African American History in Mobile

by Brandon Schultz

Jul 2, 2019

Mobile, Alabama © Fotoluminate | Dreamstime

Trends / History

Mobile, Alabama, has a history perhaps more complicated that most other American cities, having flown under six sovereign flags in its relatively brief history. Putting aside the difficulties of changing hands between France, Britain, Spain, the Confederacy, the United States, and, briefly, the Republic of Alabama, it also has a long and troubled African American history. The History Museum of Mobile does a tremendous job of personalizing and expressing the realities of slavery and the African American experience in Mobile since, but the Dora Franklin Finley African American Heritage Trail is a more immersive and intimate experience of life within the city.


The African American Heritage Trail includes more than 40 significant points of interest ranging from churches and houses of significant figures to Africatown and the former slave market, and can be explored on guided excursions for groups or individually with a trail map. The full scope of the trail tells the tales of the early Creoles of color, the survivors of the last known slave ship to enter the United States, the newly freed African Americans who settled a community within the city and built some of the state’s oldest remaining churches, and the Civil Rights advocates of more recent years. The Trail remembers and elaborates on overlooked and forgotten chapters of Mobile’s diverse history, reclaiming the past and educating for the future.


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