Hard Labor

The First African Americans, 1619

Hard Labor

(Part of Milestone)
Illustrated by: Joseph Daniel Fiedler
For Ages: 7 - 10
Erased by Time
In 1619 twenty Africans stepped foot on American soil. They came not as slaves, but as indentured servants. They knew if they could hold on and finish out their sentences, they would be free. They came with dreams of the future and a vision of life as good as any other person's, black or white.
Who were these people? How did they get here? What happened to them? Much of the information about them -- even their names -- has been lost. Stories about them are incomplete, and facts are blurred by centuries of neglect. But their stories are worth knowing and keeping and sharing, for they are a part of the American saga.
This is their story.


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About the Authors

Patricia C. McKissack
Photo Credit:

Patricia C. McKissack

Patricia C. McKissack is the author of many highly acclaimed books for children, including Goin' Someplace Special, a Coretta Scott King Award
winner; The Honest-to-Goodness Truth; Let My People Go, written with her
husband, Fredrick, and recipient of the NAACP Image Award; The Dark-Thirty, a Newbery Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Award winner; and Mirandy and Brother Wind, recipient of the Caldecott Medal and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Fredrick L. McKissack Jr.
Photo (c) Matt Kindinger

Fredrick L. McKissack Jr.

Fredrick McKissack has nearly 20 years experience as a writer and an editor. His articles, op-eds, and reviews have been published in The Washington Post,Vibe Magazine, and others. He lives in Ft. Wayne, Ind. with his wife, Lisa and their son, Mark.