During the transatlantic slave trade, thousands of enslaved Igbo people came directly to Virginia via shipping ports in Calabar and Bonny. Igboland was the principal source of the labour force in the tobacco plantation in Virginia in 1740s. At a point, they outnumbered and eventually replaced their Irish indentured counterparts.
The Igbo labourers produced the tobacco that became the mainstay of the Virginian economy.
The Igbo also provided the labour in the Black Belt that made cotton king. And they continued to contribute to nation building and the to the development of the frontier culture in the United States. Thus the Igbo were among the first effective settlers Anglo-America, and among the first groups to cross the Cumberland Gap to open the gateway for the territorial expansion of the United States.
Thus the building of the Igbo Farm Village in Staunton, Virginia, like the English, German, and Irish Farmsteads, built by American Frontier Culture Foundation, is a tangible recognition of the contribution of the Igbo people to the first English permanent settlement of Virginia, to American nation building in the United States, and to the development of the greater American frontier culture.
It is equally an important notice to Ndigbo that Professor (Ticha) Akuma Kalu Njoku, Director of West African Cultural Heritage Education and Tourism (WACHET) and DSG Igbo Heritage and Culture Institute of IWA, is the brain behind the research work on the Frontier Culture Museum (The Igbo Farm Village), Virginia USA. See more photos below…