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APR news to take part in a discussion of slavery in Alabama at GulfQuest Museum

Alabama Digital Archives

APR News Director Pat Duggins will discuss the newsroom’s nine month investigation into preserving slave cemeteries in Alabama as part of a discussion about slavery in the state. The event takes place at the GulfQuest Maritime Museum in Mobile, tomorrow at 10 a.m. Duggins will be joined by William Green of the Clotilda Descendants Association, who will speak about growing up in Africatown as a descendant of one of the last group of kidnapped Africans brought to the United States aboard the slave ship Clotilda. The event at GulfQuest is part of Black History Month, and a lead-in to festival honoring the last known slave ship to cross the Atlantic which starts today in Mobile. The slave trade was abolished in 1860. But not before the Clotilda brought more than one-hundred Africans to Alabama. The fifth annual “Spirit of our Ancestors Festival” will host different documentaries, movies, plays, and speakers from today through Sunday. The Clotilda Descendants Association is putting on the event. Patricia Frazier is member of the association and the co-chairman of the festival. She explains why it’s important for people to participate in the festival.

:Two purposes,” she said. “To celebrate the one ten and to inform people or re-inform who are not aware of the story.”

The Clotilda Descendants Association is putting on the festival through Sunday. Members say they hope to inform people who are not aware of the ship’s story. The festival will host different documentaries, movies, plays, and speakers. Co-chairman Frazier says one of the documentaries being shown was produced by an Alabamian.

The documentary “Descendants” is probably about two hours. And furthermore, it was filmed and produce by a woman named Margaret Brown who happens to be a documentary person and she is a native of Mobile,” she said.

APR’s nine month investigation into preserving slave cemeteries in Alabama began with the first ever ground penetrating radar scan of the Old Prewett Slave Cemetery. That survey uncovered forty unknown graves. APR’s documentary “No Stone Unturned” can be found at the link below.

Valentina Mora is a student intern at the Alabama Public Radio newsroom. She is an international student from Colombia at The University of Alabama. She is majoring in Communicative Disorders and Foreign Languages and Literature. She is part of the Blount Scholars Program and is also pursuing a minor in Music. Although she is not studying to become a journalist, Valentina enjoys reporting, interviewing and writing stories.
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  • Alabama voters head to the polls for the midterm elections next week. One ballot item would abolish slavery in the state. The vote takes place one hundred and fifty seven years after the thirteenth amendment ended the practice nationally. Historians say many of the estimated four hundred thousand enslaved people, who were freed, chose to live out their lives in Alabama. APR spoke to some of their descendants who say they’re still dealing with the impact of the slave trade. The Alabama Public Radio newsroom spent nine months investigating one aspect of that. Namely, the effort to preserve slave cemeteries in the state.
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