Mitchelville’s significance in American history is profound. It represents the first African American self-governed town in the United States. The courage, perseverance, and resourcefulness of the freedmen on Hilton Head Island, ushered in the dawn of freedom. Their experiences during an era of war and the Reconstruction Period, exposed a culture that had survived from its roots in Africa, demonstrating how deeply the ideas of self-dependence and freedom were embedded in the minds of the African Americans.The struggle for Freedom in American has a long and bloody history with every gain coming at a great cost. The 2018 Anniversary Forum seeks to examine the push for freedom in this country and the notion that the struggle continues today. This one-day session will highlight Reconstruction, the American Civil Rights Movement, Voting Rights, Citizenship and more. The Forum will take place in October 2018 at The Westin Hotel on Hilton Head Island.