By Paula Odgen-Muse for Island Eye News
On Sunday, August 25, 2019 the National Park Service will offer a special program at the Liberty Square Visitor and Education Center to mark the 400th anniversary of the 1619 landing of enslaved Africans at Virginia’s Point Comfort, now part of Fort Monroe National Monument. This special program will commence at 2:30 PM and will be followed by the sound of church bells ringing across downtown Charleston and on Sullivan’s Island beginning at 3:00 PM for four minutes, each minute recognizing one century of African American history and culture as part of a nationwide bell ringing ceremony. The landing of the first enslaved Africans in English-occupied North America led to 246 years of African American bondage in this country. On Sunday, August 25th, we will recognize this history and its impact on our nation with a spirit of remembrance, healing, reconciliation, and uplift. While the 13th Amendment ended slavery in 1865 following the American Civil War, African Americans have endured a struggle against segregation, racism, and equality to this day. Please join the National Park Service for this special event to embrace this powerful moment and to recognize African American culture in the United States.
The National Park Service cares for extraordinary places and their stories. Our parks and programs can be places of healing and provide spaces for discussion and reflection of our shared American narrative. Over the next year, we are encouraging everyone across the nation to find your piece of this American story and reflect upon its history.
There is no charge for this special program.
The Liberty Square Visitor Center is located at 340 Concord Street, Charleston, South Carolina. The center has a small museum inside that represents the history of the first shot of the American Civil War with exhibits. Short films may be viewed on the pier level underneath the center. The site is open from 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM daily. No admission fees.
Now entering its second century, the National Park Service continues to explore new ways to help visitors connect and find their parks. For more information on park news, events and programs, follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/FtSumterNPS. Visit the park website at www.nps.gov/fosu or call 843-883-3123. You can also share your park experience with others by posting on social media with the hashtag #FindYourPark. Come find your park today!