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University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
From enslavement to freedom
From enslavement to freedom

Editor's note: This is part one of a four part series of op-eds that examine and explore the state of black America. The history of African enslavement and freedom in America is both engaging and fraught with confusion, half-truths and unsubstantiated facts, making it both hard to understand and explain. But it's important that we make the effort if we're to comprehend the current state of black America and its future. Slavery as an institution goes back to ancient times, but African enslavement in this country is generally said to have begun in 1619, when the first 20 captured Africans arrived in Jamestown, Va., to work on the tobacco plantations. This "peculiar...