What does "Antonio, a Negro" represent in African American history?

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"Antonio, a Negro" (Anthony Johnson) is historically recognized as the first former slave to become a slave owner. In 1620, he was captured in Angola and sold into slavery by another tribe. Anthony Johnson was brought to North America to the Colony of Virginia in 1621.

Although sold into slavery as an indentured servant, Anthony and his wife (Mary a Negro) were able to buy their freedom. Along with this, they also bought land and livestock. In 1650, the Johnsons had 250 acres of land. Anthony owned five of his own indentured servants.

Anthony Johnson's life shows that he was a valuable member of his community and also shows the great change that came about afterwards when blacks were denied respect and citizenship.


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