S

The Original Sin: Slavery, America and the Modern World

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.author Zeleza, Paul Tiyambe
dc.date.accessioned 2020-03-24T10:53:10Z
dc.date.available 2020-03-24T10:53:10Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.uri http://erepo.usiu.ac.ke/11732/5782
dc.description Essay en_US
dc.description.abstract The landing of a slave ship in Virginia four hundred years ago changed not just the fortunes of slave owners in America, but also transformed the modern world. In this essay, the historian TIYAMBE ZELEZA examines the demographic, social, cultural, and economic impact of slavery on the Western world and on the African continent, and explains why African countries need to connect with their global diasporas. Four hundred years ago, in late August 1619, a slave ship named White Lion, landed on the shores of Point Comfort, in what is today Hampton, Virginia. On board were more than 20 African women and men, who had been seized from a Portuguese ship, São João Bautista, on its way from Angola to Veracruz in Mexico. Virginia, the first English colony in North America, had only been formed twelve years earlier in 1607. Thus, the two original sins of the country that would become the United States of America, the forcible seizure of the lands of the indigenous people, and the deployment of forced labor from captive and later enslaved Africans, began almost simultaneously. The Africans were stolen people brought to build stolen lands, as I noted in the lead short story in my collection, The Joys of Exile, published in 1994. I attended the First Landing Commemorative Weekend in Hampton, Virginia on August 23-24. Partly for professional reasons as a historian who has done extensive work on African diasporas. And partly in homage to my acquired diaspora affiliations, and the diaspora identities of some key members of my immediate family including my wife and daughter. In the events I participated I was enraptured by the stories and songs and performances of remembrance. And I was inspired by the powerful invocations of resilience, the unyielding demands for responsibility and reparations, and the yearnings for redemption and recovery from what some call the post-traumatic slave syndrome. The emotions of the multitudinous, multiracial and multigenerational audiences swayed with anger, bitterness and bewilderment at the indescribable cruelties of slavery, segregation, and persistent marginalization for African Americans. But there was also rejoicing at the abundant contributions, creativity, and the sheer spirit of indomitability, survival and struggle over the generations. We still stand, one speaker proclaimed with pride defiance, to which the audience beamed and chanted, “Yes, we do!”
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher The Elephant en_US
dc.subject Slavery, America and the Modern World en_US
dc.title The Original Sin: Slavery, America and the Modern World en_US
dc.type Article en_US


Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search Repository


Browse

My Account