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.
The history of Africatown's Community Gardens goes back about 55 years. Recently the community proudly showcased its Community Gardens with a ribbon cutting ceremony to kick off its first Share The Harvest Day Celebration. There is however, a dark cloud hovering over the Community Gardens as it does over other parts of the Africatown Community.
The Recovery School District (RSD) plans to build a new school on a toxic site in New Orleans, and it has the blessing of the state’s Department of Environmental Quality. But a lawsuit and growing community opposition seek to stop the plan.
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).
Opposites appeared at opposite ends of Alabama on June 5. At the upper extreme a rally in Florence called for tar sands mining to stop before it begins. At the lower extreme of the state the energy industry staged a forum to which the public was invited — as spectators, not participants – in Mobile.
Approximately 300 people filled the Castine Center in Mandeville, Louisiana on Monday, May 12th. The crowd was electric. The majority of them held signs with slogans such as “We can’t drink your excuses,” and “Frack-Free St. Tammany.”
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