Africatown Heritage House Museum Opening Weekend draws HUGH CROWDS

Africatown Heritage House Museum Opening Weekend draws HUGH CROWDS
The Grand Opening Weekend of The Africatown Heritage House Museum played out masterfully as Hugh Crowds turned out for each and every event scheduled for the three day opening weekend festivities. It all began Thursday morning as members of The Clotilda Descendants were allowed first public viewing access to the artifacts on display in The Heritage House. Awe Inspiring, Breathtaking, Tremendous & A very professional display that the community should be proud of were some of the words and phrases circulating through emails, texts and calls as word got around about what the contents of The Heritage House meant to those that got to see it first. Later on Thursday evening another Hugh crowd of people attended a reception at The History Museum of Mobile to honor the opening of The Africatown Heritage House Museum. Guests included The Mayor of Mobile, City Councilpersons, County Commissioners, Divers from The Slave Wreck Project and workers from the National Smithsonian African American History Museum.
The Official Grand Opening Ceremonies continued Friday morning with a dedication in the parking lot of The Museum. Once again a Hugh Crowd attended that dedication. Next, from 10 – 2, media from far and near were allowed access to view the contents of The Heritage House. CNN, 60 Minutes and The Washington Post were some of the national news in town and all of Mobile’s local news outlets were there to cover the dedication of the Museum. A steady stream of  viewers were next as Africatown residents and friends were allowed inside, free of charge, from 3 to 6 pm.
The first ‘official’ Opening Day of The Africatown Heritage House Museum occurred Saturday, July 8, 2023, exactly 163 years after the landing of The Clotilda in 1860. The Clotilda Descendants Association conducted a Memorial at Clotilda Landing (underneath the bridge) beginning at 8 am. In addition, they sponsored boat rides from Clotilda Landing (where the Clotilda was suppose to land) to 12 Mile Island (where it landed and sank) and back.  From 10 am until 5 pm, a line of people waited inside and outside the museum as a steady stream of tourist and visitors lined up to view the artifacts contained within the museum. In addition to the museum opening there was an Africatown Community Day Celebration with free food, music and fun from 11 – 3.
Today, Tuesday July 11, 2023 (the first workday after the “official” opening day of the museum as the museum will be closed on Sundays and Mondays) a steady stream of visitors are still lining up to view the artifacts contained in Africatown’s Museum. I, myself, will have to make a return trip to the museum as I waited until 5 pm Friday to visit and they closed at 6 before I could finish. I did not get a chance to see the “Cemetery Room” where you can find out who is buried where in the Africatown Cemetery.

By the way, don’t forget about Africatown’s walking and riding tours that contain 22 and 32 sites to visit. Tour brochures are located in The Heritage House, Hope Community Center and Mobile Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Major Joe Womack USMCR (ret.)
Executive Director of

Co-Founder of

Leader, Doer, Storyteller

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