Arrival of the first Angolan slaves to America was 400 years ago

Illustration of 1835 showing the hold of a slave ship

Illustration of 1835 showing the hold of a slave ship

The director of the National Slavery Museum of Angola organized a lecture to mark the arrival of the first 20 Angolan slaves in North American territory.

According to Vladmiro Fortuna, who was speaking on the sidelines of a talk about the arrival of Angolans at the First English Colonial Settlement in North America, in August of 1919, said that the strengthening of relations with the United States of America also fits the purpose promoting this part of the history of the slave trade.

A goal that is to "create ties of empathy and friendship between the two peoples and increasingly strengthen relations at the diplomatic level," also similar to the type of relationship existing with Brazil, "which is based on a historical and cultural basis," he stated.

"We can also make this historic connection Angola and the United States of America a relationship based on history and culture," said Vladmiro Fortuna, at the meeting that also marked the International Day of the Abolition of the Black Traffic, which is being celebrated today.

It was in August of 1619 that the first Portuguese ships carrying Africans, which had been kidnapped and sold into slavery in what was to be Angola, arrived in the city of Jamestown, Virginia, then a British colony.

According to the director of the National Slavery Museum, the lecture to remember the memory of the slave trade and to mark the arrival of the first Angolan slaves in the North American settlement took place earlier in the Angolan province of Zaire and, after Luanda, will be replicated in the provinces of Benguela and Huila.

"Today's lecture will be followed by a workshop to be held in October, where we will address the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Angolan slaves in the North American settlement," he said.

"Until recently" there was a lack of knowledge about this part of history, now "solidified by investigations," and the history surrounding the African presence in North America is becoming "increasingly" known.

"The significant thing about this lies in the participation of Angolans in the founding of the first colonial settlements in North America and the Dutch settlement in the modern New York region," he noted.

Students, children, anthropologists, historians, directors of the Angolan Ministry of Culture and other researchers attended the lecture, which took place in the auditorium of the National Slavery Museum, in the urban district of Benfica, south of the Angolan capital.

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