William Tucker: First Black Birth In US (recorded) On This Day
Did you know? On this day in 1624, William Tucker was the first child of African ancestry born in the 13 British colonies along the eastern coast of what eventually became the United States.
His parents were Anthony and Isabella, two of the first Africans brought to North America in 1619. They were married in 1624 and had Tucker a short while later, which symbolized the beginning of distinct African American identity in the United States. He was born in Jamestown, Virginia, and his parents named him William Tucker in honor of a Virginia Planter.
According to Blackpast.org, the 1624-1625 Virginia Census reported 22 Africans living in Virginia at the time of Tucker’s birth. "The first 20 of these Africans arrived in 1619 and all of them worked under indentured servitude contracts," according to the article. Interestingly enough,these men and women were not slaves because Virginia’s General Assembly had not yet worked out the terms for enslavement in the colony. Therefore, these first Africans in Virginia received the same rights, duties, privileges, responsibilities, and punishments as their white counterparts from Great Britain.
There really isn't a lot recorded on the life of William Tucker. But one thing we do know is that he was NOT born a slave.