Descendants reflect on painful past of slavery on the 400th anniversary

This weekend marks 400 years when the first slaves arrived in Colonial America; "Day of Healing" events are scheduled all over the country.
3:06 | 08/26/19

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Transcript for Descendants reflect on painful past of slavery on the 400th anniversary
This weekend marks 400 years since the first slaves arrived in colonial America. Today some descendants are looking back at the pain of the past. ABC's Zachary kiesch has what they found. Reporter: The roots of Wanda tucker's family is deep within the soil of this ancient cemetery. The final resting place of those descendants. I believe the presence of my ancestors are with us. They also contributes to the sacredness of the space. Reporter: Her family believes that William tucker, the first African baby to be baptized in America is their ancestor. They gathered to celebrate. And honor that legacy along with all Africans who lived and died during America's 246 years of slavery. The tuckers recently conducted a scan of their family cemetery only to make an unexpected discovery. The scan found more than a hundred others buried at this cemetery. What we don't know is if William tucker is here, if so, where? We took it to the state archaeologist for examination and they caused us to dig deeper. Reporter: In nearby, jamestown, researchers have discovered the home of the first African ever to be documented in colonial North America. Angelo. This team is searching for clues. Early documents reveal she's the only African known by name to got off an early slave ship "Treasure." The tucker family still faces challenges of their own as they try to share their story. They made the connection to William tucker through an oral historian and can only trace their lineage back to the early 1800s. Is there any debate about your family's role in American history? There are those who say our story is not authentic. Not real and not true. But I have to argue this, they have not proven otherwise. Zachary, I'm curious to hear what your personal impressions covering this story? Well, it was emotional. Certainly the gravity of that place, of that cemetery, the tucker family cemetery is just quarter mile away from the old plantation where many of these people were enslaved. There's some weight there. I kept asking Wanda, what do I why do I feel like that? She kept on saying, that's the fire in your bones. The other part it is, this is a part of history that we don't learn much about in textbooks and we haven't heard. Certainly, that's a disservice to African-Americans to find where they're family from and as a country as we try to move forward. Part of our history. We have to look at it squarely and reckon with it. Zachary kiesch, appreciate your reporting on a Sunday morning.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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