Queen Njinga of Angola is one of the most powerful and brave figures in African history. Her story is often overlooked in history books, but she was one of the most multifaceted rulers in history.
At a book signing yesterday at Jamestown Settlement, Dr. Linda M. Heywood, professor of African History at Brown University, discussed her book Njinga of Angola: Africa’s Warrior Queen and how Queen Njinga skillfully navigated―and ultimately transcended―the ruthless, male-dominated power struggles of her time.
The book signing event was hosted by the 2019 Commemoration as part of the build up to 2019, when the Commonwealth of Virginia will commemorate the 400th anniversary of a pivotal year in American history. The 2019 Commemoration is focusing on the themes of democracy, diversity and opportunity and this book illuminates the backstory of the first Africans who arrived at Point Comfort in Hampton, Virginia in August of 1619.
“The 2019 Commemoration’s goal is to help illuminate the key events that occurred in 1619 that set both Virginia and the United States on a course towards the ideals of democracy, diversity and opportunity,” said Kathy Spangler, Executive Director of the 2019 Commemoration. “The story of Queen Njinga adds richness to our history and helps us contextualize the crucial moment when African culture became part of American culture.”
“I am proud to be able to share Queen Njinga’s story. She had a profound influence on the lives and destiny of the Angolans who traversed the Atlantic and arrived in Virginia in 1619,” said Dr. Linda M. Heywood. “Her story is important, as she provides a powerful role model for African Americans and women today. There are myriad direct correlations between the issues Queen Njinga overcame and today’s race and gender challenges in leadership and politics.”
During the next two years Virginia’s 2019 Commemoration will showcase new scholarship and scientific discoveries that facilitate a deeper and richer understanding of America’s history and our AMERICAN EVOLUTION, which began with seminal events that occurred in 1619 and their enduring influence over a 400-year arc of history that continues to influence America’s future. Please visit www.AmericanEvolution2019.com to learn more about Angola’s Queen Njinga and Virginia’s 2019 Commemoration.
About the 2019 Commemoration
The 2019 Commemoration, AMERICAN EVOLUTION™, highlights events that occurred in Virginia in 1619 that continue to influence America today. Featured programs, events and legacy projects will position Virginia as a leader in education, tourism and economic development. AMERICAN EVOLUTION™ commemorates the ongoing journey toward the key ideals of democracy, diversity and opportunity.