Our project Southern Pilgrimage was based on the fact that much of understanding comes from the review of the root of discrimination, aporophobia, and taking advantage of people. To understand the plant and resolve the issue we must see the seed. Going to the place of the most recent history of the abominable slave trade helped us understand the pervasive vines of racism that are prevalent and perceived by some to be justifiable in present cultural literacy. Southern Pilgrimage was the coming together of three Black Women artists to confront their personal relationship with the South of their imagination and the reality of the contemporary American South. Saran Alderson, Catherine Davila-Martinez, and Jamie Robertson traveled by car across the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama to their ultimate destination of Africatown, Alabama in spring of 2021; the U.S. home of Oluale Kossola, also known as Cudjoe Lewis and the final resting place of the Clotilda. The recent publishing of Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”, and the discovery of the remains of the Clotilda on the Mobile River, have attracted tourists to their community.
photo credit Jamie Robertson