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tv   Barracoon - The Story of the Last Black Cargo  CSPAN  August 2, 2021 8:25pm-9:44pm EDT

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television companies support c-span 2 as a public service. in 1927 anthropologist and novelist zora neale hurston traveled to mobile alabama to interview 86 year old cudjoe corsola lewis a survivor of the clotilda the last known slave ship to make the transatlantic voyage from west africa. ms. hurston returned to visit kosala for three months in 1931 and turned her notes into a book that remained unpublished until 2018. next on american history tv the books editor deborah plant discusses the new york times bestseller barracoon the story of the last black cargo. she was the keynote speaker at the spirit of our ancestors festival a reunion of descendants of the clotilda who founded the africa town neighborhood of mobile, alabama.
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now we have the pleasure of welcoming a an old friend to africa town dr. natalie s robertson. she's a friend of advocate hound and we count on her very often to come and share the history and all the knowledge. she's gained about the one team and african town and she is has she has the pleasure also of introducing our speaker for the hour. so let us welcome dr. natalie s robertson thank you very much and good morning african town. the spirit of our ancestors festival has been seated by our ancestors through the efforts
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and dedication of the festival's founder jocelyn davis. and it is taking root like the baobab tree under whose canopy. we are imparting knowledge about africa town to the world. i am proud to have served as the festivals inaugural speaker and i am equally proud to introduce my successor dr. deborah plant the editor of barracoon the story of the last black cargo author by ancestor zora neale, hurston. dr. deborah plant is an african-american literature in africana studies scholar and literary critic whose special interests is in the life and works of zorno hurston. as editor of zorno hurston's barricoon the story of the last black cargo dr. plant created. what the new york times said was
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a profound impact on zora neale hurston's literary legacy in publishing herston's account of the last of the life story of clotilder survivor and africa town co-founder cujo. kazula lewis. barricoon won this things as new york times bestseller time magazine's best nonfiction book of 2018 and new york public libraries best book of 2018 among other accolades. plant was instrumental in founding the usf department of africana studies in the department of its graduate program. she chaired the department for five years and was associate professor of african studies
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there until her appointment as associate professor of english in 2014. she holds a ba degree in fine arts from southern university. and ma degree in french from atlanta university. and an ma as well as a phd in english from the university of nebraska lincoln. her published works include every tub must sit on its own bottom the philosophy and politics of zora neale, hurston. zora neale hurston a biography of the spirit the inside light new critical essays on zora neale hurston and alice walker a woman for our times. currently dr. plant resides in
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tampa, florida and continues her research in writing as an independent scholar. direct descendants family and friends of africa town please join me in extending this special africatown. welcome to our kindred spirit dr. deborah plan. one of the things i like to do whenever i talk about barricoon. is to invite the spirits of zornell hurston and oluwale causalai to be with me as i do the best i can to represent them and express what i think they would like for us to know and to understand.
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and so i also invite i would like to invite you to. evoke those answers to ancestral spirits who would be with us today during this event and throughout the festival. so that we would have there guidance as well as their inspiration and how things unfold. so barricle is the story of oluwale kosala? and zorna, hurston was able to capture his story. when she when on out into the field back in 1927 on behalf of franz boaz and carter g woodson zorno, hurston as many of you might know was reared in
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eatonville, florida, but she was born here in alabama and noticeable. not very far from tuskegee. and she she went to school at howard university. she acquired her associate degree. um, then she to barnard college. where she majored in english and then she also during a matriculation studied courses in anthropology. she started with anthropologist ruth benedict gladys reichert and came to the attention of brian's boys who is considered the father of american anthropology. and so at that point in time she she learned as much about anthropology as she did about writing and literature. and as soon as amendment of
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fran's boaz, she goes into the field on their behalf as i said and what her her responsibilities were what our tasks were were to collect folklore behalf of friends boaz. do archival research on behalf of carter g woodson encourage you listen we know is the father of black history month, right? so february is we looked at him to thank him for february as black history month, but he started as black history week. and brew into like history month, but we have prodigy wilson to thank for that corey wilson was also the founder of the association for the study of -- history and niggering life in history. and so on behalf of the association. and the journal of -- history he has person to do that archival
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work down in florida and alabama. and also when in alabama to go to see whojo who is and ask him about the story of how he and his village had been destroyed and thus he had been forced into enslavement in alabama. and so she did this and this is 1927 initially. she goes she gets his story about bonte west africa and how the amazons you know destroyed the city. can commit it all kinds of slaughter? and she sends that report back to carter g woodson. but she knew that there was more to the story. and so she came back and this time when she came back she came back under the patronage of charlotte osmond mason who was
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able to fund her research and the time that she spent with coleslaw with she conducted several interviews and filmed him and photographed and things of that nature and that took time that took money. but she had it because of the patronage with positive mason. so when she comes to see him, she says the first time she she met him was in july of 1927 when she comes back later in in the year in december and then again at the first the first few months of the year in 1928. then this is when she conducts a series of interviews with him and this is how she talks about it in. miracle it was summer when i went to talk with cujo. so his door was standing wide open.
