In response to the events of August 11 and 12, 2017, the Charlottesville to Jamestown pilgrimage, sponsored by the Charlottesville Clergy Collective, provided a constructive opportunity for us to take the next step in addressing racism in America and its attending systemic injustices. During our journey, over four hundred pilgrims heard stories and untold histories, we built relationships, and we identified common concerns that need to be transformed in order to bring about racial equity.
Our journey began on Saturday, October 6, 2018, from central Charlottesville. Our first leg took us past Market Street Park (formerly Emancipation Park) and the proposed site for a marker to remember the July 12, 1898, lynching of John Henry James -- an African American man from Charlottesville. We walked on the Saunders-Monticello Trail, and ended up at Monticello for an education and reflection experience at the African American Burial Grounds, and the reading of the name of three hundred and sixty enslaved at Monticello.
During the week of October 8 to 11, we hosted educational and cultural activities in Charlottesville.
We heard Dr. Karenne Wood present the 18,000 year history of the Monacan people here in Virginia.
Mark Charles, a Navajo Christian, presented the untold history of Christianity's role in constructing white supremacy, and the United States' role in perpetrating not only the enslavement of Africans, but also the genocide of native peoples in America.
On October 12, we traveled to Richmond where we went on a Slave Walk guided by the Elegba Folklore Society, followed by a time of group reflection and discussion at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Richmond.
On October 13, we took a pilgrimage by bus to Historic Jamestowne as we traveled back through history with Mark Summers of Preservation Virginia to learn about the pursuit of commercial ventures and economic profit that led to the enslavement and oppression of Africans and native peoples. We visited Point Comfort, where Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander gave a history of the site where the first ships carrying enslaved Africans landed in 1619. We ended our pilgrimage at Fort Monroe, the Union fort where escaped slaves went to seek asylum during the Civil War. There, we held a final ceremony, and re-read the three hundred and sixty names of the enslaved at Monticello.
The Pilgrimage is sponsored by Charlottesville Clergy Collective, a nonprofit, interfaith organization committed to addressing racism. We have fifty members representing over twelve Christian denominations and four other faith traditions.
The Pilgrimage was funded by the generous support of BAMA Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band at the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, the Virginia United Methodist Foundation, the New Baptist Covenant, twelve different local faith congregations, and several individual donors. The Baptist Center for Ethics and Monticello provided in-kind services.
Many thanks to EthicsDaily.com for producing this video.