The 1619 Traveling Exhibit

February is Black History Month, and the library has partnered with departments across campus to honor and celebrate this year’s theme: Black Excellence in Education and the Arts.

To that end, we are thrilled to have The 1619 Traveling Exhibit on view in the Baker Reading Room. Created by the Hampton History Museum in Hampton, Virginia, the exhibit tells the history of the first Africans to arrive in English North America. The story begins in Angola in West Central Africa, where people were captured to be sold into slavery. Bound for Mexico, a chance encounter on the sea led them to Port Comfort, Virginia (in present-day Hampton), where they were traded for goods and services. Soon after their arrival, that location became the site of the very first African-Americans to be born in the USA, and today–more than 400 years later–people in Hampton can trace their ancestry back to those very first children.

Throughout the month, various groups will come to Ohrstrom to explore and discuss the exhibit. We hope you make your way over to the library to explore it, and to check out the many book displays we have that celebrate Black excellence in fiction, poetry, music, art, science, and more.

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