A Look Back: The First Slave Ship in the U.S.
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- A Look Back: 401 Years After the First Slave Ship’s Arrival in America
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In August 1619, the first English North American slave ship landed in Jamestown, Virginia. Four hundred years later, we still experience the effects of slavery’s aftermath.
At the Center for Social Solutions, we strive to create a better collective understanding of slavery, its lasting impacts, and contemporary forms of involuntary servitude that still exist today. Our Slavery Initiative is completely dedicated to confronting both our nation’s history and the modern global practice of forced labor. As we near the date that marks 400 years after the arrival of the first slaves in the United States, we recognize the importance of commemorating this historic event.
For more information, take a look at the following materials (updated 6/7/21; reposted 8/20/21):
"Slavery's explosive growth in charts: How '20 and odd' became millions" by USA Today
An interactive look at how the arrival of the first English slave ship in 1619 led to centuries of transatlantic slavery in North America.
"Point Comfort: where slavery in America began 400 years ago" by David Smith, The Guardian
Four hundred years ago, the first enslaved Africans were brought to Point Comfort, Virginia. Many continue to come back to this historic spot in search of answers to the atrocities that took place back then.
“A symbol of slavery—and survival” by DeNeen L. Brown, The Washington Post
While many recognize and study slavery on a large scale, some historians are focused on learning more about one particular woman who was enslaved in the United States shortly after the arrival of the first slave ships.
"Many Rivers to Cross: The First Africans in Virginia", WHRO Public Media
This short video offers a brief description of the chain of events that brought the first slave ship to the United States.
Watch on YouTube
"'20 and Odd:' Africans' Arrival in 1619", 13 News Now
This longer documentary offers a more detailed narrative of the arrival of Africans in Jamestown in 1619.
Watch on 13 News Now
The 1619 Project by The New York Times Magazine
Launched in August 2019 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first slave ship’s arrival in America, the ongoing 1619 project seeks to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the center of the nation’s narrative.
Editor's note: This article was initially published in August 2019 to acknowledge the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first English slave ship in North America. Updated June 2021.