The NAACP may find Portugal a good target for an economic boycott as the first ship to bring Africans for sale in North America was said to be Portuguese. That country figured greatly in the slave trade and even maintained Jim Crow laws on the African continent with fully segregated churches. The author below, Langston Hughes, was a black poet, member of the US Communist Party (CPUSA), and recipient of the NAACP’s highest honor, the Spingarn Medal.
Bernhard Thuersam, Director
Cape Fear Historical Institute
“Along the West Coast [of Africa] we visited some thirty-two ports, from Dakar in Senegal to Loanda in the South. The Ivory Coast, the Gold Coast, Lagos, the Niger, the Bight of Benin, and the Slave Coast, Calabar, the Kamerun, Boma up the Congo, where we were moored to a gigantic tree, and our last port, San Paola de Loanda in Portuguese Angola.
Singing boatmen on dark rivers, monkeys and bright birds, Capstan cigarettes in tins, hot beers, quarts of Johnny Walker and stone jugs of gin, barefooted black pilots guiding into reed-hutted ports….white men with guns under their belts, inns and taverns with signs up, EUROPEANS ONLY, missionary churches with the Negroes in the back seats and the whites who teach Jesus in the front rows…and the ships from the white man’s land anchored with lights aglow offshore in the starry darkness. Africa!”
(The Big Sea, Autobiography of Langston Hughes, Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1986 (original 1940), page 106)