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Social Studies
Understanding Slavery

Slaves at auctionThe first Africans, twenty in number, landed at the port Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. They were brought to the colony as indentured servants. To meet the growing demand for labor, Virginia instituted slavery in 1671. From that time 'til slavery's abolition in 1865, millions of African slaves were shipped to North America. White fortunes were made, banks and businesses founded, towns and cities built, and independence gained in the two hundred fifty years slavery existed. This was no coincidence. The unpaid labor of slaves wove through every aspect of American life.

Not only were slaves unpaid, they were treated like material objects to be bought and sold at market.

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