“In 1619, Africans didn’t come as indentured servants with a seven year span, they came as slaves with a possibility of such limitation of their services.” Raki Madaki Azikiwe
Slavery started in 1619, and was illegal until 1655— please keep this in mind. The first person to own a slave was a Black man, by the name of Anthony Johnson; he was an Angolan, who came to the colonies as an indentured servant in 1621, after several years he gained his freedom, and as a token of appreciation, the colony give Johnson land. Soon after Johnson became a successful tobacco farmer inMaryland, where he gain so much wealth as a Black ex-indentured servant, he was labelled, “The Black Patriarch.”
So, John Casor was the first person declared a slave in a civil case. Making him legally a slave, owned by a Blackman name Anthony Johnson.In 1651 Johnson managed to gain support, and services of four White and one Black indentured servants. In 1653, John Casor, Johnson’s Black indentured servant, who worked with him since the early 1640s; Claimed his indenture serviceshad expired seven years ago, and claim to being held illegally by Johnson. Casor, managed to have Robert Parker— Johnson’s neighbor to intervened and demanded for Johnson to free John Casor. Later Parker took Casor as his own indentured servant, where in 1654 in Northampton Court, Johnson sued Parker, for the return of Casor. However the court ruled in Parker’s favor– but John son appealed in 1655, and the court ruled in the favor of Johnson, saying Casor still belonged to Johnson— according to Frank W. Sweet in Legal History of the Color Line: The Rise and Triumph of the One-Drop Rule.
Based on this understanding, Anthony Johnson wasn’t the first person to own a slave, he was a first person to legally own one in the colonies (United states), as a Black man, according to the civil case, in 1655, Johnson v. Parker, Casor suit. Lets not forget before John Casor, there were many Black indentured servants sentenced to lifetime of servitude (slavery)– based off of historians knowledge, they describe indentured servant John Punch, as the first documented slave in America, as a punishment for escaping in 1640; with two other indentured servants— both White males. . . who wasn’t sentenced as slaves, but sentenced with increased years as indentured servants, for punishment (John Donoghue,“Out of the Land of Bondage”: The English Revolution and the Atlantic Origins of Abolition). With this in mind, John Punch owner wasn’t Black— John Punch owner, was the first man to legally own a slave.
Ask yourself this: How is it that history tell us, slavery started in 1619, but the Africans that was stolen and sold into slavery, was consider as indentured servants, until the 1640s?
It seems like America is trying to sugar-coat and lessen the harshness of slavery, by saying Africans came as indentured servants— just like the White people, and that the first man to own a slave was Black. So, automatically a Black person of slave descendants, shouldn’t view it as a bad thing. Those of you that have been going around, and saying to every Black person, “A Black person was the first to own a slave,” you’ve be lied too, you live in a misconception, and have been bamboozled. The settlers view Blacks as savages and sub-humans, not as indentured servants with a maximum of 7 years to do service.
Almost every African indentured servant became slaves, because most Africans could not read nor could barely understand the English language; Planters found it as an opportunity, and force them into slavery by refusing to acknowledge that their indentured contracts, had been fulfilled (Philip S. Foner, History of Black Americans: From Africa to the Emergence of the Cotton Kingdom).
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Author: Raki Jordan