Why is 1619 an important year in African American history? And for American as a whole? This is a very important date. It’s important because it marked the starting point of what this nation would eventually become. A more depriving copy of serfdom. Slavery in the Americas was largely based upon the feudal lord system of Europe.
The date can not be ignored because every single American’ life has been affected by June 6, 1619.
Today, June 6, 2019, marks the 400th anniversary of the arrivals of the first Africans designated to be slaves in an English colony. It mark what African Americans are speaking of when they speak of “400 years of oppression in America.”
400 years of oppression in America
The Atlantic slave trade or transatlantic slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of enslaved African people, mainly to the Americas. The slave trade regularly used the triangular trade route and its Middle Passage, and existed from the 16th to the 19th centuries.
On this date, approximately twenty to twenty three slaves arrived in Jamestown in 1619, which eventually led to the growth and development of slavery throughout the British colonies in North America. Another important event that occurred in 1619 was the creation of the Virginia House of Burgesses that set the format that legalized slavery in the colonies.
Africans first appeared in Virginia in 1619, brought by English privateers from a Spanish slave ship they had intercepted.
Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database. Help trace as best as possible the Points of No Returns and the captives final designations.
Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database.
However, there are conflicting stories as to where these original 20-23 people came from. Some accounts say they came from Angola in West Central Africa. That they were captured in a series of wars that was part of much broader Portuguese hostilities against the Kongo and Ndongo kingdoms, and other states. These captives were then forced to march 100-200 miles to the coast to the major slave-trade port of Luanda. They were put aboard the San Juan Bautista, a Spanish slave ship, which carried 350 captives bound for Vera Cruz, on the coast of Mexico, in the summer of 1619.
Jamestown Virginia History of 1619
Another story is that they came from Ghana’s Point of No Return which was Dutch controlled. It’s a huge white washed fortress, a Dutch Fortress in ELMINA that still stands today.
ELMINA, Ghana-Point of No Return
Ghana’s Door of No Return opens up Ghana’s slave past. ELMINA, Ghana, for many, it was their last glimpse of their homeland, Africa. Pushed through the “door of no return”, millions of Africans were shipped from places like this whitewashed fort in Elmina, Ghana, to a life of slavery in Brazil, the Caribbean and America.
Although this isn’t talked about when historians in general, speaks of the Trans-Altantic deadly voyage because so little is known about the fact that thousands were taken to Europe, China, the Middle East, India, Japan, South East Asia. In short, these captives were taken all over the world. But not in such large populace as those taken to the Americas. These slave caravans mainly traveled via the Silk Road. Except those who designated for Asia Minor. They had to cross into India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Their Point of No Return led to a voyage across the waters to a point where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean, south of Africa at Cape Agulhas. The Indian Ocean, the third largest, extends northward from the Southern Ocean to India, the Arabian Peninsula, and Southeast Asia in Asia, and between Africa in the west and Australia in the east.
Perhaps we may never know for sure where the Africans of Jamestown, VA came from for there were Points of No Return all over Africa during the 14th to 18th century.
But I’ve always wondered if they came from the Spanish, Portuguese, or Dutch or whomever else….how did the English end up with them?
We have enough evident and the know-how to make the next 100 years, the 500th anniversary much better than the previous 400 years.
When we will learn that bad ideas never lead to anything good?