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Friday, February 8, 2013


I came across this amazing story of the descendants of the last slave ship while on my usual internet journey looking for fascinating stories on Black history.

Please make sure you get "Dreams of Africa in Alabama ..." by award winning author, Sylviane Diouf.

"On a January night in 2002, a truck backed up to a statue in front of Union Missionary Baptist Church, north of Mobile, Alabama.

One or two people got out, cut through parts of the heavy bronze bust, ripped it from its brick base, and disappeared with their loot.  The theft shocked and angered the congregation of pastor A.J. Crawford Sr..  They  had just celebrated the New Year and were preparing to commemorate, the following month, the 130th anniversary of the church. Unlike those of the Virgin Mary or George Washington, this statue was the only one of its kind in the country. The theft struck at the very core of a community that will never have any equivalent in North America. Determined to bring the statue back home, the congregation established a reward fund. In case the bust was not found, the money would be used to cast a new one. The wooden model, carved fifty years earlier, was still in town.

The statue dated back to 1959, when a steel shaft was sunk 100 feet into the earth in front of the church, to commemorate the one hundred years that had passed since the honored man and his companions had set foot on Alabama soil. The bust and the shaft were the symbols of an exceptional tale. In the summer of 1860, less than a year before the outbreak of the Civil War, one hundred and ten young men, women, and children were brought to the Alabama River, north of Mobile. They had just spent six weeks onboard the Clotilda, a fast schooner that had brought them from a world away. They were the last recorded group of captive Africans brought to the United States. Acting for Timothy Meaher, one of the most prominent businessmen in Mobile, Captain William Foster had smuggled them in under cover of night. He had to be careful because decades earlier, on January 1, 1808, the country had abolished the international slave trade. Although tens of thousands of Africans had since landed, the slavers could, in theory, be hanged.

Follow the rest of the introduction HERE

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