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but i know he was somewhere about the house before i entered the yard because i had found the gate unlocked. when cujo goes down into his back field or away from home. he locks his gate with ben ingenious. pig of african invention. i held him by his african name as i walked up the steps to his porch. and he looked up into my face as i stood at the door in surprise. he was eating his breakfast from around enamel pan with his hands and the fashion of his fatherland. the surprise of seeing me halted his hand between pan and face then tears of joy well done. oh lord. i know you call my name. nobody don't call me my name from across the water, but you you always call me. kosala. just like i am the africa sword.
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and so they talk. and he knows he wants to know about him and he asks her and said, what is it? what is it that you want to know? anderson tells them i want to know who you are and how you came to be a slave and to what part of africa do you belong and how you fare as a slave and how you have managed as a free man. and consular about his head. and then when he lifted his wet face. again, he murmured thank you, jesus. somebody come asked about cujo i want to tell somebody who i is so maybe they go in the the sauce someday. and calling my name and somebody there say yeah, i know kosala. i want you everywhere you go to tell everybody what could you say?
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and how come i in america saw since the 1859 and never see my people no more. i can't talk a plane. you understand me, but i caused a word by word. so you want so it won't be crooked too crooked for you. my name is not who joe louis. in consulate when i get in america, so i miss jim man. he tried calling my name, but it too long. you understand me. so i say well. your property he say yeah. then i say you go. let me cujo that do. but in africa saw my mama she made me corsola. and so he tells her the story. about go to netflix. about his upbringing in bante
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west africa about the rights of passage and the initiations and about learning how to hunt learning how to throw spears he he tells her about the young women in the in the village whom he sees and he likes and he sees one in particular and he tells his parents to say you see such and so and so when you see her. you be kind to her. and so what they knew was that? okay, we have to begin to prepare initiation rights for marriage. and so it is during this time that just everything changes for coleslaw. this is when as he put it in a pre-dawn raid? the amazon warriors and warriors came into the village and
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slaughtered so many and he and some others survived that slaughter and as they did they were chained together or tied together with others and marched down to albemarle in endowment. africa's capital was capable of capital capital of dalmy, which is modern day benin. so as as they are held there for a while after about three days as he says they were taken to the baricos. and this is where the title of the book comes from. vegetable to them. that's what they used. so barricoon is a spanish word. that has his roots in the these terms that you see here. baraka and the portuguese were barrio and basically the words mean hut or shed. and this is it simply describes
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the kind of structure that he was placed in along with the others and these kinds of structures were dotted all along the coast the west african coast. this is where african captives would be held while they were those who were waiting to exchange goods and and materials and what have you and go for them. they would wait there until those those ships would die. and in relation to coleslaw and his compatriots. what this is where and at that point in time when william foster who was the captain of the quote till the head? had come to the bite of benin where he was there to buy captives on behalf of timothy mayer. and so the next one and so we
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see the africa there in the green to the right of the screen. and benin, which is in white there and it is in this area where he was taken and there at the vitamin where william foster navigated the cloth tilden. and when they when they go back you can see the journey that they took through the middle passage back into the gulf coast. of alabama and this map my sister made this map. this is the kind of assistant that she would give me you won't find this mapping in the book and if you see this. this white ship there. that's my sister place the
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that's to to symbolize the plotilder. and so we'll go to the next one. and so this is a map that shows the course, uh out of the gulf. of the mobile river into the spanish river and up to the point where they are disembarked into the cane fields and then after that, of course, you know the story we're in william foster takes the book the boat the ship to twelve my island and he scuttles it and he burns it to try to get a get rid of the evidence. it's let's go to next one. so timothy mayer and william foster. i've i've given a lot of talks about miracles. and almost never has anyone
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asked me about timothy mayer and william foster. but i think is important that we we talk a little bit about them because of what they represent and when we look at timothy mayor who funded the clotilde expedition? he was one of three brothers burns mayor and jim mayer. who owned plantations and they had all kinds of industrial businesses here in alabama. and to have those businesses run and those plantations they used. the labor of african peoples and so we want to understand. what what that means? and we want to understand. why that's problematic because you know, there's nothing wrong
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with wealth. there's nothing wrong with. wanted to do well and be successful. but there's a problem when your wealth and your success. depends on the extrapolation of the life force of other people and this was their means that their methods to come to their so-called success. what hurston? says in the strikes on the road what she learned in her one of the many things she learned in her interview with coleslaw. was as she put it she learned about the universal nature. agreed and glory and this is the face of greed and glory.
