Descendants from last US slave ship gathering in Alabama

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — An unusual gathering is planned this weekend on the U.S. Gulf Coast: a get-together for descendants of the last Africans abducted and shipped to the United States into slavery.

The event will be held Saturday in Mobile, Alabama, at Africatown USA, a once-thriving community settled by freed blacks from Africa after the Civil War.

The area is now economically depressed and losing population, and there are few remnants of the original settlers.

The Africans were illegally smuggled into Alabama on a bet in 1860 decades after the slave trade was outlawed. Some of the people settled on old plantation land after the war, purchasing property and establishing a society that included leaders and courts.

Organizers hope the gathering will spur new interest in Africatown.

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