Land and Housing

This video was made in April 2014, at a US Human Rights Network hearing on human rights abuses, part of the Mobile Center for Fair Housing’s Regional Justice Leadership summit. I told the story of Africatown’s founding, the introduction of the paper industry and pollution in the 1940's, decline of the industry in the 1990's, and attempts to bring in new industry in 2014.

Africatown's Magazine Point Neighborhood is situated on both the Mobile River and the Three Mile Creek. The part of Magazine Point that sets on the Mobile River is where that last shipment of slaves in America actually landed, whereas that portion that sets on the Three Mile Creek has a spiritual connection because it is the place where that last slave shipment would baptize themselves.

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.

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).

Originally posted May 2nd in the New American Journal. The first foreign substance flowing into Mobile’s drinking water from the new crude oil pipeline is not oil. It’s mud — and whatever welding and other construction debris got stirred into the disturbed earth of the pipe’s broad right-of-way through the watershed of the metro area’s reservoir Big Creek Lake.

Photo: Plains Mobile Watershed Pipeline after the flood – Walter Simon

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