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The original item was published from 8/28/2023 10:22:00 AM to 9/6/2023 3:48:58 PM.

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Hampton History Museum

Posted on: August 11, 2023

[ARCHIVED] When History Hurts - Monday, September 11, 7 pm

The African Experience in Colonial Virginia book cover

Port Hampton Culture Series
When History Hurts      
Join Dr. Colita Nichols Fairfax for “When History Hurts” where she will outline key details about the enduring impact and legacy of enslavement in America’s social institutions. She’ll illustrate how ideologies fomented during enslavement became major themes in policies and institutional practices that are identifiable in this 21st century moment, showing how deeply history hurts.

Dr Fairfax is Professor, Honors College Senior Faculty Fellow, and Inaugural faculty scholar in the Center for African American Public Policy at Norfolk State University (NSU), and editor of "The African Experience in Colonial VA: Essays on the Arrival and the Legacy of Slavery." The State of Virginia recognizes the 1619 landing of Africans at Point Comfort (present-day Hampton) as a complicated beginning. This collection of new essays reckons with this historical fact, with discussions of the impacts 400 years later. Chapters cover different perspectives about the “20 and odd” who landed, offering insights into how enslavement continues to affect the lives of their descendants. The often overlooked experiences of women in enslavement are discussed.

Dr. Fairfax will be introduced by Gab Diaz, director of the City of Hampton's Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion..

The program is free to museum members, $5 for non-members. Not yet a member? Show your support, join today and save! 

The Hampton History Museum is located at 120 Old Hampton Lane in Downtown Hampton. There is free parking in the garage across the street from the museum. For more information call 757-727-1102 or visit

About our Speaker
Dr. Colita Nichols Fairfax is Professor, Honors College Senior Faculty Fellow, and Inaugural faculty scholar in the Center for African American Public Policy at Norfolk State University (NSU). Her research reflects Africana Studies paradigms. She has written several articles, reviews, chapters, and the following books, Hampton, Virginia, (2005), Timeless History and Service: The Iota Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, 1922-To Our Time (2017); edited two books, Social Work, Marriage and Ethnicity: Policy and Practice (2016), and The African Experience in Colonial Virginia: Essays on the 1619 Arrival and Legacy of Slavery (2021). She wrote the Foreword for A Guidebook to Virginia’s African American Historical Markers (2019). Dr. Fairfax earned the Doctor of Philosophy and the Master of Arts in African American Studies from Temple University; the Master of Social Work from Rutgers University and, the Bachelor of Social Work from Howard University.

Dr. Fairfax was appointed to the city of Hampton’s 400th Commemorative Commission in 2010, where she contributed to documenting African American contributions on several historic markers, and articulated how the African figure of the tri-cultural anniversary statute on Settlers Landing Road in Hampton should be depicted. She served as co-chairman of the city of Hampton’s 2019 Commemorative Commission, tasked with planning activities commemorating the arrival of African people in English North America, Point Comfort (present-day Hampton) in 1619. In 2013, the late Dr. Mary Christian and she co-founded the Barrett-Peake Heritage Foundation tasked with restoring the state headquarters of the Virginia Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs founded in 1907, and preserving African American historical cemeteries in Hampton. Former Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed her to the State Board of Historic Resources in 2016, of which she served in leadership capacities such as Vice-Chairman (2018-2019; 2022-current) and Chairman (2019-2021). Former Governor Ralph Northam re-appointed her to that board, and to the Commission for Historic Statues in the United States Capitol, tasked with removing and replacing the Robert E. Lee Statue in the U.S. Capitol in 2020. She is a founder of the Hampton Roads branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and Culture. 

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