If you live or have lived in the United States, the story of African Americans is a sad, troubled and still unsettled part of that country’s history. Slavery is, for the most part, gone but the pain still lingers. For so many years, much of the story has been hidden behind doors, with periodic shows of anger by an angry people. Slavery in the United States has a long and complex history that stretches back to the colonial era and lasted for centuries.
Slavery was introduced to the English colonies in North America, starting with Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619. Initially, enslaved Africans were treated similarly to indentured servants, but as the demand for labor grew, laws were enacted to legalize and perpetuate racialized slavery. In the 18th century, slavery expanded across the Southern colonies as the plantation economy grew, relying heavily on enslaved labor. Legal codes, such as the Virginia Slave Codes of 1705, defined enslaved Africans and their offspring as property and established their perpetual servitude.
It was only really into the 1960’s when the African Americans’ anger fully took hold of the country, brought the issue to the forefront. It is not really settled, even today. But, finally there will be some recognition and, perhaps, closure for some, as after more than 20 years of planning, the International African American Museum (IAAM) in Charleston, South Carolina, finally has a set opening date: 27 June 2023 – just after Juneteenth. In many ways, the museum is 2,300 years in the making.
The International African American museum.
Visit what once was a plantation in Charleston. Times have changed since then. Click here to book.
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