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The "400 Years" Coalition Mission Statement

August of 2019 will mark 400 years since the first documented arrival of Africans who came to America by way of Point Comfort, VA.

The 400 years Coalition will plan programs and activities in Philadelphia and its Metropolitan areas to recognize the arrival and influence Africans and their descendants had in America since 1619. The Coalition will be charged with highlighting the resilience and contributions of African Americans as well as acknowledging the painful impact that slavery and other atrocities have had on our nation.

Objectives

Plan programs to acknowledge the impact that slavery and laws that enforced racial discrimination had on the US.

Encourage civic, patriotic, historical, educational, artistic, religious and economic organizations to organize and participate in anniversary activities.

Assist stated, localities, and nonprofit organizations to further commemorations.

Coordinate for the public scholarly research on the arrival of Africans in the US and their contributions to this country.

H.R. 1242, 400 Years of African-American History Commission Act

Floor Situation

On Monday, May 1, 2017, the House will consider H.R. 1242, the 400 Years of African-American History Commission Act, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 1242 was introduced on February 28, 2017 by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), and was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which ordered the bill reported, by voice vote, on March 28, 2017. In the 114th Congress, similar legislation, H.R. 4539, passed the House by voice vote on July 5, 2016

Background

On August 20, 1619, 20 Africans arrived at Point Comfort, present day Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia, aboard a Dutch ship. They were the first Africans on record to be forcibly settled as involuntary laborers in the North American British Colonies. In 2011, President Obama passed a bill that declared Fort Monroe a National Monument. The commission established by this bill will be charged with the important task of planning, developing and implementing a series of programs and activities throughout 2019 that fully tells the story of African Americans, their contributions to the fabric of our nation, and their resilience over the last 400 years.

What Does 400 Years Mean To You?

400 Years Coalition - Stan Straughter

400 Years Coalition - Stan Straughter
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The Victory 400 Grande Parade

The event grows to an even grander scale on June 15, 2019 with its second consecutive, nationally televised parade.

The parade will step off at 10AM from 15th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard to 2nd and Market streets, past the viewing stand between 5th and 6th streets toward the UnityFest at the Penn’s Landing waterfront.

The 2019 Juneteenth Parade & Music-fest