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Dreams of Africa in Alabama: An Excerpt

My first thought upon picking up this book was, “why haven’t I heard this story before?” Incredibly, the year before the Civil War broke out and more than fifty years after the United States legally abolished the international slave trade, the last shipment of slaves were brought ashore under the cover of night. After the war, these brief-slaves settled in Alabama, founding a settlement still inhabited today by their ancestors. Sylviane A. Diouf, the author of Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America, tells the stories of these West Africans forced to become Americans. Below is an excerpt from the introduction.

On a January night in 2002, a truck backed up to a statue in front of Union Missionary Baptist Church, north of Mobile, Alabama.

One or two people got out, cut through parts of the heavy bronze bust, ripped it from its brick base, and disappeared with their loot. The theft shocked and angered the congregation of pastor A. J. Crawford, Sr. Dreams_of_africaThey had just celebrated the New Year and were preparing to commemorate, the following month, the 130th anniversary of the church. Unlike those of the Virgin Mary or George Washington, this statue was the only one of its kind in the country. The theft struck at the very core of a community that will never have any equivalent in North America. Determined to bring the statue back home, the congregation established a reward fund. In case the bust was not found, the money would be used to cast a new one. The wooden model, carved fifty years earlier, was still in town.

The statue dated back to 1959, when a steel shaft was sunk 100 feet into the earth in front of the church, to commemorate the one hundred years that had passed since the honored man and his companions had set foot on Alabama soil. The bust and the shaft were the symbols of an exceptional tale. In the summer of 1860, less than a year before the outbreak of the Civil War, one hundred and ten young men, women, and children were brought to the Alabama River, north of Mobile. They had just spent six weeks onboard the Clotilda, a fast schooner that had brought them from a world away. They were the last recorded group of captive Africans brought to the United States. Acting for Timothy Meaher, one of the most prominent businessmen in Mobile, Captain William Foster had smuggled them in under cover of night. He had to be careful because decades earlier, on January 1, 1808, the country had abolished the international slave trade. Although tens of thousands of Africans had since landed, the slavers could, in theory, be hanged.

After emancipation, the young people tried to get back home but, unable to do so, they eventually bought land and founded their own town. One of their first major enterprises was the construction of a church. Cudjo Lewis used to ring the bell. One hundred and thirty years later, it was his bronze bust that was stolen from in front of the brick building that had replaced the white clapboard church erected by the men and women of the Clotilda. Cudjo did not belong to a distant past: he lived through World War I, Garvey’s Back to Africa Movement, the Great Migration, and the Great Depression. He died in 1935, the last survivor of the last slave ship.

Cudjo and his companions were part of a tiny group of people born in Africa who witnessed the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the early decades of the twentieth century. To these men and women in their eighties and nineties living in the Jim Crow South, the Middle Passage was still a painfully vivid memory.

They have been all but forgotten today, but those who arrived on the Clotilda have also been denied. Their very existence was disregarded by President James Buchanan, who assured the country that the last slave ship had landed in 1858. W. E. B. Du Bois did not include their voyage in his celebrated book The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade. Warren S. Howard and Hugh Thomas dismissed it as a hoax in their extensive studies of the transatlantic slave trade. And up to the present day, historians and writers tout the Wanderer as the last slave ship to the United States, even though her trip had ended eighteen months earlier than the Clotilda’s.

If the date of their awful journey has been contested or even refuted, more importantly, these Africans’ singular experience has not generated much attention, although they realized more in America than many other groups of immigrants. In the heart of the Deep South, in Plateau and Magazine Point, three miles north of Mobile, they created a small town, the first continuously controlled by blacks, the only one run by Africans. And unlike most post-Reconstruction black settlements, theirs has endured, and is home to hundreds of their descendants, who, in turn, form the only African American community whose members can all identify their African ancestors.

