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        Discovering Jamestown

        The videos in this resource group explore various aspects of West Central African society in Jamestown, Virginia. In the associated lesson plan, students will describe the culture of the Africans who came to Jamestown in 1619 and the interactions that occurred in Africa between the local cultures and the Portuguese.

        This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

        The West Central Africans

        This full-length video program explores 17th-century West Central African culture and society, the interaction between Europeans and Africans, and the arrival of the first Africans at Jamestown, Virginia in August, 1619.

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        The West Central Africans: Government and Religion (Segment I)

        In late August 1619, an English privateer, the White Lion arrived at Point Comfort in Virginia with "20 and odd Negroes." Possessing only their knowledge, beliefs and customs, they were traded for supplies and became part of the workforce for the new Jamestown colony. These were the first documented Africans to arrive in Virginia. Africans would play a key role in the survival of the Jamestown colony and contribute to the evolution of the rich cultural diversity found in our country today.

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        The West Central Africans: Culture, Economy and Society (Segment II)

        The people of Kongo and Ndongo spoke languages in the Bantu family. The people of Kongo spoke Kikongo and people of Ndongo spoke Kimbundu. Similar languages are spoken today in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These languages were oral and not written. The arrival of the Portuguese influenced these languages. Many native speakers incorporated Portuguese words into their daily speech or even learned to speak, read and write Portuguese.

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        The West Central Africans: Practice of Slavery (Segment III)

        The West Central Africans brought a highly defined culture to Jamestown, Virginia including their strong Christianity, knowledge of metalworking and experience with grain and tobacco agriculture. These Africans played a pivotal role in the economic success of the country and ultimately shaped our rich cultural diversity today.

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