For African American Heritage month, it is a tradition at our charter school to commemorate, as well as, teach about the lives of various civil rights leaders, legislators, educators, scientists and authors. One of my favorite authors is Zora Neale Hurston who wrote the award-winning novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Years after her death, an unpublished written account of interviews that she conducted with an African born man, living in Mobile Alabama in 1928 and 1931 was released. The book titled Baracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo features the first-hand account of Cudjo Lewis, one of the last slaves torn away from his homeland in West Africa and sold into slavery and brought to the United States in 1860. Although slavery had already been banned for over 30 years, Cudjo whose birth name was Kossala, was placed in chains and bore witness the cruelty and inhumane conditions on the last slave ship called “The Clotilda”. He was enslaved in Alabama for 5 years before being freed in 1865.
Harriet Tubman escaped slavery and became a leading abolitionist who led with courage with a mission, to free as many slaves as possible. As the impact of the Fugitive Slave Act became clear, Tubman began guiding her "passengers" on the underground railroad all the way to Canada, where they could be truly free. From 1851 through 1857, she lived part of the year in St. Catherines, Canada, as well as spending some time in the area of Auburn, New York, where many of the citizens were anti-slavery.
African Diaspora in the Caribbean
Sebastián Lemba (fl. 1540s) was an African pirate and slave rebel leader who led a prolonged maroon rebellion in the colony of Santo Domingo. Born in Africa, a member of the Lemba tribe, hence the name. When Lemba was a young man he was captured and taken to companies in France and Spain around the year 1525, and was eventually transferred to the island of Hispaniola.
Arturo Alfonso Schomburg (1874-1938)
Save the Date
Celebración de la Independencia del Patrimonio Dominicano
Bombazo Scholars Residency Presentation
Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30pm.
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