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Africatown Heritage Museum


On our field trips to the Africatown Heritage House in Mobile, Alabama, students are introduced to the story of the Clotilda, the last known ship to illegally smuggle African captives into the United States 50 years after slavery was made illegal in the United States. The exhibition informs students of the local history, the african roots and the horrifying brutal truths that the original 110 survivors endured as well as the strength, optimism and resilience that was necessary to create the community that still exists in the neighborhood today.

Our trip also introduces students to the posthumously published work of Zora Neale Hurston. Originally written in 1927, Barracoon features the oral history as told by Cudjoe Kazoola Lewis, one of the last living survivors of the Clotilda. Despite Hurstons popularity and success, the story had never been published because she refused to change the voice of Cudjoe from the dialect he spoke in.

Soon after the story was finally published in 2018, a group of researchers discovered the site of the remains of the Clotilda which had been burnt and sunk in 1860 in an attempt to destroy the evidence. As a result the local legends that had been discounted as urban myth for over 100 years, now have physical evidence that supports the story. A documentary film was produced in 2021 about the story of the Clotilda and the history of Africatown. 

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