WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 (DPA / EP) –
The United States commemorates this weekend the 400th anniversary of the beginning of the era of slavery, more than 150 years before the Declaration of Independence, with several ceremonies in the state of Virginia, the arrival point in 1619 of the first slaves captured from Africa.
The bells will ring throughout the country while the state governor, Ralph Northam, will address the attendees in a message condemning a practice initiated in the then British colony.
The arrival of the slaves was described in a letter to the Virginiana Company of London, and marks for historians the starting point of a practice that remained after the independence of the country, and continued in several ways – segregation, lynchings and riots — to the present day.
“It shaped our country then, and continues to affect our country today,” says the director of the Hampton History Museum, Luci Cochran.
Slaves arrived on the 'White Lion' ship with a cargo of slaves from Angola, snatched from another Portuguese slave ship in the Gulf of Mexico. A second ship arrived shortly after, with more slaves, but there are no details of this arrival.