Descendants of America's first Africans will mark 400 years

Terry E. Brown, Superintendent of the Fort Monroe National Monument poses next to a historical marker that signifies the spot of the first landing of Africans in America 400 years ago at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va., Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
The Hampton History Museum has created an exhibit, The 1619 Arrival, that tells the stories of the first Africans who landed at Point Comfort in 1619. (L. Todd Spencer/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)
The Hampton History Museum has created an exhibit, The 1619 Arrival, that tells the stories of the first Africans who landed at Point Comfort in 1619. (L. Todd Spencer/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)
The Hampton History Museum has created an exhibit, The 1619 Arrival, that tells the stories of the first Africans who landed at Point Comfort in 1619. (L. Todd Spencer/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)
Terry E. Brown, Superintendent of the Fort Monroe National Monument poses next to a historical marker that signifies the spot of the first landing of Africans in America 400 years ago at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va., Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

HAMPTON, Va. — A family that traces its bloodline to America's first enslaved Africans will gather at its cemetery to reflect on their arrival 400 years ago.

The family is holding a reflection Friday at the Tucker Family Cemetery in Hampton, Virginia. The reflection is one of several events commemorating the Africans' 1619 arrival to what is now Virginia.

The landing on the Chesapeake Bay is considered a pivotal moment that set the stage for a race-based system of slavery that continues to haunt the nation.

The family traces its roots to William Tucker. He is considered by many to be the first documented African child born in English-occupied America.

His parents were among 30 men and women from what is now Angola who were traded for food and supplies from English colonists.

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