Alabama

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.

(Photo: Oberlin College students at Baheth R & D Laboratories Ltd)

On October 18, 2015, two vans carrying students, teachers and their supplies arrived in Mobile from Oberlin College in Cleveland, Ohio, to learn more about Africatown and assist ongoing efforts to help revive the community.

This was their second trip to Africatown in the past year, which indicate how serious the students, teachers and their school are about how they feel about Africatown and how much they want to see something positive happen for its residents.

When the last shipment of slaves landed in America in 1860, they originally stayed in a camp along the Mobile River inhabited by a group of slaves known as the Moors. That co-habitation did not go well and they eventually moved inland and formed the township of Plateau. They begin buying up land, building schools and churches and expanding the community to about 2,000 acres or about five square miles. Eventually, other former slaves heard about this sanctuary and began moving to Africatown.

One of my favorite television shows today are reruns of the hit series from the 60's called "The Untouchables". The word "Untouchable" referred to the good guys or FBI.  Federal Agent Elliot Ness and his crew were given the task of bringing down the Mob led by Al Capone and Frank Nittie. Whenever the Mob wanted to move their operation to another city the first thing they would do is call in their tough guys and give them cases of money to buy out the locals and change any law that could hinder their operation. That way they would be operating within the confines of the "new law".

Some people might stand in the shadow of Mobile, Alabama's Cochran-Africatown Bridge and see nothing but the sprawling tank farms, barges and coal terminals that clutter the Mobile River's banks, stretching northward from south of downtown to historic Africatown and beyond.   

dead dolphin and childBy Kathleen M Walker-Gordon. On June 25, 2010, when oil had been flowing from BP's well in the Gulf of Mexico for 66 days, Kathleen Walker-Gordon sat down in her Orange Beach home and wrote.  She wrote of her anger that one corporation could do so much destruction, and she wrote of her family's history in charter fishing, a way of life she feared was gone.  Here's that original essay, and an update

ana_chauBayou La Batre, Alabama - Like so many on the Gulf Coast, Ana Chau is dealing with two disasters.

This time last year, she and her husband made their living shucking oysters.  Now they are out of work, their industry crippled indefinitely by the millions of gallons of crude oil and toxic dispersant dumped into the Gulf of Mexico by BP.

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