Their story started in West Africa, in the Bight of Benin, a region known, ominously, as the Slave Coast. From small towns in the countries that are today Benin and Nigeria, young adults, teenagers, and children were brought to the coast and locked up in a slave pen, a barracoon, in Ouidah. They had names like Kossola, Abache, Abile, Omolabi, Kupollee, Kêhounco, and Arzuma. They were farmers, fishermen, and traders; they followed Islam, Vodun, or the Orisa. Some had been married, others were too young to have gone through initiation.

The largest group was made up of prisoners of war captured by the Dahomian army during a dawn attack on their town. The rest of their companions were victims of kidnappings or slave raids. They spoke various languages, had lived in different parts of the region, and had different cultures and experiences. But in the barracoon and on the Clotilda, they created a strong, tight-knit community.

The man at the origin of their dreadful journey, Timothy Meaher, owned a plantation and, with his brothers James and Burns, a shipyard and several steamers. As some people in the South were agitating for the reopening of the international slave trade, he had bet a large sum that he could bring “a shipful of niggers” to Mobile and not be caught. His accomplice in the scheme, William Foster, was the builder of the Clotilda. With his schooner disguised as an innocuous cargo ship, Foster sailed to Ouidah in March 1860. There, in a barracoon near the beach, he selected nineteen-year-old Kossola—who became Cudjo Lewis; Kêhounco, a young girl who had been kidnapped; Arzuma, a Muslim woman from the North; and dozens of their companions.

Brought to America and enslaved for almost five years on plantations and steamboats, the young Africans formed a bloc, distinct from everyone else, and ready to stand up forcefully to anybody, white or black, they perceived as a threat. Once free again, they regrouped, and put their energy into finding a way to go back to their families in Africa. When their plan failed, they decided to do the next best thing: recreate Africa where they were. They shared all they had, saved money, built each other’s houses, and solved problems collectively. Despite the hardships, their sense of unity and kinship made their “African Town” a success. Conversing in a common West African language, they ruled their settlement according to their laws. Gumpa, a nobleman from Dahomey who had fallen from grace, was their chief; and they appointed two young men to be their judges.

Within this African enclave, they raised their children, teaching them the languages and values they had learned from their families and brought from the homelands they cherished. Long after their deportation, they still hoped the interviews they gave to curious strangers would somehow get word to their relatives that they were still alive…

…In the summer of 1928, Zora Neale Hurston spent two months gathering detailed information from Cudjo Lewis for a book. He told her about his youth and capture, the Middle Passage, enslavement, and life in African Town. Hurston finished the last draft of her manuscript, titled Barracoon, in April 1931. She had produced an invaluable document on the lives of a group of people with a unique experience in American history. She sent it to publishers, but it never found a taker, and has still not been published.

From what Abache, Cudjo, and the others said to outsiders and to their own children and grandchildren, from court documents, and from photographs, a clear enough picture of their lives, with a few shady spots, has emerged. Very little of the experience of Africans deported to and enslaved in the West has come to light, and it has generally been through the autobiographies or biographies of a handful of successful men such as Olaudah Equiano, Ottobah Cugoano, or Venture Smith. Next to nothing is known about the lives and aspirations of ordinary people, particularly of women. But precious information can be found in the Clotilda Africans’ own words, those of the Americans who met them or lived among them, and the words of their descendants…

…Their legacy has endured. Thousands of their descendants now reside all over the country, but know that African Town, now called Africatown, is their homeplace. Many, in the fifth generation, still live on the land their ancestors bought and developed, their sturdy houses having replaced the founders’ wooden homes. But what has not changed is their sense of being “different” and their determination to preserve a peculiar heritage…

They had the same dream as twelve and a half million Africans sent against their will to the Americas: returning home to their families. Like almost all of them, they did not realize it. But they tried to recreate their own Africa on the soil of Alabama.

Editor’s Note on Comments: Please do not leave personal contact information in the comments. If you wish to be contacted, please leave an email — not your personal home address or telephone number.

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41 Responses to “Dreams of Africa in Alabama: An Excerpt”
  1. Leroy Jacobs says:

    Very good information!!

  2. tootsie says:

    Amazing story;testament of people coming together

  3. Gregory Henry says:

    I have been interested in this area and the Clotilda story for years. I grew up in Plateau, but now live in San Jose, California. How can I get a copy of Ms. Diouf’s book.

