A Year of Remembrance: 400th Commemoration Special Programming

National Park Service
Media Release
Contact: Corinne Fenner, [email protected] 904-477-6606
March 14, 2020

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans being brought forcibly to English-occupied North America. While Spanish explorers had previously brought enslaved people to what became the United States, it was the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in English-occupied North America that led to the institution of slavery in the U.S. To remember the struggle of the enslaved, Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve will offer a series of special commemoration programming to honor the stories and culture of those silenced by enslavement.

In commemorating the 400th, Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve will be joining parks across the country as part of a national initiative. In the words of Superintendent Chris Hughes, “The mission of the National Park Service is to protect and preserve some of the most significant historic sites in America. We are commemorating the 1619 landing by highlighting stories of the enslaved to recognize 400 years of African American history and culture. We invite visitors and community organizations alike to participate.”

Programs will be offered at Kingsley Plantation and throughout the community. To see the most up to date schedule of events visit Facebook @TimucuanPreserveNPS, www.nps.gov/timu or call Kingsley Plantation at (904) 251-3537.

The following events are free and open to the public:

Schedule of Events

Open House
Weekends at 11AM/1PM/2PM/3PM
Kingsley Plantation will offer visitors a new way to experience the planter house. Ask rangers questions about the planters and enslaved that lived on Fort George Island.

Speaker Series at the University Park Branch Library
March 23 & 30 at 6:30
On the 23, join Dr. Martha Bireda for her living history program Powerful Doctoring Women –
an examination of the enslaved women who kept other enslaved Africans healthy on the Bellamy plantation in Virginia.

On March 30, join Dr. Anthony Dixon for his program The African Diaspora Experience in Florida – an examination of Florida’s relationship with African descendants, from 1513 to the present.

This speaker series is made possible with the support of Timucuan Parks Foundation and Florida Humanities.

Behind the Scenes Preservation Tour
April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 at 10AM
Join the park’s archaeologist and historic architect as they take you behind the scenes at Kingsley Plantation to discuss how the park is preserving our cultural heritage for future generations. Space is limited. Call Kingsley Plantation at (904) 251-3537 for reservations.

Constitution Program
July 4 & 18 at 2PM
How did slavery shape the American Constitution? This ranger-led program will discuss the American slave system, the Spanish slave system, and the U.S. Constitution.

The Green Team Presents
July 25
Teens from the Groundwork Jacksonville Green Team utilize their creativity to tell the story of Kingsley Plantation in their own voices through interactive experiences.

Located off Heckscher Drive/A1A one-half mile north of the St. Johns River ferry landing, Kingsley Plantation is open daily, at no charge, between 9am and 5pm. For more information about Kingsley Plantation, call (904) 251-3537 or visit https://www.nps.gov/timu.

About the National Park Service. National Park Service employees care for America’s 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.