Descendants from last US slave ship gather in Alabama

Descendants of the last Africans abducted and shipped to the United States into slavery will gather this weekend on the US Gulf Coast.

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

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

Joycelyn Davis, a direct descendant of survivor Charlie Lewis (Julie Bennett/AP)

The Africans were illegally smuggled into Alabama for a bet in 1860 on board the Clotilda, decades after the Atlantic 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.

Organisers hope the gathering will spur new interest in Africatown.

- Press Association

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