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December 20, 2019

Berkeley News

For UC Berkeley, 2019 was a year of honoring the past and celebrating new beginnings. The campus held a symposium that marked the start of a yearlong initiative commemorating the 400th anniversary of the forced arrival of enslaved Africans in the English colonies.

December 17, 2019

USA Today

Dorbrene O’Marde paced back and forth, trying to quash evil spirits. He had been to many former sugar plantations on this small island, but last month was the first time he’d seen the dungeon.

O’Marde knows well Antigua’s long history of slavery – Africans ripped from their homelands, forced to work on sugar plantations for British owners. But the dungeon, with its dark inside smelling of sea salt and littered with dead crabs, stood as another visible reminder.

Enslaved Africans – his ancestors – would have had to climb through the small opening into this windowless cell. 


American History can be a difficult class, especially when the events of history are hard to hear.

Shane Shoaf’s eighth-grade students at Olentangy Orange Middle School have been faced with such events in their study of the transatlantic slave trade, during which millions of Africans were shipped across the sea to the Americas.

USA Today

At the dawn of Colonial America, two families lived in the same household, maybe under the same roof. One was white, one black. One was from England, one from Africa. One, almost certainly, owned the other.

The black family included the first identified African child born on the mainland of English America – the first African American.

December 16, 2019


The first enslaved Africans were brought to British colonial North America 400 years ago, setting in motion the transatlantic slave trade.

To commemorate this anniversary, the president of Ghana has been welcoming descendants of those enslaved back to the West African nation to reconnect with their roots and invest in the country.

USA Today

For David Nolan, watching the nation commemorate the 400 year anniversary of the first arrival of slaves from his home here in the United States' oldest city is frustrating. The truth is Spaniards settled in St.

December 15, 2019

Greensboro News & Record

The thumb prints of enslaved people are molded into the bricks. There are knuckle prints too, formed from slaves gripping the clay, turning over the bricks to harden in the sunlight. Up higher on the wall of the former slave dwelling, the markings of five little toes can be seen — the foot of an enslaved child leaving its mark.

More than 900 people were enslaved at one time on the Stagville Plantation. Down the gravel road in Durham, trees cover the land of what used to be one of North Carolina’s largest plantations.

December 14, 2019

The Daily Item

The first ship bearing slaves to arrive in what would become the United States docked in Virginia in August 1619. Those 20 slaves were the first of literally thousands that would be crammed into disease-ridden ships and forced to endure harrowing journeys across the seas.

It’s been 400 years since the birth of slavery on our continent, prompting major news projects exploring the ongoing legacy that slavery still has on society today.


Legislation signed Friday by Governor Andrew Cuomo established the 400 Years of African-American History Commission. The Commission will develop and carry out activities throughout New York State to commemorate 400 years since the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in the English Colonies.

The commission will consist of 15 members selected by the Governor and legislative leaders as well as the Secretary of State and Commissioner of Education. Members will include individuals with expertise in African-American history, arts and culture. 

December 13, 2019


Syracuse-area residents will gather at a church this Sunday for more than worship.  It’s the second in a three-part discussion about 400 years of inequality in Syracuse and across the nation. Hopps Memorial CME Church Pastor, the Reverend Dr. Bruce Burns, Sr. says the dialogue comes with a twist...

"How did Syracuse, which once used to be a hub for the undreground railroad, become so unequal in its mindset?"

December 12, 2019

ABC News

The Richmond Public Library is home to many books and stories, but now thanks to a father-son art duo it’s also a place for visitors to appreciate one of RVA’s most unique exhibits.

The messages that Jerome W. Jones Jr. and his son, Jeromyah, paint are more than strokes on a canvas. Their exhibit illustrates the journey hundreds of years in the making and offers an experience of walking through the milestones that transcend geography.

Tulsa World

“African American history is quintessential American history,” said Rex Ellis. “This is not a black and white conversation,” said Terry Brown, superintendent of the Fort Monroe National Monument, which is on the site where the first boatload of enslaved people came ashore in Virginia. “It’s a human conversation… The art of the deal is convincing you that what I’m saying is relevant to you regardless of what your skin color is.”

December 11, 2019

Center for American Progress

For 400 years, structural racism embedded in federal, state, and local policies has produced and maintained a stark wealth gap between Black and white Americans. Today, the typical white household holds 10 times more wealth than the typical Black household. This disparity persists even after controlling for protective factors such as education, income, or homeownership. While lawmakers and policy experts increasingly agree that the racial wealth gap poses a serious problem, little consensus exists on the most effective way to eliminate it.

December 9, 2019

The New York Times

In the coastal town of Elmina, Ghana, the Atlantic Ocean crashes against the rocks with such a ferocity, I make our kids move back away from the gray-blue water. Four hundred years have passed since captured Africans were forced across these waves on their way to bondage in the New World and now, standing at the edge of this violent water, startled by my own anxiety, I feel something deep and old and terrifying. Call it hydrophobia. Call it genetic memory.

December 8, 2019

“We are the unveilers of a history hidden far too long. This is our opportunity to create a healing of our land.”

Daily Press

Brian Owens, a Florida-based artist hired to design Fort Monroe’s new African Landing Memorial, has a few questions for the people who will see it. What’s the public’s appetite for imagery? Does the public want something positive or something that depicts the brutality of enslaved persons?  And what type of sculpture?

Taking whatever comes his way, the sculptor expects to visit in February for a listening tour — the next step in creating the public art space the Fort Monroe Authority is planning.

December 5, 2019

Downtown Devil

It was a day of reflection, remembrance and community for attendees of the panel 400 Years: African American Past and Presence, held at the George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center on December 3. 

2019 marks the 400 year anniversary of enslaved Africans brought to the Virginia colony to farm tobacco, but also a rebirth for the future of the museum. 

New England Public Radio

This year marks 400 years since the first enslaved Africans were brought to the Colony of Virginia. And while much history written about slavery in the U.S. focuses on the South, slavery was also prominent in the North.

Berkeley News

That Frances Causey’s family owned slaves never quite sat right with her.

Since childhood, Causey disdainfully eyed the profound abuse, exploitation and grinding poverty that marked black life in her native North Carolina and throughout the South. She asked tough questions of herself, of her family and of society.

Causey’s lifelong search for answers yielded The Long Shadow, a highly acclaimed documentary that draws a strong, unmistakable line from the racial injustice of today and the brutally dehumanizing institutions of slavery and Jim Crow of yesteryear.

The Conversation

As soon as I entered Elmina Castle (the dungeons) in Cape Coast in Ghana, I felt haunted by over 400 years of brutality and the enslavement and genocide of millions of African and Indigenous peoples.