This August marks the 400th anniversary of the first landing of enslaved Africans in British North America. It happened in 1619 at Point Comfort in Hampton, Virginia.
The National Parks of Boston took part over the weekend in what the National Parks Service called the "National Day of Healing." Boston's Old North Church was part of a national bell ringing that took place at NPS sites across the country to mark the occasion. Part of the event included a special presentation in Faneuil Hall’s Great Hall, where park rangers did their best to solemnly illustrate the history of slavery in Massachusetts.
NPS Ranger Will Stilwell described slavery’s beginnings in Massachusetts in 1638. That was the year, Stilwell said, that a Salem man brought the first enslaved Africans to Boston. The man traded them in the Caribbean in exchange for about 20 Pequot — Native American men and women from what is now Connecticut who were prisoners from the Pequot War, which ended in 1637.