Race and Racial Justice

The historical value of Africatown's Hog Bayou was carved in stone long before the Oil Barons of the world discovered Africatown's valuable wetlands. Africatown's Hog Bayou will forever be known as the place in Mobile where the "African" slaves taught the "American" slaves how to feed themselves and their loved ones after slavery had ended. The last recorded shipment of slaves to arrive in America landed aboard the slave ship Clotilde in 1860. The Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, freeing all slaves.

Originally Posted on Life Support Project. “My husband died of renal failure, my neighbor died of renal failure, my other neighbor behind me died of cancer. The lady over there, her granddaughter’s six months pregnant, and was just diagnosed with breast cancer. They live right here at the pit.”

We’re standing in the parking lot of the Marie K. Young Community Center in the Wedgewood community of Pensacola, Florida, a quiet African-American neighborhood.

On Wednesday, advocates and neighbors protested the plan to build a new school on the site of the former Booker T. Washington High, because of concerns over toxic contamination. The site was home to the Silver City / Clio Street Dump from the 1890s through the 1930s.

To commemorate the 155th anniversary of the beginning of the Africatown saga and the 154th anniversary of the landing of the last recorded shipment of slaves to this country, here is a summary of the "Africatown Story" from 1859 to today. (As told to me by Mr. Henry Williams as he taught Sunday School at Yorktown Baptist Church).

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