The Fredericksburg Area Museum (FAM) is hosting a year-long program series titled, Hen Asem. Derived from the akan/twi words of the Ghanaian language, Hen Asem means “Our Story.” Programming will include a lineup of performances, workshops, lectures, school events, and family programming focused on African American stories, with attention to the beginning of the passage of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. This series hopes to bring Fredericksburg closer to its African connections.
The 115th US Congress Resolution (HR 1242), passed by the House on May 1, 2017, established the 400 Years of African American History Commission to develop and carry out activities throughout the United States to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Africans in the English colonies at Point Comfort, VA, in 1619. Virginia officially kicked off the state commemoration in October, and the FAM’s programming supports not only the state’s commemoration, but also the National. In addition, Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced that 2019 is the “Year of Return” for descendants of all Africans captured and transported to the Americas as slaves. FAM’s programming aims to bring these international initiatives to the local level.
Hen Asem will kick off on Wednesday, February 6th from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM at the FAM. Mr. Michael Carter Jr., Hen Asem’s committee chairman, will introduce “The Year of Return” and the Hen Asem program series. This event is free although, registration is encouraged. Please contact Theresa Cramer, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 540-371-3037, ext. 138 to reserve a spot.
This pivotal program series is graciously sponsored by the City of Fredericksburg. Support provided by the City enables FAM’s Hen Asem committee to present quality cultural and educational programming in an effort to unify and better understand our diverse community and history.
“This program’s theme echoes what I have been saying for some time, we have so many untold stories of who we are –lets work together to tell them! I am happy the City is partnering with the Fredericksburg Area Museum to continue an important community conversation about our complete history,” stated City of Fredericksburg Councilmember Chuck Frye.
City of Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw also stated, “This program is well timed to compliment the work our community has taken on with the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience over the past year, and its launch in Black History month is appropriate. The City is proud to partner in this program offering.”
For more information on this event, or for additional programming information, please contact the Museum at 540-371-3037. The FAM collects, researches, interprets, teaches, and preserves the history, heritage, and culture of the Fredericksburg region. We serve a diverse community through a commitment to inclusion, integrity, credibility, and relevance.