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The survivors of the Clotilda

Durkin, Hannah

The Clotilda, the last slave ship to land on American soil, docked in Mobile Bay, Alabama, in July 1860, more than half a century after the passage of a federal law banning the importation of slaves, and nine months before the beginning of the Civil War. Five of its passengers, ranging in age from two to nineteen when kidnapped, died between 1922 and 1940. They were the last witnesses to the final act of a terrible and significant period in world history. In this epic work, Dr. Hannah Durkin tells the stories of these five survivors, drawing on her intensive archival, historical, and sociological research. The Last Ship follows their lives from their kidnappings in what is modern-day Benin through a terrifying 45-day journey across the Middle Passage; from the subsequent sale of the ship's 110 African men, women, and children in slavery across Alabama to the dawn of the Civil Rights movement in Selma; from the foundation of an all-Black African Town (later Africatown) in Northern Mobile, an inspiration for writers of the Harlem Renaissance, including Zora Neale Hurston, to the foundation of Gee's Bend Quilters Collective, a Black artistic circle whose cultural influence remains enormous.


Hannah Durkin.


Compact disc.

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