400 Years? Ancestors Disappear! Historical Misorientation and Disorientation in the Year of Return and the 400 Years Narrative

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Journal of African American Studies


1619 CE was selected as the starting point in reference to enslaved Afrikans supposedly arriving at the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia as referenced on numerous Government of Ghana websites for 2019’s Year of Return. In this article, we will use various primary and scholarly sources to interrogate “white” epistemologies and anglocentric frames of reference of using 1619 CE as a starting point for anti-Black enslavement while challenging biblical parallels and references to 400 years (Brauchle in Virginia changing marker denoting where first Africans arrived in 1619, Web: dailypress.com, 2015). Using an Afrikan-centered analysis, we argue that the arbitrary selection of the anglocentric date of 1619 CE cannot be at the center of any narrative told from the perspective of Afrikan = Black people lest we erase the memory of hundreds of thousands of Afrikan ancestors enslaved prior to that time in what would eventually become the continental USA and elsewhere.


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1619 CE, Ancestors, Historical Misorientation