Gabriel, Africans, Femi discussed on PRI's The World
Transatlantic slave trade twenty nine hundred marks four hundred years since the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in the American colonies, it's an important milestone that changed the world and it seen as the original sin the United States. We still don't know a lot about this. I and slave people and over the centuries it's not been African Americans who've been the gatekeepers of their own history. In today's story, the world's Rupa Shenoy looks at that. And at the forgotten people there he is I'm at the Ballantyne gallery in Richmond with activists free agam femi-, she showing the portrait that'll be unveiled later this year. Gabriel. She tells me was an enslaved man who tried to hold the governor of Virginia hostage in eighteen hundred to bargain for freedom for slaves. No one knows what he looked like egg femi- commissioned the painting, so interesting about this is that we use a pattern for his voice is based on his descendants. That's the closest they can get without any contemporary description of him. The only reason we know about Gabriel is because he broke the law in official history Gabriel's rebellion failed. Someone told his conspirators were discovered and they were hanged in agam Femi's version of history. Gabriel's a hero one of many from the time who've gone mostly on remembered, those are the narratives that were deliberately submerged those are the stories. Nobody wanted to tell those stories begin in the sixteen hundreds with the arrival of the first in slaved Africans in the English colonies. White Virginians used African slavery to rapidly expand the tobacco industry that quickly made Virginia. The most powerful colony in the new world enslaved people like Gabriel fought back and white Virginians created a system of laws to oppress them a system that other colonies than states used as a model. Nice to meet you. Nice to meet Karen Sheri's curator putting together a special exhibit on the history of slavery to Mark the arrival of the first enslaved Africans. She started the job in twenty seventeen just weeks after Charlottesville an hour and a half away those events have really crystallized for me. How much race is still an issue in American society, Sherry works for the Virginia museum of history and culture, the modern version of the Virginia historical society, the oldest of its kind in the country. Put it on. She shows me this pristine sheet of paper a letter to the governor dated sixteen ninety may it please your excellency. Whereas there was a rumor of an evil and desperate design contrived by the negroes..