  4. Carletta Singleton says:

    I was born and raised in Plateau, AL. My family’s homestead still exist there today.
    As a child I had heard about Cudjo Lewis and my father’s family is a member of the Union Baptist Church. Some still attend there today.
    I have a neice, who is doing her Master’s Research in the Art of Dance at New York University. It is entiled “Red Clay” from the red clay dirt in Plateau. She has just learned that our sirname, Singleton is listed on the birth certificate of Cudjo Lewis. How wonderful is that? As part of final master research, she will chorograph a dance interpeting her research.
    We will hold our 8th Biannual Singleton Family Reunion in Mobile, AL this summer.

  5. Pablo Sierra says:

    Im originally from the Mobile area now living in Atlanta Ga.I grew up in near by Pricard Alabama,I rememeber as a kid walking with friends over to the Plateau park to go swiming at the recreation center pool and watching the local baseball games,the Plateau to me has always been a since of community,then when I was young and still to this day,I always felt a since of home in the Plateau Africatown and now I know why.I enjoyed the information posted.

  6. Vershawn Sanders says:

    Hello,
    I was also born in Plateau and I am the niece of Carletta Singleton. I am presenting a solo performance on my research and connection to the Red Earth of Plateau. My home. The home of my ancestors. My research still continues but this solo will deal with what information I have found thus far. So if you are in New York City the weekend of May 16th -18th come and see the performance. It is a part of a concert entitled Exit Only by myslef and my fellow graduate students. It will take place at Tisch School of the Arts, 111 Second Ave., between 6th and 7th Street. THe performance is free and it stars all three nights at 8pm. Hope you can make it!! My research continues and I will post what ever information I find about the Singleton Family!!

  7. I was born and raised in Plateau. In fact some of my family still resides there. I attended MCTS and graduated from Vigor High School. I attended Union Missionary Baptist Church and still have ties there although I now reside in Los Angeles, Ca.
    I am proud of my heritage and the fact that I come from a place with deep roots and family values. I love our history and I am always looking for anything that has to do with Plateau, having learned from a very young age about Cudjo Lewis and knowing his family members that were a part of our Church during my childhood days.

  8. Barbara Crenshaw Sellers says:

    This information is very exhilarating and gratifying to me, because in this experience these families found optimism in their lives and persevered.

  9. Reggie Lee says:

    I just finished the book and felt like I relived some of what they experienced. I was born in Birmingham, AL but recently stopped by Africatown to walk the grounds Cudjo Lewis and Peter Lee walked as strangers in a new land. I also took some recent pictures and would be glad to share if anyone is interested.

  10. Dazerine Ingram says:

    Really Interestng.Beautiful that they came together as A group, to make the best Of life in Alabama.I must get the book,I read the Excert. I am A native Of Birmingham,Alabama When I visit there again I much check it out.

  11. Torrais Singleton Glenn says:

    I grew up in Mobile and can remember my familt always telling us about Mr. Cudjo Lewis. How great a Story to remember and honor him by.

  12. Suzy M. Harris says:

    I am 37-years-old and I live with my 16 year old daughter in Greensboro, NC. I was raised in Cleveland, Ohio but was born in Plateau. It is stated on my Birth Certificate. A lot of my family is in Happy Hill.

    I would definately like to know more about the life of my Grandma Priscilla “Soot” Harris/Reed of Mobile, AL. born @ 1899 or 1900 deceased in May 1995 in Mobile, AL.

  13. Vernetta Peters Henson says:

    I am 59 years old and a direct descendant of Cudjo Lewis. My Second Great Grandfather, Polee Allen, was reported to be a brother of Cudjo Lewis. I have heard many stories from my Grandmother, Mrs. Ora A. Floyd, about the values and sense of unity and perserverance taught to her by her parents and grandparents and about the values of the old country. Their strong faith in God helped them to become citizen of worth and enabled them to produce children of the same caliber and character. I am pleased to have been reard by my grandparents (Mr. & Mrs. Nathan D. Floyd). They taught me lessons that I hold dear to my heart and I will pass everything that they taught me on to my children and grandchildren and will encourage them to do the same. I also was surrounded by many extended family members. (aunts, uncles, great aunts and great uncles.)

