On August 20, 1619, the first Africans were imported to the Jamestown colony in Virginia. They arrived on a pirate ship called the White Lion after they were taken them from a Portuguese slave ship headed to Mexico. It is unclear if they were enslaved or treated as indentured servants. In any case, they came to Jamestown against their wills and began the legacy of forced labor by Africans that became the sin of centuries of slavery in America. The video posted below provides a brief summary of the events of nearly 400 years ago. We are still living with the consequences of the sin of racism that evolved from centuries of slavery to a century of legal segregation known as Jim Crow, to the present injustices of mass incarceration, wealth and health gaps, and unequal treatment in the criminal justice system. As followers of Jesus, we believe that the first step toward forgiveness and healing is confession. This is just as true for national sin as it is for individual sin. Today offers an important reminder of our need to have honest and open conversation about the legacy of racism in our nation so that we can move toward the reconciliation and healing that God desires for each of us and for our nation.