In August 1619, West Central Africans that were taken from a Portuguese slave ship arrived in Virginia aboard White Lion, a privateer vessel.
The Central African Americans were traded for provisions and became part of the work force in Jamestown.
Who were these Africans?They may have been from the Kongo and Angola. These first Africans could have been from an urban area and may have been familiar with European languages, trade items, clothing and customs. They may also have been introduced to Christianity. But this mattered little because...
...their knowledge, skills and custom were ignored and discouraged by those around them. These enslaved Africans found themselves in an unfamiliar country, isolated from their families and friends, forced to work in difficult conditions.
Because tobacco agriculture in Virginia required much labor, the West Central Africans were a useful addition to the colony as they made possible the expansion of the tobacco economy.