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January 30, 2007

CW explores how the American Revolution impacted African Americans' quest for freedom during Black History Month Weekend in February

Experience the American Revolution through the eyes of free and enslaved 18th-century African Americans during Colonial Williamsburg’s Black History Month celebration February 24-25. During these two days, special focus programs help guests develop a more refined understanding of how the Revolution impacted the African-American quest for equality.

Programming for the 2007 Black History Month celebration is being sponsored by the Norfolk Southern Corporation.
Saturday, February 24

  • God Save the King, 10, 10:20, 10:40, 11, 11:20, 11:40 a.m. and noon, Public Gaol. Encounter two enslaved loyalists, Joe and Dick, and learn how their quest for freedom landed them in the Williamsburg Public Gaol.
    Fifes and Drums March, 1 p.m., Duke of Gloucester Street. Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums, representing militia field musicians, march from Palace Green to the Capitol.
  • White Goes First, 2, 2:30, 3, 3:30 and 4 p.m., Mary Stith Shop. Witness a private conversation between Thomas Jefferson and his manservant Jupiter as they play a game of chess.
  • The Examination of Black Loyalists Joe and Dick, 2, 2:45 and 3:30 p.m., Courthouse. Members of the Williamsburg Committee of Safety listen to the testimonies of Joe and Dick and render their judgment.
  • “From Ear to Ear Concert,” 7:30 p.m., DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum’s Hennage Auditorium. Explore the roots of 18th-century African-American music during this exciting concert. Travel on a musical journey from Africa to the Caribbean and on to America. Enjoy the intricate rhythms of Africa featuring traditional African instruments and glorious vocals. Discover how African music was reshaped and transformed into a distinctly "soulful" African-American musical sound. A separate admission ticket is needed.
    Sunday, February 25
  • Slavery and the Law, 9:30 a.m.-12:50 p.m., Capitol. On this special focus tour, discover how the law affected the lives of free and enslaved African Americans as they struggled for freedom and independence in colonial Virginia.
  • Freedom to Slavery, 10, 10:20, 10:40, 11, 11:20, 11:40 a.m. and noon, Milliner. Hear the compelling story of Elizabeth, an enslaved African-American woman forced back into slavery after living free with the Shawnee Indians on the western frontier. Space is limited.
  • Created Equal, But Treated Differently, 1:30 p.m., DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum’s Hennage Auditorium. Meet Lydia Broadnax, former enslaved cook of George Wythe, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, in an unforgettable presentation that illustrates her thoughts regarding freedom and equality.
  • Change is Coming, 3 p.m., DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum’s Hennage Auditorium. Participate in a worship service and listen as a free Baptist minister delivers a sermon proclaiming that American freedom cannot thrive without the end of American slavery.

    A Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket, Good Neighbor Pass or College of William and Mary faculty or student ID is required to attend the daytime programs.

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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