The arrival of the “20 and odd” African captives aboard a Dutch “man of war” ship on this day (August 20) in the year 1619 historically marks the early planting of the seeds of the American slave trade. Although American slavery was not a known institution at the time, this group of Africans was the first to go on record to be sold as involuntary laborers.
SEE ALSO: Benjamin Banneker Challenges Slavery In Letter On This Day In 1791
While not much is known about the captive Africans, it has been speculated by many that they were part of a prize for a slave trader heading to the Spanish West Indies. Many theories abound with the most prominent being that, like White settlers, Blacks who arrived in America that could not afford passage in to the colonies would become indentured servants.
The arrival of the “20 and odd” would steamroll servitude from being a small custom then to legally binding slavery by the 1660s.
Watch the history of American slavery here:
The ugly of history of slavery in the United States continues to loom over this country as an unfortunate reminder that African Americans were once seen as being no more valuable than farm animals.
Even as the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution effectively outlawed slavery (but not racism), the effects of the practice have haunted Blacks for generations.
One has to wonder what it must have been like to come to a new country…against your will. With the ocean keeping you permanently distanced from all you knew, it must have been a sad and terrible existence indeed.
It is imperative that we remember those ancestors who gave so much and got so little, with their humanity being stripped from their very core. Today, NewsOne remembers these first captives who were stolen from their homes — never to see their loved ones and experience their God-given right to freedom again.
SEE ALSO: Joan Little Cleared Of Killing White Sexual Assaulter In Jail On This Day In 1975
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