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all right now was problematic. is that as i said? wealth and success are one thing but when you think that that should be no end to your success and your will when you think that excess is normal and your excess is what you acquire because of your exploitation of other people's then that's a problem. when we that's the breed aspect of it the glory aspect of it. is that for people like timothy mayor? the idea was that that was his right. to do that it was his right. as a man it was his right as a white man. it was his right his right as he believed because as he and so many others at that point in time and hence and today. he believes this is right because he believed that white
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was superior. the notion of white supremacy is part of this whole idea of his glory as a white man. he had the right to build an empire on the backs of black people. this is his glory. and this is his right he believes. and so this kind of arrogance. this kind of conceit this kind of self-righteousness. that becomes an ideology that allows people to exploit anyone and everyone for their own benefit is a problem that we have to attend to because it's not all right. and the thing about breed and glory is that it's not particular to any particular group of people. how do we know this because the thing about timothy mayer and william fosters that they couldn't do what they did
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without the support of king gezel and king lele endow me. they could not do what they did without the support and the facilitation of people like the amazonians in the downey and army that said that village so when we look at greece comes in many colors. and we have to remember that. because we get caught up with you know superficiality about who is supporting us and who does not. because we have the pay attention to that and of course, you know, we have to look for that within ourselves. where is the breed and glory in me? where am i striving for something that it's not my do not my right. who am i taking advantage of to get to this point or that point? um, yes. this bit that timothy mayor may
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it's just another indication. of the arrogance of the man now the bet says that you know, i can within two years. and this is 1858. i can't within two years. bring in. a shipload of africans and forced them into servitude and nobody be hanging for it. so this is important nobody be paying for it. why? why is that a concern? the us constitution stated in 1807 that international trafficking was to be banned. that going to africa. and bargaining for people bringing them back and forcing them to servitude.
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was no longer practice that the united states will partake in so it was illegal. that was 1807. and still from that point to 1860 that were those like timothy mayor who continued this illegal practice? even though that band was put in place. it had not really been enforced. so in order to enforce it. the constitution was amended. several more times in 1818 18 19 by 1820 in addition to penalties and monetary fines being charged to those who participated in either. funding expeditions or building outfitting ships for that
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purpose in addition to those finds. they added the penalty. of branding you a pirate. and as a pirate if you if you are caught and it's found that you committed these this piracy the second pirates in terms of trafficking then you were to be hanged. but in over 50 years only one one man was ever hanged. for all of the so-called illegal trafficking that was done. in america and even then he said he hadn't done anything wrong. and we hear that a lot. right so, you know. timothy man william foster they took him to court. and timothy mayers case was
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dismissed. and william fosters case didn't even make it it was thrown out. and so we have this these historical examples of white arrogant men who believe that they are above the law. and we we see how why this is a problem why we have to look at it because this is not new. we hear this today. what is not new? the idea that you can do, whatever you want to whomever you want. and the fact is that you know what they get away with it. you can get acquitted. but this is part of our american heritage. that we have to do something about. that's not the america we want.
