While a letter Wednesday was certainly correct in stating that the first enslaved Africans to be forced to the United States were not brought to Sullivans Island, we know they were not brought to New Amsterdam, either. The first documented landing of enslaved Africans in what was to become the United States occurred in Virginia in 1619.
In a larger sense, what difference does a place and date make to the nation's "original sin" in which all colonies and, later, states participated? From slave ship builders in New England to insurance companies and slave brokers in New York to thousands of plantation owners in the South, including our 12 slave-holding presidents, the nation immersed itself in the cruelty and profits of slavery for hundreds of years.
We need to own the reality of our shared past, know that it is far behind us, direct our nation's most vigorous energies to stamping out the evil racist vestiges of slavery still thriving here and stop fighting the Civil War.
Barbara Mullings Carter
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