Hundreds of kids look to honor America's first documented African slaves in Old City

Cherri Gregg
August 24, 2019 - 4:00 am

ilkaydede / Getty Images


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — This Sunday, hundreds of children will gather in Old City to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first documented arrival of enslaved Africans in British Colonial America.

"It's not just a somber occasion where we talk about the oppression against black folks," said Michael Coard, one of the founders of Avenging Our Ancestors Coalition (ATAC).

The group is hosting a "400-year slavery-related commiseration commemoration" to remember the 20 enslaved Africans who arrived on the shores of Comfort Point, Virginia – the documented start of centuries of oppression of black people in America.

He said their goal is to remind people about slavery and the years of brutality that came after, but also to celebrate the resilience of the people and the culture created as a result.

“We are also talking about resistence and rebellion and revolution,” Coard said.

The hundreds of 4- to 14-year-olds, Coard said, will represent each year since slavery began and highlight the changes may be generation of overcomers.

"The positivity lead by children," he added.

The event is scheduled to kick off at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the President’s House, located at Sixth and Market streets in Old City.