RICHMOND, Va. -- A Black history event in Richmond will celebrate a West African country.
"The bicentennial celebration for Liberia is marking two hundred years of free slaves from the U.S. returning to West Africa and making their way to a place they named Providence Island and the founding of Liberia on February 6 in 1822," Dr. Lincoln Brownell, Jr. with Go Ye Ministries Liberia USA, INC.
Liberia is the oldest independent and democratic Republic on the West Coast of Africa.
"The love of liberty unites us here. Liberia is a place of liberty," Brownell, Jr. said.
Those who settled established significant places like Lott Carey, named after the Baptist Minister from Charles City.
They created a flag similar to the United States. They also named the capital city Monrovia after James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States who supported the work of the American Colonization Society, establishing a home for the free slaves.
One of these free slaves would later become president.
"In the case of Joseph Jenkins Roberts who left from Norfolk and his family moved to Petersburg he became one of the visionaries for Liberia. He served twice as president of Liberia," Brownwell, Jr. said.
On Sunday at 11 a.m., the bicentennial event kicks off with a virtual worship service with Dr. Rodney Waller, pastor of First African Baptist Church.
The service will be followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at 4 p.m. at the JJ Roberts marker in Petersburg and the launch of an early childhood and teachers training endowment fund with the Go Ye Ministries and the Virginia Baptist Foundation.
"The fund is to encourage and provide quality education for children, particularly those living in villages, and then also to encourage and develop trained teachers who will nurture and meet the needs of children who escape quality education," Brownwell, Jr. said.
To get more information on Liberia’s Bi-Centennial events in Richmond, visit their websiteor the Virginia Baptist Foundation.