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so this is just a copy of the constitutional act that banned trafficking which he didn't adhere to didn't want to and when he plays that bet, you know, the thing about it, is that the enforcement of the law was sold difficult because so many people thought just like timothy mayor. the customs officers the judges senators thought just like him. and there was so much. in terms of this ideology. it's like this is what people learned. this is what people heard in church. this is what people heard, you know in their in their social gatherings and their groups. this is what the scientists were
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saying that there is a master class and his white people. and they are superior. everybody else is inferior according to a hierarchy with africans at the bottom. and so it is their right to exploit to dominate. but the thing about this idea we see how problematic it is. we see the chaos that it brought. we see the destruction that had brought this idea of white supremacy is like the bottom line the foundational problem out of which came the civil war. and that reach is still a breach that we have to heal today. the idea of white supremacy is an idea itself that is inferior. that we have to do something
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about that. but i can't see to. okay. yes. well, you know, he was william foster the captain was equally arrogant. and conceited and very much a white supremacist. and he wrote. he wrote a an essay or his wife wrote it for him. that basically detail. the whole journey at the whole from alabama to the bite of benin on the west coast of africa and back and and he tells you everything you know what they took how much money and 9,000 worth of gold all of this kind of thing.
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he lays it out in in this this letter. now he why does he write the letter? he had heard that some other captain was taking. had said that he had brought the last illegal cargo into america. he wanted prosperity to know that it was he who had done it. so he'd been this letter to make sure you knew that he did this thing because you know, it was it was a point of pride. to divide the government the federal government and both of them william and timothy were pirates. they were criminals. it doesn't look like it in the state of alabama, but they were criminals. okay, and and it doesn't matter that. the it got thrown out the thing
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about it, of course, you know in 1861 alabama seized from the union, but this was done in 1860. he was a criminal. okay. next one, please. the rest of it so because of that notion that african people could be used as something called chattel. that is they could use us as though we were meals of. cows or donkeys or horses or what? have you? the idea that they could just go into. africa and bargain and bring us over here. to work and work and produce
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wealth for them. i'm looking for a passage you bear with me second. it resulted in so much. suffering and causala shares this with with herston and he puts it this way. he tells her in detail. about that fateful day. he said about daybreak when the folks that sleep. get waking with the noise when the people of down may break a great gate. and i will get i still in bed. i had a gate when they break it.
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i had a year from the soldiers while they chopping the gate. therefore i jump out of bed and looking. i see a great many soldiers with french gun in the hand and the big knife. they got the women soldiers too and they run with the big knife and make noise. to catch people and saw their neck like this with the knife. then they twist the head so and then come off the neck. oh lord lord. i see the people getting killed so fast the old ones they try to run from the house, but they did by the door. and the women soldiers got their head, too. oh lord. when i think about those times i try not to cry no more. but as they don't stop crying
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but the tears running down inside of me all the time. when a man pulled me with them, i called my mama name. i don't know where she is. and i'll see none of my family. i don't know where it is. i beg the men to let go find my folks. the soldiers say they got no ears for crying the king of thou may come to hunt slade to sail. so they tell me in the land with the rest. and so we see this the disruption and the chaos and the trauma that people experience and when we look at what coastal experience you multiply that times how many million over several centuries? and then you get the sense of the weight of the pain that black people have in their very bones even to this day. this pain in this grief.
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duration simply means of rooting to be uprooted to be taken away from everything that you know. he was calling for his mother. i want i want my mother. and so what we see is that not only did he lose his mother. when they put them in the barricans and then they took him across the middle passage. he lost his mother land. and after 67 years in alabama, he lost his mother tom. and so what i like to remind people when they're reading baricone and they say well it's it's in his dialect and that was one of the reasons that the book wasn't published initially in 1931. the publisher said, you know, we want your story, but we want you
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to to write in in language rather than dialect. now that means a lot of things that we don't have that kind of time, but so financially to say, you know that first of all. when they say we wanted in language, they're talking about what they call this, you know standard english. but that's really the language of the establishment. and they don't want to hear it in his language. but is his story why should it be in another language? and the thing about it, i like to remind people that this language that he wrote in and hurston she trans she wrote it she transcribed it. just you know in the way he spoke and she was supposed to do that. she was an ethnographer and
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ethnographers know that language is you know an identifying feature of any person in a group and in people you don't change that when you change the language you change everything. but the thing about it is that when kosler was taken. he was 19 years old. he spoke some form. of europe so the question becomes how does this young man at? 19 years old speaking some variation of yoruba begin, you know winds up in alabama speaking of black vernacular with an alabama accent. they didn't speak this in west africa. so the question is what happened to him that this is now the language that he speaks and everything that happened to him is encoded in that language. this is why these publishers didn't want to publish that or
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to read it or to be forced to read something. that wasn't what what they're used to hearing. they want they want to change it. so they can access it rather than changing themselves so that they can access what coastal i was talking about. okay, next one. as one of the descendants who spoke earlier today talked about alice walker's forward to barricoon and alice walker looks at barricoon as both. i show you know, he shows us closer shows us our wounding. and then he also shows us what the medicine is for that wounding. and so the wounding is this grief.
