Recognition Of The 1619 Anniversary in Chapel Hill Continues With Community Conversations

November 7, 2019

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The Town, University, and community partners continue their recognition of the 1619 anniversary with ongoing exhibits at Chapel Hill Public Library and Gallery 109. In the coming week, there are multiple opportunities for the campus and community to come together to reflect on these exhibits and discuss the lasting impact of 1619 and American slavery. On Friday evening, Nov. 8, and Sunday afternoon, Nov. 10, the Carolina Black Caucus and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP will host community conversations at Epilogue Books. On Monday, Nov. 11, there will be an all-day campus symposium on 1619 at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture.

The discussions at Epilogue are in conjunction with Cash Crop!, a life-size installation by Durham artist Stephen Hayes. The installation is on exhibit at Gallery 109 in downtown Chapel Hill, next to Epilogue, through Sunday, Nov. 17. This installation features fifteen sculptures of enslaved Africans and invites viewers to reflect on the human-scale tragedy of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. This weekend, the community is invited to view the exhibit then gather next door to share the impact of the art and consider the continuing impact of slavery in our community, nation and world.  The Carolina Black Caucus will host a discussion on Friday evening, Nov. 8, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Epilogue Books. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP will host a discussion on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 10 from 3 to 4:30 p.m., also at Epilogue Books.  Both organizations are partners in bringing Cash Crop! to Chapel Hill. Epilogue Books is downtown’s new community bookstore and gathering place, next door to the Gallery.

On Monday, Nov. 11, the campus and community are invited to the Stone Center’s 1619 Collective Memory(ies) Symposium from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. This day-long event will bring together “conversants” from communities thrown together as a result of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and European Colonialism, in both Africa and the Americas. Representatives from Native and Indigenous communities will offer their unique insights and reflections on the 400 years since enslaved Africans arrived at Point Comfort.

In addition to these events, the Hampton History Museum’s traveling exhibit, 1619: Arrival of the First Africans, is on display at Chapel Hill Public Library through Monday, Nov. 18, and is sponsored by the Stone Center. This six panel “pop-up” exhibit tells the story of the Africans’ home in Angola, how they came to be enslaved aboard a Spanish slave ship, the terrible voyage that brought them to Virginia, and their lives on the plantations in the early Virginia colony.

All of these programs and events are free and open to the public.  To find out more about the exhibit at Chapel Hill Public Library, visit To find out more about Cash Crop! and the community conversations, visit  and  To find out more about the Collective Memory(ies) Symposium, visit

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