000 toward preserving the Freedom House Museum in Alexandria, Virginia and Shockoe Bottom in Richmond, Virginia.
Additional speakers include:
- Delegate Delores McQuinn (D-Richmond), AACR Task Force Chair
- Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton), AACR Task Force member
- Niya Bates, public historian of slavery & African American life at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
- Jim Hare, director of the Survey & Register Division at the Virginia Department of Historic Resources
- Lauranett Lee, public historian and professor at the University of Richmond
- Chardé Reid, College of William & Mary Anthropology PhD student and Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologist
- Justin Reid, director of African American Programs at Virginia Humanities
- Justin Sarafin, director of Preservation Initiatives & Engagement at Preservation Virginia
- Hannah Scruggs, public historian of African American history at James Madison’s Montpelier
The Virginia Black Cultural Preservation Summit is being held in Hampton, Virginia at the Fort Monroe Theater (42 Tidball Road) from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. immediately following the Association of African American Museums 40th anniversary national conference.
Fort Monroe was chosen for the summit in part due to its place in Virginia’s history. In August 1619 the first enslaved Africans in British-occupied North America arrived at Old Point Comfort, today’s Fort Monroe. The fort, now a national monument, is also where thousands of freedpeople escaped behind Union army lines during the American Civil War.
For more information about the African American Cultural Resources Task Force or the Virginia Black Cultural Preservation Summit, contact Justin Reid, director of African American Programs at Virginia Humanities, at (434) 243-5528 or [email protected]