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The Whole Staircase: Films Celebrating 400 Years of African American History & Culture

The Black Atlantic, 1500 - 1800 (2013)
Part of the series The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

Presented by the Library. "The Black Atlantic explores the truly global experiences that created the African American people. Beginning a full century before the first illustrationdocumented slaves arrived at Jamestown, Virginia, the episode portrays the earliest Africans, both slave and free, who arrived on the North American shores. Soon afterwards, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade would become a vast empire connecting three continents. Through stories of individuals caught in its web, like a 10-year-old girl named Priscilla who was transported from Sierra Leone to South Carolina in the mid-18th century, we trace the emergence of plantation slavery in the American South. The late 18th century saw a global explosion of freedom movements, and The Black Atlantic examines what that Era of Revolutions--American, French and Haitian--would mean for African Americans, and for slavery in America." - PBS

Running Time: 57 minutes
Licensed through Films on Demand

Screening Dates and Locations

January 14, 2019  The Whole Staircase Film Series - The Black Atlantic, 1500 - 1800

Location: Orange Park Campus, Building D, room 14
Time: 1:00 - 3:00 

January 14, 2019  The Whole Staircase Film Series - The Black Atlantic, 1500 - 1800

Location: Orange Park Campus, Building D, room 14
Time: 1:00 - 3:00 
All are welcome!

January 16, 2019  The Whole Staircase Film Series - The Black Atlantic, 1500 - 1800

Location: Palatka Campus, Building A, Valhalla Hall
Time: 10:00 - 12:00
Location: St. Augustine Campus Library, room L-112
Time: 11:00 - 1:00
All are welcome!

June 20, 2019  The Whole Staircase Film Series - The Black Atlantic, 1500 - 1800

Location: Palatka Campus Library
Time: 5:30 p.m. 
An informal discussion with members of The Turning Table's Race Issues Study Circle will be held after the film.
All are welcome to this free event! 

Resources for Further Exploration - The Black Atlantic, 1500-1800

Online Resources

Who Was the First African American? - Henry Louis Gates, Jr. writes about Juan Garrido, a conquistador who landed in Florida in 1513 and was "the first documented black person to arrive in this country."  

"Researchers seek fuller picture of first Africans in America" - Article about the Africans who arrived at Point Comfort and the work of their descendants for recognition. 

Virginia's First Africans - Provides details about the 1619 arrival at Point Comfort of the first Africans to be sold into slavery in America.

The African American Migration Story - "From the transatlantic slave trade to today's New Great Migration, learn about the major African-American migrations and how those movements changed the course of American history."


Books and eBooks at the SJR State Library
Books may be checked out by community patrons as well as SJR State students faculty and staff. If a title is located at another campus, the book may be sent to another campus upon request.

Please note: eBooks are only accessible to currently registered SJR State students, faculty, and staff via MySJRstate due to licensing restrictions.

Celebration • Education • Reflection

H.R.1242/Public Law 115-102, the 400 Years of African American History Commission Act, establishes 2019 as a year of "commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Africans in the English colonies, at Point Comfort, Virginia, in 1619."  The commemoration is intended “to recognize and highlight the resilience and contributions of African-Americans since 1619; to acknowledge the impact that slavery and laws that enforced racial discrimination had on the United States; and to educate the public about the arrival of Africans in the United States; and the contributions of African-Americans to the United States.” In recognition of this commemoration and with the Act serving as a guide, the SJR State Library has organized a year-long series of events that will provide educational experiences and resources to students and the community that celebrate the history and culture of African Americans.

Site created and maintained by Dr. Christina Will. Pages will be added and maintained throughout 2019.
Maintenance will cease at the end of 2019 but this site will remain accessible.

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