Posted By Bill Payer on Feb 19, 2022 | 0 comments

During Q&A at the Feb 15 meeting, IAAM CEO/President Tonya Mathews was asked if there would be any slave ship replicas at the museum. She answered ‘probably not’ citing they don’t really control the water bordering the museum site. But she called attention to efforts to salvage the last known slave ship in Alabama.

TIME.com has an article entitled “History Demands We Preserve the Wreck of America’s Last Slave Ship” that talks about the lack of progress raising the ship buried in mud at the bottom of the Mobile River in Alabama. The piece was written by Ben Raines who discovered the wreckage three years.

“When I found the Clotilda in April of 2018 with a team from the University of Southern Mississippi, I felt certain that the ship would be raised from the riverbed and put on display in a world class museum in short order. Preferably in Africatown, the only community in the country founded by enslaved Africans, where the captives who arrived on the Clotilda settled after Emancipation and where their descendants live today.

The wreck is clearly of international historical significance. It is the only ship ever found that was involved in the American slave trade, and one of only 13 slave ships ever located worldwide, though more than 20,000 ships participated in the global slave trade. So few of the ships have been found that the brick-sized piece of a slave ship on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture comes from a South African slave ship that sank in port in Brazil.”

To read the entire TIME story, CLICK HERE

To read about Tonya Mathews’ “behind the scenes tour” of the IAAM CLICK HERE

And to watch a PBS piece on the Clotilda via YouTube CLICK HERE

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