hamilton county

Black History in the Ocoee Region

The first Africans were brought to America in 1619 as indentured servants, which meant they served an amount of time as slaves to pay off their crossing and were released after settling their debt. Unlike indentured servants from Europe, they didn’t enter into this agreement willingly. However, in 1641, the American colonies began to legalize slavery, beginning in Massachusetts, and a racially-based system of slavery was instituted. This was based on the system already in place in the West Indies.