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July 8 Africatown Community Day to celebrate the opening of Clotilda: The Exhibition at Africatown Heritage House

Posted on: Jun 28th, 2023 | News and AnnouncementsPress Releasesfeatured news

MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. – Africatown Community Day will be held Saturday, July 8, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Robert L. Hope Community Center lawn in celebration of the opening of Clotilda: The Exhibition at Africatown Heritage House, which is a collaborative effort by Mobile County Commission, History Museum of Mobile, Alabama Historical Commission, City of Mobile, descendants and community groups and many others.

“I’m proud of the extensive efforts that have brought us to this moment and I invite everyone to help us celebrate the launch of this facility and exhibit,” said Mobile County Commissioner Merceria Ludgood, who represents District One. “The Mobile County Commission is pleased to provide the first new infrastructure to help share the unique story of Africatown and its founding, which is an important story of perseverance and resilience that has attracted worldwide attention. This is a joyous beginning,” she added.

Tickets to Clotilda: The Exhibition at Africatown Heritage House are available at Because space is limited and to ensure visitors can view the exhibit on their preferred day and time, advance reservation of timed tickets is recommended for most days and required for opening day. Africatown Heritage House operating hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.  Tickets are selling quickly and opening day exhibit timeslots are expected to sell out before the end of June. 

As the first of several planned infrastructure projects since the ship Clotilda was verified in 2019, the opening of Africatown Heritage House is a much anticipated event and Mobile County has an exciting lineup of activities, performances and workshops planned.

Africatown Community Day is a free, public event.

DJ Dirty Dan will serve as the emcee and the performance lineup for the main stage on the Hope Center lawn includes:

  • Drum call, opening ceremony, Egungun masquerade parade and performance by the African Cultural Alliance of Egbe Oya.
  • Musical performances by the following:
    • Voices of Africatown Mass Choir comprised of choir members from each of the historic Africatown churches
    • Vigor marching band
    • Symone French
    • Ted Keeby and the MoJazz Band
  • Spoken word performances between musical acts

Africatown Community Day also includes activities and workshops:

  • On the Hope Center lawn from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    • Face painting, inflatables (bunce houses), photo booth, food trucks, and some vendors, as well as free hot dogs and waters while supplies last.
    • Drumming wrkshops by Wayne Curtis and the Mobile Area Africatown Drummers
  • In the multipurpose room of the Hope Center from noon to 2 p.m.
    • Two 30-minute workshops by the African Cultural Alliance of Egbe Oya:  
          • AFRO-Fusion dance and song workshop
          • African Ancestral Connections workshop
    • Screening of the movie Orisa Soul fllowed by audience Q&A

Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. There will be limited tent seating. Umbrellas and pop-up tents are allowed, but the City of Mobile does not allow stakes in the Hope Center lawn.

Winbush and Edwards streets near Africatown Heritage House and the Robert L. Hope Community Center will be closed to through traffic on Community Day. Parking has been arranged at the following locations with small City bus and golf cart shuttles to/from the celebration site:

  • First Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church (664 Shelby St.)
  • Yorktown Missionary Baptist Church (851 East St.)
  • Union Missionary Baptist Church (506 Africatown Blvd.)
  • Shell Bayou Elks Lodge (456 Africatown Blvd.)
  • ACDC Farmers Market site (Shelby St. near Tin Top Lane)
  • Mobile County Training School’s baseball field (McKinley St.)

Pedestrians are encouraged to exercise caution on roads near Africatown Heritage House and Robert L. Hope Community Center on July 8.

Drivers should not block any Africatown street when parking and please respect the private property within the neighborhoods near the celebration site. There will be no parking at the Robert Hope Community Center or Africatown Heritage House or on the following streets for bus and shuttle access: Edwards St., Edwards Ave., Shelby St., Tin Top Lane, Green St., Susie Ansley St., Peter Lee St. (see map below)

Parking for Community Day is highly discouraged at the nearby Kidd Park pool because the daily Africatown Swim Program will be occurring on July 8 as well.

For more information, contact Mobile County Department of Public Affairs and Community Services at 251-574-5077 or

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City of Mobile map indicating street closures (orange), bus routes (black) and no parking (orange; blue).

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