  14. Vernetta Peters Henson says:

    I live in the Mobile area and I was married at the Union Missionary Baptist church where I am still a member. The whole worship experience is phenomenal as well as unique.

  15. Tametra Allen says:

    Hello all, I am a great-grandaughter of Polee Allen. My grandfather was Henderson Allen and my father is Alister Allen. I too was told that Cudjoe Lewis and Polee Allen were brothers.

    I am interested in learning more about our family…I have learned a lot from both my dad and from research on the internet. We plan to read the book published as soon as we can find a copy.

    My father remembers a lot but his father, Henderson, passed away when he was only 14 years old. He has fond memories of growing up in Alabama, he was raised in Union Missionary Baptist Church, memories of his uncle Clarence and Aunt Eva, some of his grandfather, Polee Allen’s children.

    I and my father are interested in finding out much more, we live in California.

    Hoping to reade more comments from family members.

    Sincerely, Tametra

  16. Tametra Allen says:

    We’ve found the book! My dad got it from the library and OMG, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the picture of Polee Allen, my father, who is his grandson, resembles him very much. My father was also amazed. I have now ordered my own copy and waiting for it to be delivered next week. I can’t wait to began reading and reliving our history.

    Hope to hear from family members soon.

    Tametra Allen

  17. catherine benjamin bacon says:

    i have just finish reading this information on mr, cudjo lewis i lived in plateau as a child ,i heard of him but not as much as iam reading now, but i will get the book, as soon as i can ,thanks for the information. catherine b. bocon, ft, lauderdale fl.

  18. Kimberly Harris says:

    “Wow” I plan to read the book soon, I was also born a raised in Mobile,Alabama and raised in Plateau. I lived on Front street near Mr. Hubbard store. As a child I attended Whitley Elementary School and County Middle School. I plan to visit Mobile soon. Great information.

  19. Kimberly Harris says:

    Reggie Lee may I please view your Pictures?

    Thanks!!

  20. Hello, I am Cleon Jones,Jr. of the Jones, Marshall,Jacobs and Lee family. My father is Cleon Jones, Sr. who played for the New York Mets. We are decendants of Peter Lee,Gumpa. My father met Sylvianne A. Diouf,author of Dreams of Africa in Ala., and spent time with her when she visited Plateau. I live in ATL,GA, but spend time in Mobile to help bring nat’l attension to AfricanTown & volunteer with the AfricaTown youth.

  21. LeAnne Roberts says:

    Cleon,

    I am not sure if you will get this message, but I believe we may be related. Since our family reunions have stopped, I am not aware of my many relatives from Mobile. I am of the Bracy & Lee family, being the great-great-granddaughter of Peter Lee and the great-granddaughter of Sidney Lee (to my knowledge). Some of my cousins are Marshalls and the Jones family sounds very familiar. I am very interested in receiving further information about Africatown. I will keep checking this board in case you reply. Thank you!

  22. Shirley Phelps-Pollard says:

    My fathers family the Edwards on Richardson st has been in Plateau,Al for over 85 years.I have tried to visit and learn more about Africatown and never get close to learning if there is a tie to our family there. I have gone the the Africatown welcome center many times and its never open,I don’t know where else to go.I just leave there and go over to the Plateau cemetary to honor my Grandmother,who we called Mama Note and my father who is named Ellis Edwards.I feel such a strong connection with Plateau and love coming there 2/3 times ayear.My mother was born and raised in Prichard and Whistler,Al.she attended MCTS,some of her family still reside in those areas.I am trying to learn as much as possible about the historical significance of Plateau with Africatown.I am going to try and get the book to read more on the history of Africatown.I was just in Mobile/Plateau from a reunion that was held in Birmingham,Al.there was a book signing of Dr.Natalie Robertson,about the ship”Clotilda” at the Museum of Mobile on Royal
    st August 7th 2008,we were leaving that morning and didn’t get a chance to attend this book signing.I am going to get her book and read it also.

