Juneteenth

2 p.m. Saturday, June 19 at Jamestown Settlement
Claves Unidos

Claves Unidos of Richmond, Va., will interpret the African Diaspora through dance, African drums and original interpretive choreography. Image by Mike Keeling.

Commemorate Juneteenth – an American celebration that marks the end of slavery in the United States.

Although the name springs from events that happened in Galveston, Texas, in 1865, the origins date to Jamestown, Va., as the place where the first recorded Africans in 1619 were brought after landing at Old Point Comfort and where the first slave laws enacted in the mid-17th century impacted the lives and status of Africans and their descendants.

Christy S. Coleman, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Executive Director, will lead Juneteenth events, offering opening and closing remarks.

In this thought-provoking 90-minute program of performance, music and dance, visitors will encounter stories of African Americans from three centuries who fought against those laws until freedom came.

Among the first-person portrayals, meet Elizabeth Key, who sued for her freedom in Virginia’s 17th-century courts and won; an 18th-century Black soldier who claimed his freedom by enlisting in the Continental Army’s integrated Rhode Island Regiment; and Frederick Douglass, a former slave who self-emancipated and became one of the 19th century’s most famous abolitionists.

Juneteeth_June 19_Jamestown Settlement

Nathan M. Richardson will portray Frederick Douglass on June 19. Image courtesy of Nathan M. Richardson.

Presentations will feature Claves Unidos of Richmond, Va., performing “Our Hearts Beat Freedom” through dance, African drums and original interpretive choreography, while Lisa Reid-Williamson and All 4 Christ will provide interludes of song.

Juneteenth programs will be held in the Robins Foundation Theater.

Juneteenth programs are included with Jamestown Settlement admission, but tickets to this limited-capacity event must be purchased in advance to reserve a seat. Residents of James City County, York County and the City of Williamsburg can access the online ticket portal to reserve a seat at no cost. Buy Tickets.


About Jamestown Settlement

Jamestown SettlementJamestown Settlement, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, is located on Route 31 just southwest of Williamsburg. Living-history areas are open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Gift shop and café open during museum hours. Parking is free.

Museum operations have been adapted for everyone’s health and safety with protective protocols. Admission tickets can be purchased online on the eStore or in person, following safety protocols.

Jamestown Settlement admission is $18.00 for adults and $9.00 for ages 6-12. A combination ticket with the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is $28.90 for adults and $14.45 for ages 6-12. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free. Residents of James City County, York County and the City of Williamsburg, including William & Mary students, receive free admission with proof of residency.

Jamestown Settlement is administered by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.