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About the Film

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In 2019, Americans commemorated the four hundredth anniversary of the momentous arrival of the first documented Africans to English America, an event that inspired new scholarship on the meaning of our nation’s origins and founding principles, as well as fierce controversy over the legacy of slavery. Arrival of the First Documented Africans in English America considers all the forces at play in this complex story: international politics during the era of European maritime exploration; the rich if not well understood history and culture of West Africa; the role of religion, from the indigenous to the institutionalized; the transatlantic slave trade; and the often-tragic consequences of global financial competition, piracy, and corruption.

Most of all, the award winning documentary tells the story of these thirty-two Africans, finally returning to them something that history and all its controversies had stolen: their voices.

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