  23. vernetta peters henson says:

    My name is Vernetta Peters Henson, a descendant of Polee Allen. I still attend Union Missionary Baptist Church and would like to talk to each one who writes in on this website. I was at the book signing with Dr. Robertson and am in touch with her on occasion.
    My home phone is 251-478-4478. I remain open to re-uniting with all of the descendants and fellowshiping with them.

  24. Thomas Summerlin says:

    Shirley Phelps-Pollard,

    My name is Thomas Summerlin, and I am a fifth generational member of the Summerlin-Richardson Family still residing in Plateau, Al. It was spoken to me by my grandmother (Geneva Richardson-Summerlin) that Miss Note was a dear friend of hers, and by my father (Thomas “T.J.” Summerlin) that Ellis Edwards was one of his lifelong friends. I was too young to personaliy remember Miss Note,and only vaguely remember Mr. Ellis Edwards. Unfortunately, Both my parents past away resently, but if there is anything else I can help you with about Plateau, its history, and/or any other information, please let me know.

    Plateau is at an exciting point in its history, which is defining its future. Many of our residents are meeting and getting together to ensure that the community and its history will continue. hopefully those of you how have moved away will one day return to continue the legacy set before us. I moved away when I was young because I wanted to see the world, but a sense of purpose kept calling me back everytime I visited Plateau. I always thought, If not me, then who! So now I am committed to living here in Plateau, and trying to make it a better place.

  25. Tametra Allen says:

    Vernetta, I am so glad that you finally wrote something back here. I am so very interested in talking to you along with my father…we are also descendants of Polee (& Lucy) Allen. I will contact you soon…I want to know the rest of my family as well. I am currently reading ‘Dreams of Africa’ and am almost finished and I will be reading ‘The Slave Ship Clotilda’ next. I am anxious to talk with you.

    Talk to you soon,

    T

  26. Pat says:

    Works Project Administration. Slave Narratives [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2000. Original data: Works Project Administration. Federal Writers Project. Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. Washington, D.C.: n.p., n.d.

    State: Alabama Interviewee: Lewis, Cudjoe
    Lewis, Cudjoe

    State: Alabama Interviewee: Lewis, Cudjoe
    (Alabama Archives, Montgomery. Louise Porter (Colored) Identification No. 0149-4249. Federal Writers Project, Dist. 6. WPA Project 694, New No. 2661. August 15, 1936)

    State: Alabama Interviewee: Lewis, Cudjoe
    On April 20, 1861, the last cargo of negro slaves imported to the United States was brought to Mobile. This date was given by the obituary of Captain Tim Meaher, who died in 1892.

    State: Alabama Interviewee: Lewis, Cudjoe
    The War between the States at this time was already on, and this black cargo created quite a sensation in Mobile, and the South, hundreds going down to the foot of St Anthony St to see the slaves gibbering in their tribal language.

    State: Alabama Interviewee: Lewis, Cudjoe
    The planters of the South generally did not desire savages from Africa, but desired those either born in the United States or the West Indian Islands, because they did not have to break them in for laboring purposes. The schooner Clotilde sailed from Lonanda in Africa with several hundred negroes, prisoners captured by the warriors of the tribe in a war with another tribe, and sold to American speculators. The Clotilde safely reached the Mississippi sound and was taken in charge by Captain Tim Meaher and run up Mobile Bay and river by night.

    State: Alabama Interviewee: Lewis, Cudjoe
    The negroes were then hidden in the delta marshes of upper Baldwin County at the head of Mobile Bay, and the Clotilde was taken to Bayou Conner and burned to the hull edge. The authorities took proceedings against Captain Tim Meaher, and although the case was tried with able lawyers on either side, the Captain of the Clotilde was kept out of the way and Captain Meaher proved that he had been in and about Mobile all the time. The result was that he was acquitted. After everything had blown over the slaves were divided by Captain Meaher among different person in interest. Many of the negroes were sent up the river to plantations, others were also employed in building redans and redoubts up the river, while the remainder remained in the neighborhood of Mobile river above Mobile on Meaher’s land and that part of the suburb of Plateau known as “Affrishy Town”, were up to the death of these slaves (Cudjoe Lewis, the subject of this article being the last), the pure African Lonanda tribal was spoken.

