Refreshing Review: Unveiled – The Twenty & Odd

{I received an advanced copy of this book for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I hope that you enjoy! }

2019 marks 400 years since the arrival of the First Africans to the shores of Point Comfort in Virginia. As the city of Hampton, Virginia is set to commemorate the anniversary of this impactful event, Author K. I. Knight has released her well researched, insightful, and timely new book, Unveiled – The Twenty & Odd.

From the Amazon website:

UNVEILED -The Twenty & Odd reveals the true story behind the landing of the first Africans in England’s America in 1619 and 1620 removing a 400 year old political veil of corruption. For the first time, America will have a new understanding of who these first Africans were, from where they came, the struggles they faced and the amazing achievements they made.

Knight’s countless hours of research comes alive as pieces of the puzzle are put back together taking the reader to the infancy of America where they will experience a story buried deep in turmoil and deceit with the many variable parts assembled long ago to hoodwink the councils and courts and allow a powerful earl to retain his head. Now, Unveiled – The Twenty & Odd sheds a new light on the first Africans, finally allowing them to take their true place in history.

A Few of My Thoughts About Unveiled

There is so much to unpack in this book. It is VERY detailed and comprehensive – the author has done a ton of research. This is not a casual read because it is dense with facts, and it is chronological in many chapters, so you must pay close attention. Unveiled is definitely one of the most thorough references for the documented arrival of these first Africans to the shores of North America. 

It means a lot to me that there is a whole chapter devoted to giving the names and stories to the Africans that were brought to Point Comfort. The book is well worth buying for that alone, to hear more about who they were as individuals, instead of just as a group that was enslaved. For example, here is a brief excerpt about the Tucker family:

Antoney and Isabel Tucker

Antoney and Isabel (Isabella) were listed in the incorporation of Kecoughtan in William Tucker’s household in February 1623 and in the Muster of 1624–1625. Antoney and Isabel eventually took the last name of Tucker from their master, Captain William Tucker, the commander of Point Comfort in 1619. The Tuckers have the distinction of becoming the first African family in the young English settlement of Virginia. Their son William was born by 1624 and became the first documented African child to be baptized in Virginia. Records show that William was the second documented African child in the early settlement. William Tucker’s descendants are among those buried at the Tucker Family Cemetery in today’s Hampton, Virginia, where many of their descendants remain. (p.84, Unveiled)

{Incidentally, I had the humble opportunity a few months ago to visit the Tucker Family Cemetery in Hampton Virginia. It is a very hallowed place indeed.}

Ms. Knight also takes time to address the idea of slavery vs. servitude, and the descent at this point in time into the horrible institution of slavery: 

The Africans’ knowledge became irreplaceable, much too valuable for the planters to lose when their eventual indentures were complete. For over a decade, the 1619 Africans had provided the knowledge and skills that enriched the most established and profitable of the planters.

As the years crept along and the colony expanded, by the end of the 1630s and early 1640s, and with the legalization of slavery to the north in the Massachusetts Colony, the laws regarding the African community in Virginia had begun to harden. These laws made it tremendously difficult for Africans to leave the employ of their European masters.

With each and every legal battle where the Africans prevailed, new laws were quickly set in place by the European powers to eradicate any newfound avenue to freedom. During these times, the deadliest sins of evil prevailed, and slavery began to rear its ugly head.” (p.97, Unveiled)

K. I. Knight has taken an enormous amount of information about the events of 1619 (as well as the history behind it), and she presents it in a way in that we as readers can digest and follow. It may take a little bit of time to read through Unveiled – The 20 & Odd in its entirety, but its worth it for the deeper understanding of the impact of the arrival of these First Africans.

Unveiled – The Twenty & Odd is out now on Amazon, Click here for more details of the book and to purchase.

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