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October 27, 2019
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
200 Water Street
Yorktown, VA 23690
Included with museum admission: adults $15; ages 6-12 $7.50; under 6 FREE. Reservations required.
American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
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Inspired by Courage: Descendants of Slave Narratives Speak

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Don't miss this riveting panel discussion and presentation by four ancestors of former slaves who took history into their own hands.

This special program is held in conjunction with the museum's ongoing special exhibition "Forgotten Soldier: African Americans in the Revolutionary War," which features personal stories of enslaved and free African Americans on both sides of the American Revolution, as well as the 400th anniversary of the African-American story with the 1619 arrival of the first recorded Africans in Virginia.

The "slave narratives," written by the likes of William Grimes and Solomon Northrup, inspired countless others and were an effective tool for the abolitionists. During this discussion, the lives of these courageous authors are being resurrected by their descendants. Book signings will follow the event.

The panel will include:

Regina Mason, founder of Inspired By Courage, is the great-great-great-granddaughter of William Grimes, who wrote the first fugitive slave narrative in America. "The Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave," is a work of literary independence.

Susi Ryan, fiber artist and quilter, is a ninth-generation descendant of Venture Smith, also known as Broteer, the son of a Prince. In 1798, he chronicled his capture from Africa and life in New England in "A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture, a Native of Africa."

Vera Williams, a descendant of Solomon Northrup and founder of the Solomon Northrup Foundation. Solomon, a free man, was kidnapped and sold into slavery. After his rescue in 1853, he told of the atrocities of slavery in his book, "Twelve Years a Slave."

Peggy T.D. Preacely, a civil rights activist and poet jailed in the 1960s Freedom Movement sit-ins is a descendant of enslaved Georgia natives William and Ellen Craft, whose daring escape from slavery is told in their 1860 book, "Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom."