31 July 2019

Why is the date significant?

In 1619, a ship arrived in an English settlement in what is now the US state of Virginia, carrying some 20 captured Africans. It's the first documented arrival of enslaved Africans in an area that would go on to become part of the United States. They had been seized by English pirates off the coast of Mexico, from a Portuguese slave ship.

The Portuguese vessel had been carrying about 350 Africans, taken from what is now Angola. Many had died during the voyage because of the terrible conditions they endured. The English pirates went on to sell the Africans they had seized to colonists in Virginia, who needed labour. Last survivor of US slave ships discovered Should black Americans get slavery reparations? It's a matter of historical debate what exactly happened to them once they were sold. But formal systems of slavery and racial separation did become established in later years as the number of Africans brought over to America began to grow.

Were they the first slaves taken to the Americas?

Some experts say the significance of 1619 should not be over-emphasised because, by then, Africans were already being used on tobacco plantations in the English-run colony of Bermuda.

Dungeons in Ghana used to hold slaves before they were shipped across the Atlantic It's also believed there were Africans on expeditions to both North and South America by English and Spanish maritime adventurers in the 16th Century. And Portuguese traders had been taking slaves to their colonies since the 15th Century.

How is this anniversary being marked?

The US Congress has established a special commission to mark 400 years of African-American history this year. Ms Pelosi's delegation to Ghana includes senior black members of the Congress. After visiting some of the sites from which enslaved people were shipped across the Atlantic, Ms Pelosi said it was "a sobering testament to humanity's capacity for great evil." Ghana has declared 2019 The Year of Return, with programmes aimed at encouraging people of African descent to visit and even settle. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, was in Jamestown, Virginia, this week to mark another anniversary - 400 years since the birth of representative democracy in the western hemisphere. However, he did note in a speech that it was also 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia.

Ethiopia Never Been Colonized

We Ethiopians are always proud to be the only country in Africa who never enslaved by Europians or Americans. We give all the credits to our brave and thoughtful ancestors. That is why we managed to help Africans who has been suffering under colonialism during the 1950th, to get their freedom. Their fighters came to Ethiopia and we trained them every military techniques and send them back to their prospective country to fight the colonialist entity once and for all.