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the warning is this pain the wounding is his loss. the wounding is everything that he would never ever again be able to see or to experience. the loneliness you know the not only there he lost so much when he was uprooted from the continent but so much also he lost right here in alabama. this is the wounding. and as he talks to to person, you know, he is grieving he is full of grief still sometimes. person has to just leave him there and walk in out and let him you know, just be with his memories. they're so potent. it's like he's still looking exactly at that the same actions that occurred when he was on the
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continent. it's like he would go through it again. this deep grief is also is part of our heritage? and but as walker puts it. you know along with with the wounding and showing us the womb. he also shows us the medicine. what is the medicine? and next one. just make sure you see you have what i have. okay, so the medicine. um the fact that they are survivors. of the clone till the best medicine we are here. you know not every ship that crossed the middle passage made it. not everybody aboard those ships
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made it. not everybody who experienced as slaven made it out of enslavement at that point of emancipation not everybody survived. so just surviving. is a huge matter we're here. the fact that we could survive means that you know, yes, we're physically strong mentally and emotionally, but that doesn't mean we don't have something that we have to deal with emotionally and mentally that's part of the wounding and these are things also that we have to look at thing about coleslaw is is that when he is upset. when he feels hurt when his pain comes up he lets you know. he cries. he says, excuse me. i cry.
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we don't do that. we is like, you know, how you doing? i'm fine and you're lying. we're not taught. to be okay with the emotion that comes up when we are hurt. that wounding you see when he's talking to person. that's therapy. but some of us are afraid of therapy. we need to think about that. because that's part. of the medicine you know, can we talk about it is when we don't talk is when we don't allow them emotions to move. that we begin to have, you know heart problems. things depression sometimes you just man you don't even know what is all of this.
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it's all of this. you know, i just feel some kind of way. feeling some kind of way. okay, so we're here. and even though we have survived that that physical transportation and all of the harshness that we've had to go through. we're still here. and we're able to continue and this is what the people of africa town. were able to do. to continue now when we look at and when we look at the phenomenon. of consulado and abela his wife
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and goomba and poly and all of these. people who survived who actually stayed in this area where we look at what they were able to do we have to be, you know, touch moves and inspired. because they came here with nothing literally. you know, there's a verse that says naked you come into the world and make it easier go out. i think that's the worst. but when we look at that coleslaw literally came here naked. the cloth that he and his country people were used to wearing they took from them. they boarded the clotilde with nothing. how can you come to this place with nothing and build a town?
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this is the medicine right because even though they didn't have anything physical other than their bodies they came rich with knowledge of traditional africa. cultural africa, they brought that with them. and when you read his narrative, you know, he talks about what what their society did didn't do with criminals with people who children shouldn't do things. they he talked about the elders. he talked about the king will come in and handle things was social structure. that was jurisprudence. there were initiation rights for this and that they have a society. they weren't just running around, you know, like something that you see on cartoons. they had harmony they had ordered they had balance.
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in their societies in their communities and that was upended. but it was in them and so when they were finally emancipated that they use that to build on they drew on that traditional african. cultural heritage the traditional african worldview you get a sense of that. when causing those talking about his daughter who died he had one daughter five sons. she was only 15. and he said that's the first time death found my door. he said but death came over. with us in that ship and what he's talking about is the fact that death is a part of life. this is the african traditional african worldview is not like death is something bad and wrong. no, it's a part of life.
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he said when we when we laid the foundation to build the old landmark baptist church, we cleared the land across the way. for the cemetery because this is the circle of life is what he's talking about. you're born you go through your initiations and rituals as you grow into adulthood. you lived become an elder. and to be that goddess for your people when you die you transition into becoming an ancestor? and as an ancestor, then you spiritually guide. your the generations to come? and this this is them guiding us. as someone said earlier, you know the those those ancestors who came over on that clotilde. they're setting here with us
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today with every descendant who's in here and they're looking at us through those eyes. and this is the power of the ancestors. and this is why there was this this. tradition is practice of ancestral reverence. you don't you know in america's like you hold you go to a no folk song. but they respected age and wisdom. it was part of the integral part of the life of the people. and so when you know a person is talking to him and she's saying like cosla you telling me this you tell me that i want i want to i want to know about you. and he says where is the house where the mouse is the ruler? i have to tell you about my father and my grandfather.