    State: Alabama Interviewee: Lewis, Cudjoe
    These last slaves were known as the “Tarkars”, an African tribe, captured and brought here on the ship “Clotilde”. In this number was Raseola Lewis, but later known to every one as “Uncle Cudjoe Lewis”.

    State: Alabama Interviewee: Lewis, Cudjoe
    Uncle Cudjoe lived in an old cabin, next door to the Union Baptist Church in the Plateau Community for nearly a century or until he died Friday, October 2nd, 1935, being the last of the number who came on the “Clotilde”. He was a member of this church and served as janitor for seventy years, very active, and able to perform his duties until a few months before he died at the ripe old age of 105 years.

    State: Alabama Interviewee: Lewis, Cudjoe
    Uncle Cudjoe was intelligent and possessed with a keen memory. He could relate stories about his early life in Africa and the United States, and was often interviewed by representatives of the leading newspapers and magazines of the country. He loved his church and could quote intelligently many scriptures in the Bible.

    State: Alabama Interviewee: Lewis, Cudjoe
    Uncle Cudjoe’s life was a great influence on the people of his community. He was respected by members of both races. Hundreds of whites as well as Negroes attended his funeral, paying homage to his bier. Members of both races spoke on the life and struggles of this historical character.

    State: Alabama Interviewee: Lewis, Cudjoe
    The population of Plateau is 2,537 (all negroes) being descendants of Uncle Cudjoe and others who came with the last load of slaves.

    State: Alabama Interviewee: Lewis, Cudjoe
    [Reference: Obituary of Captain Timothy Meaher, in Mobile Register, March 4, 1892; Mobile Under Five Flags, by Peter J. Hamilton; Dropped Stitches from Mobile's Past, by Erwin Craigbad, in The Mobile Register, Sunday, April 21, 1929; The Mobile Sun, Negro paper.]

  27. Hello,
    I am doing research on the Singleton Family which owned a lot of land in Plateau and orginally purchased the property the Plateau cemetary is on from Cudjoe Lewis. Looking to get information to research futher back than William Singleton born 1775.

    My e-mail is vershawn@redclaydance.com if you have any info I would love to get it.

  28. Carletta Singleton says:

    My family have been holding a family reunions since 1993 every two years. On even numbered years we come home to Mobile or Biloxi,MS. I am thinking the next time we are in Mobile, 2010, could be a grand time for a big reunion. What we have learned in tracing our Family History is that a majority of people living in Plateau were all related.
    So here is a grand idea, why not have a AfricaTown Family Reunion? Let me know if you and your family would be interested in participating. We would like to know general interest prior to making any plans.
    thanks

  29. Sandra says:

    Anyone with info regarding Sunbeam Gaines, born
    circa 1910 in plateau, Mother was named Roxy?

  30. Pamela Sanders-Dawson says:

    I am looking for information about Rebecca Allen-Ellis. She lived with her children in Plateau and have several children that still live there. I think that the Ellis family attended Union church as well. Rebecca Ellis is my husband aunt.
    Looking forward to hearing from someone soon.

  31. Omar Smith says:

    I was Born In Africa Town. My Granmother Helen Tinker Smith lived on the mobile river where the paper mill is she was born in 1879, when she died in 1975 according to their records she was 103 three years old. she raised cows on the other side of the river. her remains my uncle and aunt are in the plateau cemetary. She was a close friend of cudjo Lewis and the late Henry C Williams. She was a member Green Grove bapthist church in Happy Hill which was across the tracks from Lewis (cudjo relatives) quarter. Iam a 1969 graduate of Mobile Co Trng School. Go Whippets. we need the History of Mobile Co Trng School God Bless You.

