Why does the 1619 African arrival matter now?

The first Africans’ arrival in Virginia launched a system of oppression that fundamentally shaped our nation and culture and laid the foundation for generations of African Americans and their descendants.  Hampton symbolizes the complexities of our history and encourages us to understand how we became who we are today.  Hampton is where American slavery began.  But, in a twist of fate, Hampton is also the place where slavery began to end.  In the earliest days of the Civil War, three enslaved men sought freedom and escaped to Fort Monroe (at Point Comfort).  Their actions spurred a massive resistance movement and sparked a shift in the United States’ policy toward emancipation and ultimately abolition.  The legacy of 1619 defines our nation’s journey toward freedom.

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1. Who were the first Africans?
2. Were the first Africans indentured servants or enslaved?
3. Did the Africans arrive at Point Comfort or Jamestown?
4. Were they the first Africans in America?
5. Why does the 1619 African arrival matter now?