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Tour Locations

1. Old Plateau Cemetery

2. Union Baptist Church 

3. The Peter Lee 'Gumpa' Chimney

4. Mobile County Training  School 

5. Africatown Point

Africatown cemetery embodies an invisible thread back to the birthplace of the original victims and the families that lived on. In the Africatown cemetery, all the stones face East towards the rising sun, the direction of home, and the place of return. In traditional Yoruba belief, the spirit of an individual does not fade after passing. Rooted in Vodoun, a cyclic ideology lends to the idea that life continues on, just in a different setting - and death is simply the mode of transit. Remembering one’s ancestors is an integral part of this belief system. In addition, it is one of the burial grounds for the original Buffalo Soldiers

Churches have long been an integral part of Black and African American communities, especially in the South. Alongside the comfort of congregating and faith’s role in providing hope during painful times, churches also provided a safe space and shelter from the White world outside. In Africatown, the Union Baptist Church has been a beating heart since its inception in 1869. The 1971 Baptist Convention was hosted inside the small and precious space, and critical written documentation of Africatown’s history resides within its walls. The present-day congregation consists of around 200 worshippers, but at its historical peak, close to 1,000 people convened within the space.

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Union Baptist Church

Bay Bridge Rd. Mobile, Alabama

The Peter lee Chimney is important because of its history...

Peter Lee 'Gumpa' Chimney 

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Old Plateau Cemetery

The resting place for most of the Clotilda survivors.

Africatown’s founders were fundamentally and ideologically committed to making sure that their children and their children’s children would be able to build something brand new and beautiful out of the wreckage from which they themselves had emerged. And they knew that the key to this seemingly insurmountable challenge was education. In 1880, despite limited means, Africatown residents donated their own property for the establishment of what would become known as the Mobile County Training School (MCTS). In 1912,  African American leader and educator Booker T. Washington  and the Jewish philanthropist and founder of the Sears Corporation Julius Rosenwald formed a partnership that would lead to one of the largest public investments in Black education ever recorded - the Rosenwald Schools. Nearly 5,000 schools were built to honor Black and African American students and to offer the rightful education a prejudiced system was withholding. Adricatown’s Mobile County Training school is one of these beloved and critical institutions. 

After being subjected to the murder of loved ones, abducted, and then trafficked, a six-week voyage of unspeakable abuse led to the shore that would later become Africatown’s waterfront. Juxtaposing the brutality the survivors endured and the death they witnessed, the waterfront was filled with life. Not only the precious human lives that would go on to foster Africatown, but this area of Mobile Bay was also a budding utopia for life forms of all kinds. Plants, fungi, micro-organisms, mammals, marine animals - and also the communities they form - is a measure of an area’s health, also called Biodiversity. Naturalist, writer, and former journalist Ben Raines wrote a book on the subject titled Saving America’s Amazon. And that amazon was Alabama’s Mobile River Basin, a network of rivers and their corresponding areas.

Once a thriving environment lush with unprecedented biodiversity, the area is now suffering from, as Raines calls it, a ‘silent massacre’. Encroached by industrial forces and wracked by pollution, a sacred area of planet earth and its biology is being snuffed out. Once teeming with life, countless species are continuing to be impacted - and at risk for further extinction - by the slow death of Alabama’s once-remarkable biodiversity. Recently, the Africatown waterfront is not safe to swim, fish in, or drink from. Following the discovery of the Clotilda, the world at large is ready to witness the story. Reconciliation is only possible through the honest, transparent sharing of history, and the root of any community is the willingness to do exactly that. And communal spaces are sacred to humanity’s ability to listen, learn, and do better. We foresee a restored waterfront. A place that will go from unsafe to a sanctuary for storytelling and collective experience - not only for the tourists who will be flooding in, but for the people who call Africatown home. 

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Africatown Point

Bay Bridge Rd. Mobile, Alabama

Africatown Map.webp

Call 

757-332-3555

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