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and so he does. and so this circle of life this worldview which reflects his worldview. this is part of the medicine. the remembering is part of the medicine. the community the ingenuity when she talks about, you know, his fits being open and he has a pen that he uses that as she puts it is made of african ingenuity. this is part of what he brought over here with him and all of the other 109 they brought this with them and the most important aspect of the medicine that he shares with us. is that of being a human being why is that important because in those days and and there are some in these days? the idea was that african people were not quite human. not only were we seen as not
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quite human. we'll also told that you know, we had no spirit. that god had nothing to do with us. right and so what he expresses to us as you know through this narrative is a humanity of african people's and person was able to capture that to capture his humanity and his divinity. you know the vine essence is in everything that has been created that does not leave us out. and what we learned from him is that you know, no matter how brutal. he was treated. he still had compassion. no matter what was taken from
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him. no matter the loss. he experienced. you still had generosity? and no matter what the pain he experienced. he was able to love he was able to be kind. he was able to be tender. he say you see that sugarcane over that i grow that so that when my granddaughters married mother wants something and they come to me and they say grandpa. i want some sugarcane. he said i haven't for them. he was good to his children. he was kind to his wife his tender with abila. in a companion to those in his community. this is this is the humanity that he expresses. the next one please. oh, this is one other thing. yeah, and i have to say this, you know, the other thing is in
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terms of the medicine his dad in spite of all of the trauma and the tragedy that he went through he was still able to laugh. so in the appendage of the book, there are these stores that he would tell to herston and you know, he would crack himself up laughing, you know to the point of tears so we don't it's not only that we cry when we said but we can also, you know cry tears of joy. that was also a part of his life. so he was a whole human being not just someone who was so radically violated. and that that all he was. he never was just someone who was taken. and forced into servitude. he was always a complete and whole human being. and so yes, we're gonna run
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through these and we're going to bring this to a close. close. so africa town after. around 18 aptly emancipation shortly after you know these people founded a town well. a community called african town, but it could have been in town because they everything that they needed. they created themselves. we want a church. we build ourselves the church. they didn't want to go to the other church whether african-american americans would make fun of them. they had pride. no, we'll have our own and they created their own. is that we want a school we'll build a school and then we'll send for a teacher. they were self-governing. they knew how they wanted to live with one another, you know to help help one another support one another one. somebody needed a house. everybody helped to build their house. that's community.
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and so, you know, so we have we have what they found it. we have what they built and so we have a foundation to build on. um, yeah the next one. well, you know that sign you see that all the time. my sister took that picture. okay. next one those two see there's the street sign called africa town. i had never seen that before so i told take a picture of that, too. and that's union baptist church which state which is in the place of the old landmark baptist church. which is where kosler worked at as a sexton after the injury with the train? yes. and just mark there. go ahead.
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and that's the bust in front of the church there of kosala. though landmark not all the all plateau cemetery which is across the street. now you see that whole circle of life that was talking about. he when coleslaw says when we built the church. we cleared the land for the cemetery. and then would they not put a six-lane highway right through? and divide both of them. you have to take your life into your hands across that to get to the other side. why would they do that in our community? and then they put you know, it was initially the cochran bridge and then they put the cochran african town bridge. like y'all asked him to do that. narrative the jason yeah, well,
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that's still probably. okay what we got, so it's just that. there's so much that we we have to work toward in terms of evolving our consciousness but events like this help us to do that and it's what we have to do because so much of what we do we do unconsciously. which means basically that we keep repeating the past. and if we want a different future then we have to be bringing conscious awareness to to what we do and these are just some of the things that are going on today that signifies that we're moving into a different kind of consciousness. the next one and this is a benny's door, no return and you know apparently.
