Come visit Stratford Hall on July 17th for our inaugural First Africans Day, commemorating the enslaved Africans and African Americans who built and sustained Stratford Hall and the Lee family for generations. This will be a free, full day of remembering and honoring those enslaved at Stratford Hall and their descendants, through music, storytelling, special tours, and lectures.
11:00 am: Opening Ceremony at African American Cemetery, Libations by Cheyney McKnight and African drumming by Slam Stewart*
11:15 am - 12:00 pm: Payne Family History lecture, by Lois Johnson, and Local Buffalo Soldiers lecture, by Daisy Howard Douglas, in the Council House
12:00 - 1:00 pm: Food Trucks and Music; Cooking Demonstration in original 1738 kitchen by Dontavius Williams*
1:00-1:45 pm: Ghanaian History and Culture lecture with storyteller Valerie Davis in the Council House
2:00 pm: Tour of Stratford at the Crossroads: Atlantic Cultures and the Creation of America exhibit and Historic Area, with Stratford Hall's Director of Programming, Education, and Visitor Engagement, Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz
4:00 pm: The Chronicles of Adam Performance, by Dontavius Williams in the Great Hall of the Great House*
5:00 pm: Open Mic in the Great Hall of the Great House
PLEASE NOTE: The last Audio Tour will begin at 3:00 pm due to the programs in the Great House.
6:00 pm: Closing Ceremony at the Potomac River Beachfront*
*These items will be streamed via Facebook Live. Please note: we may live stream other portions of the day if time allows. Certain recordings will also be available via our YouTube channel following the programs.
This program is funded by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.
Stratford Hall brings together people from around the world to experience two-thousand acres of natural and human history, preserved and presented so that we can all learn from the courageous struggles of our ancestors, taking inspiration both from what they endured and what they accomplished. There are few places in America where people can travel down small, rural roads to arrive at a vast site that preserves so many aspects of early-American life, from the Great House where the influential Lee family helped to forge a new nation, to the fields worked by enslaved Africans, to the waters of the rivers that fueled trade, to the ground, which still yields secrets about the people and animals that lived before.
Come experience this extraordinary place and learn about a layered history that began millions of years ago - a history that continues to educate, inspire, and influence Americans to the present day.
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