Virginia Marks First Arrival of African Slaves in North America

Aug 29, 2018

Credit Historical drawing

JAMESTOWN, Va. (AP) - Four centuries after some of the first enslaved Africans were brought to English-controlled North America, plans are underway to commemorate their arrival in Virginia and reckon with slavery's legacy.

In 1619, Africans came on two ships that had recently raided what's believed to have been a Spanish slave vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. Sailing into what's now Hampton, Virginia, the ships traded more than 30 Africans for food and supplies.

English colonists took the Africans, likely from what is now Angola, to properties along the James River, including Jamestown. Visitors to historic Jamestown can see the spot where they landed and take a tour exploring the place where they lived.

Meanwhile, the federal "400 Years of African-American History Commission Act," aims to develop programs acknowledging slavery's impact.