Join the Georgia Center for the Book and A Cappella Books for an evening with authors Nick Tabor and award-winning author and Professor of Creative Writing at Kennesaw State University, Anthony Grooms for a discussion of Tabor's Africatown: America's Last Slave Ship And the Community It Created. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
An evocative and epic story, Nick Tabor's Africatown charts the fraught history of America from those who were brought here as slaves but nevertheless established a home for themselves and their descendants, a community which often thrived despite persistent racism and environmental pollution.
We recommend pre-ordering your copy of Africatown from our friends at A Cappella Books, the bookseller for this event. Pre-ordered copies may be picked up at the library the evening of the event, and will be ready for signing. PURCHASE
We are committed to a safe environment. For the safety of our invited speakers, staff, and all attendees, we respectfully request that masks be worn in the venue for the duration of the event. We are currently limiting the capacity of the Auditorium to promote social distancing, so registration is required.
“Journalist Tabor debuts with an eye-opening and often gripping history … Exhaustive research, pointed analysis, and poignant character sketches make this an essential study of racism in America.”
- Publisher’s Weekly
In 1860, a ship called the Clotilda was smuggled through the Alabama Gulf Coast, carrying the last group of enslaved people ever brought to the U.S. from West Africa. Five years later, the shipmates were emancipated, but they had no way of getting back home. Instead, they created their own community outside the city of Mobile, where they spoke Yoruba and appointed their own leaders, a story chronicled in Zora Neale Hurston's Barracoon.
That community, Africatown, has endured to the present day, and many of the community residents are the shipmates' direct descendants. After many decades of neglect and a Jim Crow legal system that targeted the area for industrialization, the community is struggling to survive. Many community members believe the pollution from the heavy industry surrounding their homes has caused a cancer epidemic among residents, and companies are eyeing even more land for development.
At the same time, after the discovery of the remains of the Clotilda in the nearby riverbed, a renewed effort is underway to create a living memorial to the community and the lives of the slaves who founded it.
About the Author
Nick Tabor is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in New York Magazine, The New Republic, The Washington Post, Oxford American, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. He lives in New York. Africatown is his first book.
About the Conversation Partner
Anthony Grooms was educated at the College of William and Mary and at George Mason University. He is the author of Ice Poems and Trouble No More: Stories and is the winner of the 1996 Lillian Smith Award. As a writer, teacher, and arts administrator, he has won awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the City of Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs. He is currently the professor of creative writing at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and lives in Atlanta with his wife, Pamela B. Jackson.
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