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we do return. and ambassadors from benin have been here two apologize. because their consciousness has been raised by these issues, right? and so they know it's like we have to we have to be responsible. we have to acknowledge what we've done. you know, and it's not it's not to attack or blame, but it's to acknowledge what someone has done. this is you know, this is how we help to heal these wounds. by name ambassadors can come here and say i'm sorry. and they perform rituals to appease the spirits of the ancestors here and you know people in alabama could do the same thing. and you know, this is a the
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sankofa bird. which basically you know is a symbol of looking back going back to get. what you missed or what was taken or would you looked over it's about looking back to retrieve what has been lost. so that you integrate. what that is the wisdom of it into your present consciousness so that you move forward if you notice with this bird, i don't know if you can see it, but the head is turned backward, but the feet are headed forward. so you go back to get what you need so you can move forward into. the future that you want the next and whatever. okay, so so this brings us to a
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close. you know. what we still have to learn in this country. is that all of us here all human beings? and you know just like as martin luther king said injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. then also treating anyone inhumanely anywhere is a threat to our full humanity everywhere. so we have to be mindful of that as we go forward. good afternoon. i'm joe woman dr. plants. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. and as you have to contract the
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edit your nose and stuff and as you would going through it and then put it all together. did you envision that this will be the best seller that we would have the effect on the nation and it's happening right now. no. i don't know i i i had no i had no. no thought about. the impact i had no idea had no clue. i actually i was i was continuously surprised and and i continued to be surprised. but then when i look at his story i'm like well, yeah. i mean and you know, it's sort of like you. you you know, theoretically what a work means.
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but but that's you know, that's abstract and as academic, you know, it's like okay, this is our first work and and that's very important too. this word is hurston's first work. she wrote several books. she was very, you know prolific. but barricoon was her first book length work. and it proceeds everything else you wrote and you know don't glorvine there as a watching god music men. it proceeded all of that. this is her first work. and the first word of someone who had not even quite finished. undergraduate school so that don't let you know what you can do. she had not finished bernard college when she did this this work? so it speaks to her genius as a social scientist that we didn't talk about but you know, she was
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a genius social scientist. thank you doctor plan. hi, my name is good. francie wallace. i'm a descendant of culture lewis, and i just wanted to let you know how proud i am that you say true to the authenticity of his ioa because growing up her story from my own my uncle and they speaking that same style like that is in the book. so i just wanted to know how important was it for you to remain out there too. he's violate. it was very important that i would do that. first of all, like i said. at the beginning before i began to edit the work. i i asked for their god is an inspiration with this. right, and so you know, i'm a black english speaker. that's my mother tom. this other stuff, you know,
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whatever. but so i i understood that darling. it wasn't something foreign to me and i was glad that i was one of the you know, one of the people considered to to edit it because it was important to keep it intact. i not only is black english my mother tongue. i have research and taught courses on black english so i know the importance of it. i know what that language means. it was important. i think it was really good that i had the background that i have in terms of my research with. black english or what people call ebonics or black vernacular or whatever the scription we want to use because when in
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editing the manuscript there were several versions. that was the typed version that person herself had typed up, but she herston also wrote in long hand. and her process usually is to write out her manuscripts and long-hand then she will type. and then she will revise by typing again and and in those those those different drafts. words could get misspelled or get left out or that kind of thing and so to know the rhythm of the language and to know her. her idea about the the true transcription of oral speech because study what she studied right and her her idea about how
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to transcribe spoken the spoken word. you know she this is part of her learning as an anthropologist and part of you know what she learned from front boys and so knowing her process with that then i knew her approach when she took that that narrative down. and so i could stay true to not only posla but to herston's transcription of postal by knowing persons on process and so it was very important for me to do that because it's his word. you know, he said i want you to go tell everybody what i say. wouldn't that was my job? so thank you for your question that i answered your question. what relation to feel was easier when they're in their hurston with lakes and hughes where am i looking over here?
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well, they were friends until they weren't. i know you. she had written to langston heroes there that she had found the man called cujo, but also she had found no female who was older than he was turned out to be rhodesia who was in dallas county. so what relationship with langston was what they were very good. they were just really friends and and for the most part person so he was as a young brother. you know, they both were part of the hall of renaissance and considered the young and -- of the hollow renaissance and sometimes herston would would him on her. folklore collecting expeditions. so she saw him as a league as a young brother as you know, someone who who was standing up
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for the folk? you links to hughes wrote and dialect as well, right and and he part of his his work was to like hurston and others of the harlemen songs was to capture the folks' spirit capture the folk he thought in the work that they produced and so they were friends they were working on a play called meal bone when things went awry. and it was a it was a lot of confusion, but the long story short of that is that person felt like hughes had betrayed her in his working with louise thompson and giving her credit for work. that was person's work. and they had a fall out about it. they to repair the relationship, but it didn't quite get back together the way it was.
