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Africatown Sounds

Arriving in 1860 on what was the last (and illegal) slave ship, the Clotilda, 32 freed slaves built on the land just outside of Mobile, Alabama, a Black zone of temporality that rivaled nearby white towns in efficiency. The presence of a church, then eventually barbershops, eateries, and general stores among other amenities insured independent living among Black people who settled and lived there. The town would be courted by Mobile and has recently been devastated by environmental racism and pollution, but the self-determined spirit remains. A search for the ruins of the Clotilda proved that the ship existed, but the struggle to make it a monument also remains.

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