Remembering Africatown: “Spirit of our Ancestors Festival”

Mobile County
Remembering Africatown: "Spirit of our Ancestors Festival"

Mobile, Ala (WKRG)  The Descendants of the last slave ship to ever enter America hosted an event on Saturday in Africatown.   It was the first ever “Spirit of our Ancestors” honoring the families aboard the Clotilda.  Theodore Keeby Jr. is a member of one of the 5 families who trace their ancestry to the slave ship.  Keeby Jr. says, “My family are direct descendants of the Clotilda and I was born and raised out in Plateau. I’m very familiar with the community and I’m very familiar with the people here.”

Hundreds were in attendance at Mobile County’s Training School.  They were able to see artifacts and cultural items from the era.  There were also numerous speakers telling stories of the Clotilda and different eras in Africatown’s history.

Deja Jackson’s family traces her lineage to the Clotilda.  While it’s an unfortunate historical truth, Jackson looks at the event of something more promising.  “It was a bad past.  We went through a lot.  But the generations and what we’re bringing to the world now is what I’m looking at versus the travesty of what happened in the past.”

While this was the first event hosted to celebrate the rich history of Africatown, Keeby hopes there’s many more to come.  “I hope this is not the last time we do this.  I hope we can do this every year.”

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