A friend pointed me to Descendant, and I’m grateful that she did.
We weren’t supposed to know this story, which is why it’s crucial for us all to shine light on it.
Watch Descendant as a way to honor and preserve history that was supposed to have been erased.
Watch it to meet the residents of Africatown, Alabama. Some are descendants of the Africans who arrived in Mobile, Alabama, in 1860, on Clotilda, an illegal ship that covertly and very deliberately smuggled West Africans to the United States in order to enslave them—fifty years after the Act Prohibiting the Importation of Slaves was enacted.
There are layers to the story here, each one stunning. Where is the sunken Clotilda, the ship that was burned and sunk to hide the evidence of its existence? How did Africatown become a settlement for these people? How did they keep this history alive? Why, 150 years later, does Africatown experience an abnormally high rate of cancer? What about the descendants of Timothy Meaher and William Foster, the slave traders?
After watching this well-crafted documentary (including 1928 footage shot by Zora Neale Hurston, the writer and filmmaker), I want to share it with as many people as possible. I think you will, too.
The curator for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Slave Wrecks Project, Paul Gardullo, explains: “This was a search not only for a ship. This was a search to find our history and this was a search for identity, and this was a search for justice. This is a way of restoring truth to a story that is too often papered over. Africatown is a community that is economically blighted and there are reasons for that. Justice can involve recognition. Justice can involve things like hard, truthful talk about repair and reconciliation.”
Please take time to watch this astonishing story. Descendant is streaming on Netflix.
Weekly Giveaway Time
We’re celebrating BIPOC designers. Settle in with this extremely juicy list of designers and designs on Ravelry, so much to see. We’ll be sending five winners the pattern of their choice.
How to Enter?
Step 1: Sign up for MDK emails, right here. If you’re already signed up, you’re all set. We have a new option for texting, so when you sign up for those, you’ll get a coupon code good for 10% off your next MDK order.
Step 2: Leave a comment with your favorite BIPOC pattern and designer, and a link to the Ravelry page for that pattern, so we can all enjoy seeing and shopping the patterns.
Deadline for entries: Sunday, February 12, 11:59 PM Central time. We’ll draw five random winners from the entries. Winners will be notified by email, and we’ll gift the winning patterns via Ravelry.