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March 13, 2012

Colonial Williamsburg’s Equiano Forum Remembers the Legacy of the Transatlantic Slave Trade During Programs March 24-25

The Colonial Williamsburg Equiano Forum joins in the observance of the United Nations International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade by offering programming that recognizes the lasting impact of the transatlantic slave trade on all of humanity. Particular focus will be placed on how people of African descent used cultural practices and beliefs as a means of surviving bondage in the Americas. The forum will also explore the importance of remembering how slavery and the slave trade have shaped the modern era in the Americas, Europe and Africa.

The Equiano Forum on Early African American History and Culture is an ongoing forum for historic and contemporary discourse that incorporates scholars, educators and performers to broaden the public knowledge about African and African American history as well as culture in Virginia and the Atlantic world.

Programs take place March 24-25 in Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and Art Museums and include:

  • “Voices of Hope” uses cultural expressions of storytelling and music to commemorate the lives of people of African descent that endured slavery and the slave trade at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 24 on Market Square. No Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket is required to attend this program.
  • “Workin’ the Soil, Healing the Soul” depicts how enslaved people on rural plantations lived, worked, survived and resisted slavery at 2 p.m. March 24 at Great Hopes Plantation. This program is included in Historic Area admission. Free reservations are required.
  • “Spirit of Renewal” observes the blending of old and new ways during a funeral in the enslaved community and join in a ceremony of remembrance of victims of slavery and the slave trade including a performance of spirituals by the Buffalo Boyz, a Williamsburg Christian motorcycle club, at 6 p.m. March 24 at Great Hopes Plantation. Guests have the opportunity to participate. This program is included in Historic Area admission.
  • “New Birth, Old Ways” explores the archeological evidence that illuminates how people of African descent maintained traditional practices in the face of the harsh realities of slavery at 2:30 p.m. March 25 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, 326 W. Francis St., in Williamsburg. This program is included in Historic Area or museum admission.

    For more information, call 1-800-HISTORY visit or Equiano Forum facebook at

    Programs and exhibitions at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

    Colonial Williamsburg’s African American programming is made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment of Humanities, Mr. and Mrs. Richard D. Parsons, Douglas N. Morton, Marilyn L. Brown, the Norfolk Southern Corporation, the Charles E. Culpeper Endowments in Arts and Culture of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Altria Client Services, AT&T, Philip Morris, Dominion Foundation and IBM.

    The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

    Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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