‘Remembering 1619’ Event Reflects on 400 Years of Slavery

The Equal Justice Society will present a special “Remembering 1619” event marking the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans at Jamestown, Virginia, on August 20, 2019, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at SFJAZZ, 201 Franklin St., San Francisco. Tickets are $160 and can be purchased online at Remembering1619.org/tickets.

The evening will feature a four-act artistic presentation with The Marcus Shelby Quintet, Joanna Haigood and Zaccho Dance Theatre, Actor Steven Anthony Jones, The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol, Pianist Joe Warner, Directorial Consultant and Dramaturg Kim Euell, Set Designer Wayne Campbell, Filmmakers Cheo Tyehimba Taylor and David Goldberg, and Executive Producer Eva Paterson.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Equal Justice Society, an Oakland-based nonprofit co-founded by Paterson and others in 2000 working to transform the nation’s consciousness on race through law, social science, and the arts. Sponsorships of the event are still available. For more information, visit https://remembering1619.org/sponsors.

This stirring work about 400 years of struggle, triumph, grief, excellence, and resilience experienced by people of African descent here in the United States will be presented in four acts:

  • Act I — Arrival (1619 to 1644)
  • Act II — Chattel Slavery (1645 to 1865)
  • Act III — Reconstruction and Jim Crow (1865 to 1879 to 1956)
  • Act IV — The Modern Era (1957 to Present)

Why We Remember 1619

“We want to remind people of our history and to acquaint people with the facts, reality, and feel of slavery,” said Paterson, President of the Equal Justice Society. “The enslavement of Africans has affected every part of our nation. We will connect the dots between 1619 and the present political, economic, and cultural moment.”

On August 19 or 20, 1619, twenty Africans stepped ashore at Jamestown, Virginia, thus starting the monstrous American system of slavery. From that moment four centuries ago, the oppression and mistreatment of Africans has morphed into structural and institutional racism evidenced in Jim Crow laws, a biased criminal justice system, shooting of unarmed Black men and women, educational inequality, voter disenfranchisement, and segregated housing to name a few.

America has always been one of the wealthiest countries on the planet. Much of that wealth was generated on the backs of enslaved people who were unpaid. Dehumanizing Africans and white supremacy were key components of the slave trade. One could only enslave fellow humans if one did not feel they were truly human. This view of Black people continues to the present day.

Despite attempts to crush our souls, our spirits, and our bodies, African Americans have had many triumphs and have consistently shown excellence in the face of the most monstrous evil.

For more information about the “Remembering 1619” event, email info@equaljusticesociety.org, or call 415-288-8700.

Sponsors and Host Committee of ‘Remembering 1619’

The “Remembering 1619” event on August 20 is made possible through the generous support of our sponsors (as of August 1, 2019):

  • Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
  • The Henry L. Hecht Family Fund
  • Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock
  • Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation
  • Emily Scott
  • Susan Pritzker
  • ACLU of Northern California
  • California Teachers Association
  • The California Wellness Foundation
  • Neyhart, Anderson, Flynn & Grosboll
  • Perkins Coie LLP
  • Leftwich Event Specialists, Inc.
  • Sheppard Mullin
  • George & Deborah Woods
  • Adler & Colvin
  • Minami Tamaki LLP
  • Arlene Mayerson
  • Jude and Julia Damasco
  • Thomas Layton & Gyöngy Laky, In memory of Henry Hampton
  • Outten & Golden
  • Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Altshuler Berzon LLP
  • James Finberg & Melanie Piech
  • David Oppenheimer & Marcy Kates
  • Barry & Sandy Goldstein
  • Cheryl & Charles Ward
  • John Crew
  • Connie Cagampang Heller & Jonathan Heller
  • Steve Zieff & Elaine Leitner
  • Robert Hirsch and Shauna Marshall
  • Lucinda and Chris Covert-Vail
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Hon. John M. True & Hon. Claudia Wilken
  • Michael Harris
  • Vanessa Holton
  • American Constitution Society
  • The Impact Fund
  • Willie & Robert Demmons
  • Lei-Chala Wilson
  • Hector Preciado & Trina Villanueva
  • Joyce Hicks & Eric Behrens
  • NARAL Pro-Choice California
  • Joseph M. Sellers
  • Legal Aid at Work
  • Sara Campos

Special appreciation to the members of our Host Committee (as of August 1, 2019):

  • David Berger
  • Renel Brooks-Moon
  • Sara Campos
  • Aldore Collier
  • Paula and Charles Collins
  • Quinn Delaney and Wayne Jordan
  • Willie and Robert Demmons
  • Elaine Elinson and Rene CiriaCruz
  • Amy Everitt
  • Rosemary E. Fei
  • Karen Bell Francois
  • Sergio Garcia
  • Alicia Garza
  • Gary Greenfield and Reesa Tansey
  • Robert Harris
  • Henry L. Hecht
  • Hon. Thelton Henderson
  • Dolores Huerta
  • Kate Kendell
  • Celinda Lake
  • Shauna Marshall and Robert Hirsch
  • Kelly McCreary and Pete Chatmon
  • Rev. Diana McDaniel
  • Valerie McGinty
  • Dale Minami
  • Jane and Howard Moore
  • Pam Moore
  • Dr. Curtis J. Perry
  • Hector Preciado and Trina Villanueva
  • Leslie Proll
  • Drucilla Ramey and Marvin Stender
  • Barbara Rodgers
  • Emily Scott
  • Lateefah Simon
  • Abdi Soltani

Learn more at Remembering1619.org!

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