Deep South Road Trip, September 2018, 1 of 22 images

 

AfricaTown, Alabama
[NOTE: there is a map of our entire road trip on the last page of this photo essay.]

Our first stop in Alabama was the historic community of AfricaTown, just outside of Mobile. Founded by West Africans who were on the last known illegal slave ship, the Clotilde, in 1860 (international slave trade was banned in 1808), this community retained their West African customs and language into the 1950s. We drove to the visitor center and were disappointed to find only this sign (left) and the concrete remains of the building's entrance ramp (right). Apparently it was badly damaged in Hurricane Katrina and eventually collapsed. The town itself has an abandoned feel - a lot of boarded up and burned out houses. The few occupied houses had burglar bars on the windows and pitbulls guarding the premises - I didn't make me feel like getting out of the car and walking around so we moved on to our next destination.