  32. michael a shearer says:

    I was born in africa town. my grand mother rebecca johnson -shearer was strong member in the community. she played the piano in church. my other side of the family lived on cherry st .florazell andrews-robinson was my grand mother I am proud to know people are gone but not forgotten. I live in detroit michigan at this time. Soon to retire and move home. If you are a family feel free to contact me. 1313 595 0234 god bless you.

  33. vernetta henson says:

    Please contact me, Vernetta Henson. I am a member of Union Baptist church and attend Sunday School and Church every Sunday. Rebecca Allen Ellis Was married to my Grandmother’s brother. ( The late Edwin Ellis) and their grandfather was Pollee Allen. My Grandfather had a Neice (Vivian Bently) who married Coley Dawson. I am very anxious to get in contact with you. be blessed

  34. James E. Woods says:

    My name is James E. Woods. Henry C. Williams is/was my cousin. He and my father Simms E. Woods Jr. were first cousins. My grandfather owned Simms Cleaners and was one of the first grauates of Mobile County Training School 1911 Tenth Grade. As a child I used to go over to the cleaners and some older ladies use to say that I looked like Papa Elijah my great-grandfather. Henry took my brothers and sister to the Plateau Cemetery ans showed us graves Like West and Polly Woods who died in 1907 but were 78 years old. I know I have family out there. My family is also the Adams (Sam is still living). But my Dad had a lot of family. I was born when my parents were older so I’m missing a lot. Henry was working on the AfricaTown project in 2001, but he since passed. My email is woodsjej@aol.com.

  35. Jeannetta says:

    My Name is Jeannetta I’m a decendant of the Woods family of Platuea Alabama. I am currently looking for Lille B Woods Hall decendants. If any of them reads this I would like to make contact. Or if some one who knows any of her decendant who let them know that I would like to make contact. My email is jeanstep2[at]yahoo[dot]com
    Thanks

  36. vernetta peters henson says:

    Hi, My name is Vernetta Peters Henson and I live in Mobile AL and I Am trying to contact Pamela Sanders-Dawson regarding the Ellis Family. please feel free to contact me.

  37. Rachel Jones says:

    My second great grandfather is also Polee Allen. My father’s grandmother was his daughter Eva Allen-Jones. I’ve been trying to find this Tarkar Tribe. I’m not getting very far

  38. catherine benjamin says:

    I’ve heard about the family reunions. My father, Royal benjamin mother was name Mattie Singleton Benjamin. Her father name was Frank Singletin he once had a store and a big antebellium house on front street right next to the Brown’s and Tinsley’s. I am told that they were all sisters, brothers and cousins. As a young girl I remember walking to Plateau with my grandmother to Pkateau to go the the big house. Where they used to party. I know some of my cousins. Clarine, Janice, Jaunita, Sandra, Eric Tinsley. Russell Davis. I went to school with them but sadly I didn’t get to know them intimately as cousins should have. Somebody contact me please.

  39. Aiasha Pearson says:

    Cudjo is my great grandfather… His statue is I.front of union baptist church, my grandmother Dorothy Catlin 90 yrs old now… Lewis Quarters is the land Cudjo left for us which my family live on, soo much history

  40. Jeffrey peterson says:

    My name is Jeffrey Peterson and my family came to America on the Clotilda my ancestors was billy and Sally smith who was owned by the rich Alabama planter colonel Washington smith my family was on the ship with cud joe Lewis I still have family in Mobil Alabama the olds and the Craig’s if any one has more info .

  41. Bernadette Harris carter says:

    Hello Caretta singleton. My name is Bernadette. I lived about three house down from you at 1019 b front street for many years. Mama Thelma Shamburger.lived further down the street. She was once a midwife and delivered me in a place called the New Quarters.I have always thought that this was a slave quarter’s once. Do you or anyone have any information about the new quarters. I read about Lewis Quarters and it’s involvement with Cudjo. Are there any connections. Also I think an Africa town would be wonderful. I hope one day a movie could be made of this. It would be just as good or better than 12 years a slave.

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