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In the living history museum that is Colonial Williamsburg, African-American programming can be enjoyed year-round. However, February is Black History Month.
Colonial Williamsburg is committed to an ambitious goal: present history in a manner that remains engaging, interactive and authentic. Underneath the layers of charming buildings and romantic legends are real-life characters who have poured plenty of their own grit, sweat and blood into our nation’s continuous journey of understanding what it means to be “American.”
If you would like to learn more about the history and contributions of Black Americans, come discover the people “who challenged the political and societal norms to create a better future for themselves and the next generation.” There are plenty of special programs and events that are sure to inspire, educate and enlighten.
Here are just a few that your family can experience:
Sam’s War at the Hennage Auditorium
Hear the story of Sam, a formerly enslaved soldier, from the perspective of one of CW’s amazing actor interpreters. Sam tells us his heroic story of his self-liberation, his encounters with the Shawnee Native Americans (his supposed enemy) and those who enslaved him. As he wrestles with the ugly truth of how Black soldiers are perceived, a rare opportunity sends him to the battlefield to prove his mettle. Which army will he fight for?
All Things Are Possible
Have you ever heard of Robert Carter III? In 1791, he owned more slaves than any other Virginian. That same year, he took the legal steps to gradually free more than 500 of them—an extraordinary decision for the time.
Take a 60-minute walking tour of the Randolph Yard, Market Square, and Palace Green. Examine slavery’s evolution and the reliance upon it by patriots like Peyton Randolph to build a city, a colony, and eventually a nation. Explore the paradox of the institution of slavery and the movement for independence by looking at the experiences of the free and enslaved members of the Randolph Household.
Judith and Daniel
One of slavery’s ugliest crimes was the separation of friends and family members. Judith and Daniel, an enslaved couple, anxiously await their reunion after a year apart. Learn the tragic story resulting in their separation and why this happy reunion of husband and wife may not be permanent.
Loquacious Lucy, Queen for a Day
Come to the Playhouse Stage and meet Lucy, a gregarious and loquacious enslaved child who learns that her best friend has been sold. Now, her father must teach her hard lessons about slavery and instill in her the pride of her ancestors.
See the full list of programming at Colonial Williamsburg’s website and give your family the opportunity to dig deeper into the history of our county. There are incredible stories to discover and amazing spaces to explore.
We hope you have the chance to celebrate Black History Month with us here in Colonial Williamsburg!