Northam letter joins time capsule to commemorate 400 years of African American History in Africa


In the lobby of the IBIS Malabo Hotel, H.R. 1242 Resilience Project presented the items for their time capsule to culminate the 400th Years of African American History. The exhibition was presented for the workers and guests of the hotel. During this act some read aloud the titles of books on exhibit. One even called out George Floyd. (Courtesy: H.R. 1242 Resilience Project)

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — A letter written by Governor Ralph Northam on behalf of the Commonwealth has been added to a time capsule that commemorates 400 years of African American History in Africa.

The letter was addressed to Don Victor Mooney, who is the president of H.R. 1242 Resilience Project and a resident of Flushing, Queens. Mooney recently ended his two-week visit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea which concluded with delivering the capsule on October 16.

The letter from Northam, dated November 17, 2019, commends Mooney on his journey crossing the Atlantic.

Time capsule commemorating 400 years delivered in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea Oct. 16, 2020
(Courtesy: H.R. 1242 Resilience Project)

After multiple attempts, Mooney was the first person to solo row from the coast of West Africa to Brooklyn, New York in 2015, and the first African American to row across any ocean traveling in the footsteps of Harriet Tubman.

“I would like to extend a warm thank you for traveling to the Eastern Shore, the place I call my home, to speak at the African Baptist Church about your journey and reflect on the life of Harriet Tubman. The history of Virginia is complex, contradictory, and often untold, and my administration and I are dedicated to understanding our past so we can better inform our future,” Northam wrote in closing.

Another letter dated July 16, 2019, from civil rights leader and Congressman, John Lewis — who passed away almost exactly one year later on July 17, 2020 — also made it into the capsule. Other items inside include artifacts, books, rocks, jewelry, coins, music, citations, journals, and proclamations.

Photos also fill the wooden box and include Harriet Tubman, Ida Wells, Mary Bethune, George Floyd, Breanna Taylor, Eric Garner, Ahmaud Marquez Arbery, Les Payne, Paulette Mooney-Skinner, among the many.

A detailed list of the contents of the time capsule can be found here.

For more information on the H.R. 1242 Resilience Project, visit

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