I am the author of Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas (New York University Press, 1998) the first book to retrace the 500 year-old story of West African Muslim communities in the New World. Named a 1999 Outstanding Academic Book, Servants of Allah also received Honorable Mention for the Outstanding Books Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights.
My new book Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America also deals with the experience of Africans deported to America. It is a detailed account of the lives of the young people from Benin and Nigeria who were on the last documented slave ship to the U.S. They arrived in Mobile, Alabama in July 1860. Freed in 1865, they tried unsuccessfully to go back home and finally founded their own settlement, African Town, where their descendants still live today. The last survivor of the original group died in 1935.
Dreams of Africa in Alabama will be published by Oxford University Press in March 2007. On March 2, 1807, the United States passed the Act to abolish the international slave trade (effective January 1, 1808) but, as this story shows, it went on for another fifty-two years.
For more information on Sylviane Anna Diouf, go to: