Historians challenge Northam’s ‘indentured servants’ remarkBreaking News
tags: News, slavery, historians, Blackface, Ralph Northam, indentured servants
Historians say they were “shocked” and “mystified” when Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam wrongly used the term “indentured servants” Sunday in reference to the first Africans to arrive in English North America 400 years ago.
Most historians abandoned use of the term in the 1990s after historical records left little room for doubt that the Africans were enslaved, the scholars said.
“The indentured servitude thing is really bizarre,” said Davidson College professor Michael Guasco, who wrote the book “Slaves and Englishmen: Human Bondage in the Early Modern Atlantic World.” ″He doesn’t come across as being particularly informed.”
The embattled Democratic governor used the term on CBS’s “Face the Nation” while discussing Virginia’s painful history of race relations. Northam said the “first indentured servants from Africa” arrived in what is now Virginia in 1619. Interviewer Gayle King interjected to say “also known as slavery.” Northam replied “yes.”
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