This year is 400th year since the first Africans arrived as slaves in America

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,320
Dispargum
#2
Yes, and I'm surprised I haven't heard more of this. I would have thought this anniversary would have gotten more publicity. Maybe I'm not as connected to the rest of the world as I thought.
 
Oct 2017
219
America 🇺🇸
#4
Yes, and I'm surprised I haven't heard more of this. I would have thought this anniversary would have gotten more publicity. Maybe I'm not as connected to the rest of the world as I thought.
Perhaps it shows how outdated America is now to its slavery era? Segregation/Jim Crow & Civil Rights eras seem to garner much more attention & more relevant to American society, while slavery seems to be treated as a distant past thats only important as the prelude to segregation-Civil Rights stuff.
 
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Oct 2017
219
America 🇺🇸
#5
There were African slaves in the Spanish settlement of St Augustine (founded 1565), so there technically was African slavery in what is now the United States before 1619.
San Miguel de Gualdape - Wikipedia

Founded in 1526, that settlement appears to be the first European settlement as well as documented black slavery on the continent, though the settlement failed.

Yes it should be very logical that the continent’s oldest permanent settlement should also be the first to include African slaves.

But couldn’t it still be argued that those twenty odd slaves were the first in what is now considered proper US territory & society?
 
Likes: Abraham95
Aug 2014
286
New York, USA
#6
There were African slaves in the Spanish settlement of St Augustine (founded 1565), so there technically was African slavery in what is now the United States before 1619.
Technically, the Africans that arrived in 1619 weren't even slaves. They were indentured servants that were freed after a certain period just like all of the other white Englishmen. After being freed, they bought their own land and started their own farming. I believe some of those original Africans ended up being slave owners themselves and bought African slaves, for example see: Anthony Johnson (colonist) - Wikipedia
Slavery didn't really start in the colonies until around 1640s.
 
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Likes: Jari

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,320
Dispargum
#7
Perhaps it shows how outdated America is now to its slavery era? Segregation/Jim Crow & Civil Rights eras seem to garner much more attention & more relevant to American society, while slavery seems to be treated as a distant past thats only important as the prelude to segregation-Civil Rights stuff.
This is an idea popular with many whites - that America's ugly experience with racism is in the past. America's Black population has not forgotten and that's where I was expecting to hear any 400th anniversary talk.

America has a fascination with the Mayflower. For those of you who might not know what that is, it was the ship that brought the Pilgrims to Massachusetts in 1620. Some Americans who can, like to snobbishly tell their friends that they have an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower. I don't know why Jamestown, settled in 1607, doesn't get the same attention or hold the same appeal as the Mayflower does. But within the Afro-American community, there are those who are equally proud to point out that Blacks were here in America before the Mayflower. This statement is equally true if it refers to the 1619 slaves/indentured servants in Virginia or to St. Augustine. I never considered the St. Augustine argument until reading this thread. As I understand it, in the Black community, 1619 is an important date. So I'm still surprised the 400th anniversary isn't being more widely discussed by American Blacks.
 
Likes: Scaeva
Aug 2014
67
U.S.
#8
This is an idea popular with many whites - that America's ugly experience with racism is in the past. America's Black population has not forgotten and that's where I was expecting to hear any 400th anniversary talk.

America has a fascination with the Mayflower. For those of you who might not know what that is, it was the ship that brought the Pilgrims to Massachusetts in 1620. Some Americans who can, like to snobbishly tell their friends that they have an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower. I don't know why Jamestown, settled in 1607, doesn't get the same attention or hold the same appeal as the Mayflower does. But within the Afro-American community, there are those who are equally proud to point out that Blacks were here in America before the Mayflower. This statement is equally true if it refers to the 1619 slaves/indentured servants in Virginia or to St. Augustine. I never considered the St. Augustine argument until reading this thread. As I understand it, in the Black community, 1619 is an important date. So I'm still surprised the 400th anniversary isn't being more widely discussed by American Blacks.
The Mayflower pilgrims founded the first town in what became the US that has been continuously occupied ever since. The Jamestown colony technically dissolved at one point, although as I understand it the colony basically just moved a few miles and reconstituted itself as Williamsburg.
 
Apr 2012
258
Iowa, USA
#9
The Mayflower pilgrims founded the first town in what became the US that has been continuously occupied ever since. The Jamestown colony technically dissolved at one point, although as I understand it the colony basically just moved a few miles and reconstituted itself as Williamsburg.
I thought the Acoma Pueblo was the oldest in North America.
 
Jul 2019
571
New Jersey
#10
This is an idea popular with many whites - that America's ugly experience with racism is in the past. America's Black population has not forgotten and that's where I was expecting to hear any 400th anniversary talk.

America has a fascination with the Mayflower. For those of you who might not know what that is, it was the ship that brought the Pilgrims to Massachusetts in 1620. Some Americans who can, like to snobbishly tell their friends that they have an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower. I don't know why Jamestown, settled in 1607, doesn't get the same attention or hold the same appeal as the Mayflower does. But within the Afro-American community, there are those who are equally proud to point out that Blacks were here in America before the Mayflower. This statement is equally true if it refers to the 1619 slaves/indentured servants in Virginia or to St. Augustine. I never considered the St. Augustine argument until reading this thread. As I understand it, in the Black community, 1619 is an important date. So I'm still surprised the 400th anniversary isn't being more widely discussed by American Blacks.
The reason why the Mayflower is traditionally taught (and perceived) as the beginning of American history rather the founding of Jamestown is because the New England colonies (and the northern colonies in general) had a far greater formative effect on the future United States. Jamestown's "descendant", if you will, was the antebellum south, which came to a crashing end with the Civil War. The North, on the other hand, with its Universities, Puritanism, commercial and industrial activity, and later immigration was truly the driving force behind America's rise.

It's worth remembering that although we now lump the southern and northern colonies together, for much of the colonial period they saw themselves as distinct from one another as, say, from the English colonies in Bermuda or the West Indies. America wasn't built primarily on the south; the north had a far greater effect on its development.
 
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