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so that's that kind of describes their relationship. thank you for your question dr. plan back here for us questions. okay? hello, welcome to africa town. my name is angela hill and i was wondering have you traveled to the name and found anyone there the family of the founders of africa town? do they have stories of missing your loved one? other any stories from the beneath that of the character of their loved ones and how much they miss them. and wonder that how they were doing. that's a good question. i would defer that to my associate natalie. you actually went there. she's one of the scholars who actually literally.
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you know detailed by detail town by town went to africa to track down this story. she knows this that part of this story you want to answer that? and i haven't been but i'm trying to get my ticket. because you got to go, you know, you got to go to where you know where the people are that you're writing about which is why i had to come to africa. thank you, and thank you so much for that. yes. thank you. thank you dr. plant. thank you. one of the important aspects of african culture cultures and families and communities is that they tend to stay intact.
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over many generations so you do have individuals who are closely associated with some of the descendants on this side, although they may not know what those associations are. in the case of cujo you would find people in the southwestern region of nigeria. that know about his roots in that part of nigerian nigeria is huge. there are millions of people in nigeria alone. and there's a lot of cultural and linguistic. thirsty in nigeria in addition to that my research documents
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some of that history by way of the individuals who still live in that family. he was captured on a royal farm stand. and that royal farms did still exists. that region of nigeria still exists and a part of what keeps that history alive would be the riots. or the historians that are connected to the royal palace of oil. so while it's not always possible to find you know individuals who are directly connected. you do have individuals that hold the history of a particular
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community of a particular family by way of the local historians in various african communities. some of my research captures their voices. it also captures the voices of some of the royal individuals of the area and it captures the voices. of the descendants of the slave traders who sold cujo and his shipmates into slavery. so this is a special case this case of the cortilda. and the making of africa town is very special because in this also very rare. because we do have the ability to trace those direct connections. um, you know in areas where
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other individuals other communities on this side of the may not be able to do. thank you for the question and thank you for allowing me to answer drama. we our percentage of olfakini and the name kibi will one of the family that kind of kept our last name. would it be easier to track that name back in africa? well when i first looked at the name, i suspected that he may have come from the area of the cabin hill. the cabin hills are in the northern region, they are north i should say of the area in which kujo was captured. and to the extent that the clotilda cargo was a very diverse cargo.
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and you had slavery being conducted all over. the region you know, even though i was not able to establish with specificity that he indeed came from the canby hill region what my research does show is that many of the names of the clotilda africans were not personal ones, especially the the africans that i'm contingency of africans who came from central nigeria many of those names were not personal ones, but they were the places from which they hail. and although kebbie is not in nigeria. you know, i would not dispute a connection between that name and the africans in the cabbie hills
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or key be healed region. of west africa, but more research needs to be done and i would be happy to pursue that right. interesting right here just give dr. plant another round of applause for a wonderful presentation to us to enlighten us. yes, let's give her another round of applause. we're so blessed to have scholars in our community to enlighten us. weekends on c-span 2 are an intellectual feast every saturday american history tv documents america's story and on sundays book tv brings you the latest in nonfiction books and authors funding for c-span 2 comes from these television companies and more including charter communications.
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broadband is a force for empowerment. that's why charter has invested billions building infrastructure upgrading technology empowering opportunity in communities big and small charter is connecting us. charter communications along with these television companies support c-span 2 as a public service american history tv is primetime all this week on c-span 3 tuesday beginning at 8pm eastern a look into the life and legacy of alexander hamilton one of the founding fathers of the united states and the nation's first treasury secretary historians discuss his economic policies and his military experience watch tuesday night beginning at eight eastern eastern here on c-span 3 on lectures in history university of pittsburgh professor marcus redeker teaches a class about the atlantic slave
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trade. he explores the portuguese and spanish origins of the trade soon after 1492 and later how plantations based on slave labor generated enormous concentrations of wealth professor redeker also discusses how traders acquired or captured slaves on the west african coast and describes the horrible conditions on slave ships for captives during the middle passage. this lecture was recorded in 2010 inside the university of pittsburgh's historic cathedral of learning building. okay, everybody greetings. good morning. our subject for today is the atlantic slave trade. and the first thing i want to say about it is that we have a big subject. a tremendously important subject and truly a difficult subject to


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