Norfolk Public Library recognizes 400 years of African American history in Hampton Roads

Posted at 7:57 PM, Jan 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-29 19:57:28-05

NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk Public Library will recognize the role of African Americans in U.S. history and in Norfolk with programs that trace their impact.

2019 marks 400 years since the arrival of the first 20 plus Africans who were brought ashore in 1619 at Olde Point Comfort, which is present-day Fort Monroe in Hampton.

The opening celebration for African American History Month will be on Saturday, February 2 at 2 p.m. at the Slover Library. The library will offer a variety of special events and programs for all ages.

Norfolk State University Archivist Dr. Tommy Bogger will be the guest speaker. Guest performers include the Word Singers and Gordon Banks, Marvin Gaye’s former music director and Grammy winner.

On Sunday, February 3 at 3 p.m. at the Slover Library, the event will honor four distinguished African American trailblazers: George Banks, Geraldine Boone, Maizelle Brown, and Dr. La Francis Rodgers-Rose.

Programs that the library plans to offer will closely examine the black experience of migration on a local level and its impact on the city of Norfolk.

The Library is offering a community series to delve into this topic: Norfolk Then and Now – Citizens Tell Their Stories. The series brings together citizens from Norfolk’s historic African American neighborhoods to share their stories and explore the character and fabric of the communities as they remember them.

The programs will be scheduled at various locations in Norfolk.

Highlights include story times, jazz concerts, theatrical and dance performances, and an African American family day.

For a complete list of African American History Month events click here.