African Town : inspired by the true story of the last American slave ship / Irene Latham & Charles Waters ; introduction by Joycelyn M. Davis, descendant of Clotilda Survivors.
Book | G.P. Putnam's Sons | 2022

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Details

Description
409 pages : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm
Preteens lcdgt
Teenagers lcdgt
Note
500 Nutmeg Book Award nominee, Grade 7-8 Middle School, 2025.
Audience
Ages 14-18. G.P. Putnam's Sons.
Grades 9-12. G.P. Putnam's Sons.
Summary
Chronicles the story of the last Africans brought illegally to the United States on the Clotilda in 1860.
1859. The transatlantic slave trade has been banned for more than fifty years, and the South is facing the threat of a civil war. Timothy Maeher resents the government interference in his right to make a living. Making a bet that he can smuggle enslaved Africans into the United States without being caught, he commissions the Clotilda, and brings back 110 African captives. Among them are Abilè, Gumpa, Kêhounco, Kossola, and Kupolee, who survive the voyage and arrive in Alabama still clinging to the hope of one day returning home. -- adapted from jacket
In 1860, long after the United States outlawed the importation of enslaved laborers, 110 men, women and children from Benin and Nigeria were captured and brought to Mobile, Alabama aboard a ship called Clotilda. Their journey includes the savage Middle Passage and being hidden in the swamplands along the Alabama River before being secretly parceled out to various plantations, where they made desperate attempts to maintain both their culture and also fit into the place of captivity to which they'd been delivered. At the end of the Civil War, the survivors created a community for themselves they called African Town, which still exists to this day. Told in 14 distinct voices, including that of the ship that brought them to the American shores and the founder of African Town, this powerfully affecting historical novel-in-verse recreates a pivotal moment in US and world history, the impacts of which we still feel today.
Contents
Introduction / by Joycelyn M. Davis -- Home is where the story is -- Dreams and schemes -- Life interrupted -- Ouidah -- Voyage to America -- Mobile swamplands -- Enslaved -- When war comes to town -- The truth about freedom -- African Town -- Life is but a dream -- Author's note -- Voices -- More about the characters -- Africatown today -- Selected time line -- Glossary -- Poetry forms/styles -- Learn more about the shipmates, the Clotilda, and African Town.
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages [433]-435).
Awards
Winner of the 2023 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction.
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Other Form:
Online version: Latham, Irene. African Town. New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2022] 9780593322895 (DLC) 2021041738
ISBN
9780593322888 (hardcover)
0593322886 (hardcover)
9780593322901 (paperback)
0593322908 (paperback)
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