Point Comfort’s legacy: Slavery and scars, but also strength that builds from pushing back
Written by Solomon Jones on August 23, 2019
In August 1619, English pirates landed at Point Comfort, Virginia with more than 20 Africans they’d taken captive from a Portuguese slave ship. The pirates traded the Africans for food, and thus began the African slave trade in what would later become the United States.
So 400 years of discomfort began at Point Comfort. Four hundred years of atrocities began with a group of people who were stolen not once, but twice. Four hundred years of injustice began before America even became a country.
And while slavery ended less than 250 years after that moment, it was followed by lynching and Jim Crow, by discrimination and systemic racism, by an entire society set up to ensure that black folks would never rise above their position of servitude.
Along the way, something strange happened. The hardships that were heaped on us sometimes weighed us down, but more often they built us up. That’s because when you’re always pushing against the weight of oppression, it’s like your soul is pumping iron. And the heavier the weight gets, the stronger your spirit gets.
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