The Birth of Black America
The First African Americans and the Pursuit of Freedom at Jamestown
By Tim Hashaw
Basic Books, Hardcover, 9780786717187, 336pp.
Publication Date: February 1, 2007
List Price: $26.95*
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The voyage that shaped early America was neither that of the Susan Constant in 1607 nor the Mayflower in 1620. Absolutely vital to the formation of English-speaking America was the voyage made by some sixty Africans stolen from a Spanish slave ship and brought to the young struggling colony of Jamestown in 1619. It was an act of colonial piracy that angered King James I of England, causing him to carve up the Virginia Company’s monopoly for virtually all of North America. It was an infusion of brave and competent souls who were essential to Jamestown’s survival and success. And it was the arrival of pioneers who would fire the first salvos in the centuries-long African-American battle for liberation. Until now, it has been buried by historians.
Four hundred years after the birth of English-speaking America, as a nation turns its attention to its ancestry, The Birth of Black America reconstructs the true origins of the United States and of the African-American experience.