June 21, 2024

Sotterley to Host Day of Unity & Healing


Historic Sotterley will host an inaugural event — Day of Unity and Healing — where visitors will remember, honor, and celebrate African-American history, culture, and heritage from 9:30 am to 5 pm August 20.

The all-day event remembers those who perished on the transatlantic voyage aboard the Generous Jenny, honors ancestral connections, and celebrates the strength, resilience, and courage we find inside ourselves today. It will be a day of gospel music, spoken-word performances, and living history experiences.

As a UNESCO Site of Memory for Routes of Enslaved Peoples, Historic Sotterley typically honors the UNESCO Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition in August. Historic Sotterley’s descendant community has worked to expand the annual UNESCO Day of Remembrance ceremony to create a day that leads to healing and a greater understanding of African-American heritage to move toward bringing peace and equity with shared histories, restoring hope for racial unity.

During the day, Sotterley will ​acknowledge the atrocities of the institution of slavery while also creating a space where all who are affected by their shared past and slavery’s legacy can come together to heal and celebrate the diversity of cultures that have long existed in the community.

In the morning, there will be a Native American land acknowledgement, ceremonial prayer and blessing, African Libation Ceremony, Jewish Blessing and prayers, and spoken-word performance. The late morning ceremony will take place at the Slave Cabin for a special dedication to Agnes Kane Callum. Midday, attendees will be able to experience more living history, a display of creative art expressions, children’s activities, and more. The afternoon will conclude with a re-telling of Sotterley’s story, a keynote from Sen. Michael Jackson, words from ​some of Sotterley’s descendants, and remembering the lives lost on the Generous Jenny and the enslaved ancestors of Sotterley.

Visit Sotterley’s website for more information.

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