Joe Womack's blog

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the Mobile County Training School Alumni Association President Anderson Flen and the hard work of alumni George Jackson, Isaac Jones, Cleophas Armstead, Curtis Malone and Alphonso Fairly, the historic tradition of Africatown's freedom bell will live on as a new bell was dedicated on the campus of historic Mobile County Training School on August 23, 2017.

Our early education in public school taught us that the continent of Africa is the cradle of civilization for our planet. It is considered the cradle of civilization because the oldest known fossil remains of a human was found there and because of that fossil finding it is believed that the human population grew and evolved from the continent of Africa.

Africatown, AL -- Supporters and friends of the Africatown community recently took it upon themselves to replace two historic community treasures that were removed or destroyed more than twenty years ago. Two historic institutions of the community - the Union Missionary Baptist Church of Africatown and the Mobile County Training School Alumni Association - worked together to replace the bust of Cudjo Lewis and the treasured Africatown freedom bell.

In May, Africatown native and resident Ruth Washington, Africatown native & supporter Major Joe Womack and Africatown supporter & Mobile Environmental Justice Action Coalition President Ramsey Sprague traveled to Washington, D.C. to talk with politicians and various department members -  including the Congressional Black Caucus - about Africatown's current environmental justice situation and to support the world's 2016 Break Free (from fossil fuel) theme to "Keep It In The Ground".  

The Africatown community and other residents within the boundary of Mobile's District 2 received what amounts to "a public lashing" a few weeks ago as the city council voted by a count of 6 to 1 to approve an ordinance that will allow more storage tanks to be constructed within city limits. This ordinance was not wanted, asked for and did not deserve to be dumped on the citizens of Mobile.

The "okey-doke, as defined by Urban Dictionary and Africatown folklore means to pull the wool over your opposition's eyes, to outsmart your opposition, to say one thing and mean another or to gain the upper hand by using trickery. President George W. Bush once famously said,"Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me."

Of the 65 plus years I have spent on this earth, nearly 60 of those years I have been a resident of the Africatown Community and The City Of Mobile. I spent 4 years away in Virginia earning a Business Degree in College and 2 years of active Military Service in The Marine Corps. I am probability one of the few Africatown natives in Mobile that can successfully name all 4 swimming holes within the Africatown community utilized by Africatown residents during the 1950's and 1960's.

Community Blight can normally be cleared up in two ways: by restoring the structure considered as blight or by tearing it down. Typically, it is easier and cheaper to tear something down than to repair it.

The Africatown Community is different than most African - American Communities because about 50 percent of the community has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places and should be protected and restored at all costs.

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