Baltimore News

West Baltimore Native, Descendent Of Slaves On Final US-Certain Ship From Africa, Shares Household’s Legacy

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — When you turn the page to 1860, it’s hard to not feel the pain and suffering. The suffering of those ripped from their homeland in Africa and brought to America on what is believed to be the last slave ship to arrive in the U.S. – the Clotilda.

Just over two years ago, the remnants of the Clotilda Slave Ship were found in the Mobile River. That muddy embankment held the torment of a trek from West Africa.

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West Baltimore’s Delisha Marshal is a descendant of Gumpa, AKA Peter, and Josephine Lee, slaves on board.

“It wasn’t until I read the books when I was much older that I understood the magnitude of what they had to endure and how we were able to survive,” Marshall said.

Over 100 slaves trapped, naked in the cargo hold of the Clotilda for two months and given to Timothy Meaher, a wealthy businessman.

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Eventually, the slaves were able to get jobs working for their slave owners. They saved their money, put it together and bought land. That land is called Africatown, their own replica of home, just North of Mobile.

Found in about 20 feet of water by a local reporter, the stories on that ship were burned and submerged for over a century. They emerge with the truth to be told, with descendants like Marshal, making sure this history is still alive.

“This is the story of how many Black people came to America,” Marshal said. “We can pinpoint the names or see pictures of these people, but a majority of Black people in America, this is what happened to your ancestors. So if you know our story, you know your story.”

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Many homes in Africatown are in need of repair and renovation. The community needs help and there are ways to donate as well as learning all the up-to-date information. Please click here for more information.

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