Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America by Sylviane A. Diouf
Dreams of Africa in Alabama is an incredibly well researched book that details the history of the passengers of the Clotilda, the people who enslaved them and what life was like while living in Africa, while being enslaved and the reality of freedom after the Civil War set them free. It’s a unique history because the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade was closed decades before their arrival, making their passage to the United States illegal. This also meant that the majority of the people enslaved at the time, were born and raised in slavery. They had no memories of their homeland or of ever being free. That’s not true for any of the passengers of the Clotilda who had to adjust to the concept of no longer being free and had to try to preserve their culture while enslaved.
I would definitely recommend this book. Diouf did an incredible job compiling all of this information and keeping it uncomplicated. This is a dense book because as much as it highlighted the story of the Africans, it also detailed what life was like in the U.S. before their arrival during their enslavement, after the Civil War. It’s a layered and complicated story. One that still isn’t finished yet, as the families still in Africatown or still fighting to have their history recognized. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.