The last American slave ship docked illegally in Mobile, Alabama, in 1860, carrying about 160 West African captives.
Among them was Cudjo Lewis, who recognized how his birth culture might be erased while toiling in this new land.
So when he was freed, he purchased two acres and started a self-sufficient community of survivors of the last slave ship.
Cudjo Lewis was known to outsiders as Africatown, Lewis’ neighborhood was modeled on his West African home, where extended families lived together, members conversed in their regional languages, and took part in traditions that might otherwise be lost to them in America.
Today, Africatown still exists and houses the descendants of the nation’s last slave ship community.