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U.S. readying for 400th anniversary celebrations

August will mark anniversary of first documented arrival of Africans to U.S.

A rare handwritten copy of the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, at the New York Historical Society. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images).
A rare handwritten copy of the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, at the New York Historical Society. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images). (Getty Images)

August will mark the 400th anniversary of the first documented arrival to America by Africans, who came by way of Point Comfort, Virginia, and were enslaved, in 1619.

On Jan. 1, 2018, President Donald Trump signed the 400 Years of African-American History Commission Act, a bill sponsored by Rep. Bobby Scott, a Virginia Democrat in the House of Representatives, and Democratic senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, also of Virginia, who are in the Senate.

Last November, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke appointed the 14 members of the commission who will organize the commemoration of the anniversary.

The commission will plan and carry out programs and activities throughout the country to highlight 400 years of contributions by African-Americans.

Others are using the anniversary as a way to highlight what they believe is 400 years of inequality.

The website 400yearsofinequality.org is encouraging people to tell their stories of oppression and resistance and ultimately unite to eliminate inequality going forward.


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