"400 Years of African American History"
History reports that the landing of the first-enslaved Africans in English-occupied North America was in late August of 1619. The vessel was the White Lion, an English privateer ship sailing under Dutch authority. A Privateer was a vessel owned and officered by private individuals holding a government commission and authorized for use in war. The White Lion had captured its human cargo from the Spanish slave ship Sao Joan Bautista during a battle in the Gulf of Mexico. Those first "20 and odd" landing of the first enslaved Africans was a significant event in our country's history and marked the beginning of 246 years - almost two and a half centuries - of slavery in the United States. It is of interest that this event is part of the Maritime History of the United States. Although they arrived in bondage, they had useful skills as farmers, herders, blacksmiths, and artisans. They brought their own culture, language, and beliefs that contributed to American cultural traditions. We have come a long way and the extraordinary achievements of the children or enslaved Americans is demonstrated in the people we present to you today. Included in the group are two of our own; Captain Robert Cook, a MACS Board Member, and Joseph Scroggins, CEO Mattioni's US Merchant Maritime Academy friend and roommate.
Please click HERE to view a PowerPoint presentation in celebration of Black History Month.