Never Is It Untimely

February 25, 2024 — Britain’s involvement in slave trade from West Africa to the Americas began during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603), when the Tudor queen gave a large royal ship to John Hawkins, a slave trader, in 1564 in exchange for a share of the profits of the voyage. In North America, the first West African slaves arrived in Jamestown, Va., in 1619. They were Angolans kidnapped by the Portuguese and bought by English colonists. But slavery had existed long before that, in Egypt as far back as more than 1,000 years B.C., so historical documents tell, brought up the Nile as prisoners of war and used as domestic and supervised labor. Plainly, the profitability of the idea caught on.

That the Tudor queen was involved in all this came new to me when I heard it mentioned the other night when I was watching the Harry & Meghan documentary on Netflix. It served my mind to note that February is Black history month and also shed light on a packet in my brain in which a memory of magazine stories about the Underground Railroad I had researched and written was stowed away. So, I thought, fittingly, that this would be the time, before Black history month gets away, to revisit two of my posts with a link to one of my Carol Child byline stories published in Middletown Life Magazine. Never is it untimely. I have reposted these stories below. This is the link to my magazine story.

–Samantha Mozart

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