Africatown event pushes preservation and history

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — History and heritage come together in Mobile. Dozens gathered for the 2nd annual Spirit of our Ancestors Festival. The program commemorates the history of the final slave ship to come to America. An African drumming ceremony starts the first day of programs designed to raise the awareness of Africatown’s rich history and make sure it isn’t forgotten.

“Because of what our ancestors went through, that history is important to me,” said Clotilda descendant Verndetta Keeby. Descendants of the last slave ship to come to the United States spoke saying they are the living embodiment of their ancestor’s wildest dreams. Organizers say Africatown needs to be turned into a major tourist and history destination

“They need to know the story, if they know the story I think they would enjoy what a wonderful story this is it started out to be something sinister but look what it’s turned out to be,” said President of the Clotilda Descendents Association Darron Patterson. Alabama Senator Doug Jones spoke, saying whatever happens to improve Africatown, the funds raised through this effort need to stay in Africatown.

“It can be done if people pull together and realize the importance of, this is the place where tragedy turned to triumph,” said Senator Doug Jones. Organizers hope events like these help raise the profile of this community.

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