Alabama’s Africatown Heritage House nominated by USA Today for “Best New Museum”

Africatown Welcome Sign. (Liv George / The Bama Buzz)

This July, the Africatown Heritage House opened in Africatown, located just a few miles north of Mobile. The museum’s exhibit, Clotilda: The Exhibition, commemorates the enslaved West Africans brought to Mobile in the 1800s on the Clotilda—the last known U.S. slave ship. Recently, the museum was nominated by USA Today for the 2024 Readers’ Choice “Best New Museum” category.

Keep reading to learn how to cast your vote.

Clotilda: The Exhibition— Learn the history behind Africatown

In 2018, archaeologists discovered remains of a ship at the bottom of the Mobile River. The ship’s remains, which were studied for years by scholars in hopes to uncover the stories it might tell, were eventually identified as parts of a ship called the Clotilda.

According to historians, in 1860—over half a decade after the slave trade was federally abolished—the Clotilda sailed into Mobile carrying 110 enslaved West Africans. After the human cargo was unloaded, enslaved Africans were sold and the ship was burned and scuttled in Mobile Bay to destroy the evidence.

Many of the survivors later founded Africatown, a small Mobile neighborhood north of the city.

The Africatown Heritage House is receiving national attention

The 2,500-square-foot exhibition features recovered parts of the Clotilda and tells the stories of the enslaved passengers who established the Africatown community. Inside, visitors can see a timeline documenting the passengers’ origins in West Africa, the development of Africatown and even a glimpse of the future of the community.

In the short few months that the exhibit has been open, Africatown has received major national attention as a cultural landmark. The Africatown Heritage House was chosen as National Geographic UK’s #1 new museum in 2023 and Africatown was featured among Smithsonian Magazine’s Best Small Towns.

To learn more about the exhibition, visit

Vote for Africatown Heritage House for USA Today’s “Best New Museum” 2024

Cast your vote now for the Africatown Heritage House for USA Today’s Best New Museum. Voting ends Monday, December 25 at 11AM. The winners will be announced on Friday, January 5. This important, impactful exhibit was recently nominated for USA Today’s Best New Museum, and you can help it take the title.

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Grace Howard
Grace Howard
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