Architectural detail of window arches on Old South Church in Boston

News & Announcements

A Healing Day and Bell Ringing Ceremony

Marking 400 years of African American Culture and History

 

On August 25, 1619 some “20 and odd” Africans aboard the White Lion were unloaded at Old Point Comfort in Hampton, Virginia and sold into slavery. The enslaved persons were skilled farmers, herders, blacksmiths and artisans. Along with their skills, they brought their own culture, language and beliefs that shaped innovations in food production, crop cultivation, music and dance.

 

Communities and houses of faith across the nation are urged to pause and mark this anniversary with bell ringing and by sharing stories about the integral role that African Americans have played in the history of the Nation over the past 400 years.

In partaking of this Healing Day and Bell Ringing Ceremony we embrace Sankofa, a West African concept which teaches that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward.

HEALING DAY AND BELL RINGING CEREMONY AT OLD SOUTH CHURCH IN BOSTON

9am First Worship: Story telling will take the place of the sermon

11am Festival Worship: Story telling will take the place of the sermon

3pm Bell Ringing Ceremony: Both the Great Bell (high in the Tower) and hand bells (outside under the Portico) will ring for four minutes (one minute per century) to mark 400 years of African American History and Culture and to honor those first “20 and odd” Africans who arrived here in 1619.