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Africatown Heritage House

Africatown Heritage House is a community building that will house “Clotilda: The Exhibition,” to share the long-untold story of the nation’s last known slave ship, the Clotilda, and the community that was created by the vessel’s survivors and their descendants. Located in the heart of historic Africatown, the Heritage House is adjacent to the Mobile County Training School** and the Robert L. Hope Community Center. The physical address is 2465 Winbush* Street.

The building is approximately 5,000 square feet and consists of an entry porch, lobby, exhibit hall, conference room, offices and restrooms. The exterior is lap siding painted a shade of blue that is Mobile County Training School’s school color. The color was specifically selected to honor the enslaved occupants of the Clotilda and to symbolize the strength and perseverance of their descendants. The site is also home to a memorial garden that offers a place for quiet reflection along with a bioswale (rain garden) that serves as an outdoor lab for the students at Mobile County Training School. The garden features a sculpture entitled The Memory Keeper which is the result of a collaboration between ceramics artist Charles Smith and metal sculptor Frank Ledbetter. 

In March 2020, the History Museum of Mobile announced a partnership with the Alabama Historical Commission, Mobile County Commission, and the City of Mobile to create a landmark exhibition at the Africatown Heritage House called “Clotilda: The Exhibition”. Clotilda: The Exhibition covers the story of the Clotilda with a special focus on the people of the story – their individuality, their perseverance, and the extraordinary community they established. The exhibition tells the story of the 110 remarkable men, women, and children, from their West African beginnings to their enslavement, to their settlement of Africatown, and finally the discovery of the sunken schooner, all through a combination of interpretive text panels, documents, and artifacts. The pieces of the Clotilda that have been recovered from the site of the wreck are on display in the exhibition, on loan from the Alabama Historical Commission. The exhibition has been curated, developed, and designed in conjunction with the local community and the wider descendent community, and in consultation with experts around the country.

The exhibition itself –about 2,500 square feet – is a rich, multi-sensory space, dense with compelling stories and images. Woven into the larger story, visitors can see and hear lots of primary source reports and stories of individuals: their histories, their families, and their resilient spirit. Inside the exhibition, visitors are immersed in the dramatic space and can view a step-by-step chronology of the West African origins through the founding and development of Africatown. Towards the end of the exhibition, visitors will emerge into a space that looks towards the future of Africatown and invites visitors to respond to what they have seen.

Africatown Heritage House opened July 8, 2023, and is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibition will have limited capacity and walkups, so tickets should be purchased in advance

Scheduling for group tours and schools will begin in September 2023.


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"The Memory Keeper" Sculpture Explained

Thank You To Our Partners!

All media inquiries should be directed to media@clotilda.comThe current press kit can be found by clicking here.

* Please note that maps and GPS systems may have this spelling as “Wimbush” rather than “Winbush.”

**In the early 20th century, nearly 5,000 such schools resulted from a partnership between Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald, the president and part-owner of Sears, Roebuck & Company. It is estimated that in that era, at least a third of all African American students attended a Rosenwald School. For more information, here is a link to details from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.