Vermont First African Landing Day was initiated by the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance and proclaimed by Governor Phil Scott on August 24th 2019. The purpose of this day is to recognize and highlight the resilience and contributions of African-Americans since 1619; to acknowledge the impact that slavery and laws that enforced racial discrimination had [have] on the United States; and to educate the public about the arrival of Africans in the United States and the contributions of African-Americans to the United States.
This year’s theme is “We Come This Far By Faith” and reflects the role that faith has played in the lives American Descendants of Slavery in their journey from 1619 to present day. From the middle passage, the auction block and toils of slavery to convict leasing, sharecropping, lynchings and the old Jim Crow a constant anthem has remained. Through persecution and criminalization of a civil rights movement, a justice system that has never delivered equal protection under the law and the present day struggle of ongoing systemic racism American Descendants of Slavery have truly come this far by faith!
There will be traditional food, music, dancing, speakers, exhibits and more. The Keynote Speaker, Bishop Royster serves as the Founder of the Society for Faith and Justice, an ecumenical religious order committed to a charism of social justice as a spiritual discipline and spiritual practice. Bishop is also the former Executive Director of the POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild) and a former councilman-at-large for the Municipality of Norristown. Bishop Royster can be found co-hosting a radio show, “Solutions”, on Philadelphia’s WURD. The Hampton Museum 1619 Traveling Exhibit will be on display. Activities go from noon till 6:00 PM.
Guests include Adrian B. King (ABK) and GRAMMY Award Nominee, Stellar Award Winner, Billboard Winner, ASCAP Winner, Steeple Award Nominee, Gospel Choice Award Nominee Bishop Cortez Vaughn. #AbolishSlaveryVT Campaign and Abolish Slavery National Network folks will provide updates on Proposal 2, a Vermont constitutional amendment to prohibit slavery and indentured servitude in all forms.