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stories and histories THE FORGOTTEN STORY OF IGBO LANDING IN 1803

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Adeyemi Olajide » THE FORGOTTEN STORY OF IGBO LANDING IN 1803

In Dunbar Creek on St. Simons Island, Glynn County, Georgia, there is a deeply historic site called Igbo Landing.
The site is named because of the mass suicide of Igbo people captured as slaves in 1803.
The history started when about 100 Igbo people from what's now known as Nigeria were captured, bounded and put on ship to be sold as slaves in plantations across the Americas.
The slaves were bought for about $100 each by slave merchants John Couper and Thomas Spalding. During the voyage, the Igbo slaves rose in rebellion and drowned their captors.
The ship was grounded. Left with no clear direction of how to go back home and refusing to proceed to the land of the enslavers, all the slaves marched ashore singing, led by their high chief. Then at his order, they all committed suicide by walking into the marshy waters of Dunbar Creek. They chose to die rather than be a slave in an unknown land.
Today, the story stands as a cherised cultural history of bravery for millions of African-American.
The Igbo Landing story is now part of the curriculum for coastal Georgia schools, reminding young African-Americans that some of their ancestors were brave people who would rather die than live in oppression.
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