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Pictures | Wed Aug 28, 2019 | 9:50pm EDT

Marking the arrival of slaves in Virginia, 400 years on

Members of the African Queen Mothers participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony in remembrance of the 400 year anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Virginia, in Hampton, Virginia, August 24, 2019. This month marks 400 years since the first recorded African slaves arrived in North America to work plantations in English colonies. In the centuries after, European slave traders shipped millions of African men, women and children across the Atlantic Ocean. Many died in horrific conditions on the slave boats, while survivors endured a life of misery and backbreaking farm work.

REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the African Queen Mothers participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony in remembrance of the 400 year anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Virginia, in Hampton, Virginia, August 24, 2019. This...more

Members of the African Queen Mothers participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony in remembrance of the 400 year anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Virginia, in Hampton, Virginia, August 24, 2019. This month marks 400 years since the first recorded African slaves arrived in North America to work plantations in English colonies. In the centuries after, European slave traders shipped millions of African men, women and children across the Atlantic Ocean. Many died in horrific conditions on the slave boats, while survivors endured a life of misery and backbreaking farm work. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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Members of the Africa Queen Mothers participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the Africa Queen Mothers participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the Africa Queen Mothers participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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Members of the community place rose petals into Chesapeake Bay. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the community place rose petals into Chesapeake Bay. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the community place rose petals into Chesapeake Bay. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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Zaria McCarthy participates in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Zaria McCarthy participates in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Zaria McCarthy participates in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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African dancers take part in the American Evolution 2019 Commemoration ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

African dancers take part in the American Evolution 2019 Commemoration ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

African dancers take part in the American Evolution 2019 Commemoration ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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Members of the community greet one another at the Day of Healing and Nationwide Bell Ringing Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the community greet one another at the Day of Healing and Nationwide Bell Ringing Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the community greet one another at the Day of Healing and Nationwide Bell Ringing Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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Members of the community participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the community participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the community participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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Members of the African Queen Mothers participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the African Queen Mothers participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the African Queen Mothers participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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Rapper Common performs in commemoration of the arrival of the first Africans in Hampton, Virginia. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Rapper Common performs in commemoration of the arrival of the first Africans in Hampton, Virginia. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Rapper Common performs in commemoration of the arrival of the first Africans in Hampton, Virginia. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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Members of the community participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the community participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the community participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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Members of the Africa Queen Mothers participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the Africa Queen Mothers participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the Africa Queen Mothers participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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Members of the African Queen Mothers participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the African Queen Mothers participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the African Queen Mothers participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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Members of the community ring bells during the Day of Healing and Nationwide Bell Ringing Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the community ring bells during the Day of Healing and Nationwide Bell Ringing Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the community ring bells during the Day of Healing and Nationwide Bell Ringing Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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Members of the community participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the community participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the community participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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Members of the community participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the community participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Members of the community participate in a sunrise service and spiritual cleansing ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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Kevin Crowder helps his son Elias Crowder create a Pan African flag at the American Evolution 2019 Commemoration. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Kevin Crowder helps his son Elias Crowder create a Pan African flag at the American Evolution 2019 Commemoration. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Kevin Crowder helps his son Elias Crowder create a Pan African flag at the American Evolution 2019 Commemoration. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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A woman celebrates during the Day of Healing and Nationwide Bell Ringing Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

A woman celebrates during the Day of Healing and Nationwide Bell Ringing Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

A woman celebrates during the Day of Healing and Nationwide Bell Ringing Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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A woman reflects at the Day of Healing and Nationwide Bell Ringing Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

A woman reflects at the Day of Healing and Nationwide Bell Ringing Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

A woman reflects at the Day of Healing and Nationwide Bell Ringing Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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Virginia's Governor Ralph Northam delivers a speech at the 2019 African Landing Commemorative Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Virginia's Governor Ralph Northam delivers a speech at the 2019 African Landing Commemorative Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Virginia's Governor Ralph Northam delivers a speech at the 2019 African Landing Commemorative Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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Fort Monroe Superintendent Terry E. Brown rings a bell during the Day of Healing and Nationwide Bell Ringing Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Fort Monroe Superintendent Terry E. Brown rings a bell during the Day of Healing and Nationwide Bell Ringing Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Fort Monroe Superintendent Terry E. Brown rings a bell during the Day of Healing and Nationwide Bell Ringing Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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Retired Col. Charles McGee, 99, the oldest living Tuskegee Airman, greets children during the Day of Healing and Nationwide Bell Ringing Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Retired Col. Charles McGee, 99, the oldest living Tuskegee Airman, greets children during the Day of Healing and Nationwide Bell Ringing Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Retired Col. Charles McGee, 99, the oldest living Tuskegee Airman, greets children during the Day of Healing and Nationwide Bell Ringing Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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Author Van Jones delivers a speech at the 2019 African Landing Commemorative Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Author Van Jones delivers a speech at the 2019 African Landing Commemorative Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Author Van Jones delivers a speech at the 2019 African Landing Commemorative Ceremony. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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