African-American Imprint

February 13, 2016 at Jamestown Settlement
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“African-American Imprint” at Jamestown Settlement on February 13 featured performances by Legacy of Weyanoke, the Charles City Spiritual Ensemble and storyteller Sheila Arnold Jones. This family friendly Black History Month event also featured an African mask craft activity and special interpretive programs in the outdoor living-history areas.

In Jamestown Settlement’s expansive gallery exhibits, visitors learned about the culture of the first recorded Africans in Virginia, who arrived in 1619, and the experience of people of African descent in colonial America.

“African Arrival,” a role-play experience at the replica 1607 English ships, illuminated the circumstances of the 1619 arrival in Virginia of 20-some Africans who had been captured by English privateers from a Portuguese ship en route from Angola to Mexico.

In the Powhatan Indian village, visitors helped fashion a dugout canoe and compared and contrasted Powhatan and Angolan cultures while learning about canoes and fishing.  In the re-created fort, visitors compared African and English warfare techniques and see the firing of matchlock musket.

Legacy of WeyanokeLegacy of Weyanoke
2:00 p.m.

Legacy of Weyanoke took the audience on a musical journey that pays tribute to African ancestors and their history. Founded in 1990 as an a cappella vocal ensemble performing songs and stories of African diaspora, the Caribbean and the American South, Legacy of Weyanoke’s mission is to research, preserve, perform and educate the public about folk-based music and literature with its origins in African heritage. The group is comprised of professionally trained musicians with varied performing experiences in the U.S. and abroad.

Sheila Arnold Jones
Storyteller Sheila Arnold Jones
12:00 p.m.

Sheila Arnold Jones is a professional storyteller, character interpreter and teaching artist.  For the past decade, Jones has traveled the country with her company, History’s Alive!, sharing storytelling programs, historic character presentations, dramatic and creative writing workshops, professional development for educators,  and inspirational and motivational speeches at museums, libraries and community and professional organizations.



Charles City Spiritual EnsembleCharles City Spiritual Ensemble
3:00 p.m.

The Charles City Spiritual Ensemble performed spirituals that share an essential part of the history and heritage of black people in America and their struggle and faith during times of enslavement.  The ensemble, which has performed throughout the state since its formation in 2006, aims to affirm the dignity of black slaves as well as the humanity of their spirits.


February 13 Schedule of Events

10:30 a.m.
Powhatan Indian and Angolan Dugout Canoe-Making Comparison
Powhatan Indian Village

11:00 a.m.
African Mask Craft
End of the Great Hall

12:00 p.m.
Storyteller Sheila Arnold Jones
Robert V. Hatcher, Jr., Rotunda

1:00 p.m.
African Arrival Role Play
Ships’ Pier

2:00 p.m.
Legacy of Weyanoke
Robert V. Hatcher, Jr., Rotunda

3:00 p.m.
Charles City Spiritual Ensemble
Robert V. Hatcher, Jr., Rotunda

4:00 p.m.
Comparative English and African Warfare
Re-created Fort