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2007 Heritage Lecture: African and African American Lives in Virginia

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May 21, 2007

JAMESTOWN SETTLEMENT LECTURE EXPLORES
AFRICAN AND AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES IN VIRGINIA
 

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Dr. Joseph C. Miller, University of Virginia history professor and African Studies Association president, will present “Journeys Through Time:  African and African American Lives in Virginia,” at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 2, at Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia.

The lecture is part of Jamestown Settlement’s “2007 Heritage Lecture Series,” featuring nationally prominent speakers exploring various aspects of Jamestown’s role in the evolution of government, cultural and social institutions that characterize today’s United States. Programs will take place throughout 2007, the 400th-anniversary year of the founding of the first permanent English settlement in America.

While some of the first documented Africans to arrive in Virginia in 1619 may have won their freedom, demand for labor to produce tobacco meant lifetimes of servitude for later immigrants from Africa. Miller’s lecture also will examine the transition from buying Africans to owning their African American children and the social and economic costs of enslavement to future generations of their families.

Miller, the T. Cary Johnson Jr. Professor of History at the University of Virginia, has taught there since 1972.  He has written and lectured extensively about African history and world slavery, earning the 1989 Melville J. Herskovits Prize from the African Studies Association for his book “Merchant Capitalism and the Angolan Slave Trade.”

Miller has been a fellow of the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, president of the American Historical Association, James Pickney Harrison Professor at the College of William and Mary, and director of numerous summer seminars and institutes for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Upcoming speakers in the “2007 Heritage Lecture Series” are Dr. Doris Kearns Goodwin, presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize winning author (August 4); Dr. Jack Rakove, Stanford University professor of History and American Studies and 1997 History Pulitzer Prize winner (September 8); Michael Beschloss, best-selling author and NBC presidential historian (October 6); and W. Richard West, Jr., member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma and Peace Chief of the Southern Cheyenne, and founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (November 3).

Admission to “Journeys Through Time:  African and African American Lives in Virginia” is free. Advance reservations are recommended by calling (757) 253-4415 or e-mailing rsvp.lecture@jyf.virginia.gov.

Jamestown Settlement, operated by the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily year-round. The museum is located between Route 31 and the Colonial Parkway, just southwest of Williamsburg and adjacent to Historic Jamestowne, administered by the National Park Service and APVA Preservation Virginia.

For more information about Jamestown Settlement, call (757) 253-4838, toll-free (888) 593-4682.