Finding Hope in the Legacy of the Clotilda: A Conversation with Darron Patterson

February 26, 2023

Revisiting a classic episode exploring the Clotilda legacy!

In this special rebroadcast from February 2022, Peter Ravella and Tyler Buckingham interview Darron Patterson, the president of the Clotilda Descendants Association, who shares the history of the Clotilda, the last known slave ship to bring Africans to the United States. As a descendant of one of the survivors of the Clotilda, Patterson provides a unique perspective on the legacy of this tragic event, which began as a bet and resulted in the transportation of over 100 enslaved individuals from West Africa to Alabama in 1860. The Clotilda was then burned and sunk to conceal evidence of the illegal act. However, its discovery in 2019 reignited interest in the story and the plight of the enslaved individuals who were brought to America. Patterson discusses the revitalization efforts and hope for unity within the Clotilda Descendants Association and the community as a whole.

Show Transcription
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Peter Ravella & Tyler Buckingham

Peter and Tyler joined forces in 2015 and from the first meeting began discussing a project that would become Coastal News Today and the American Shoreline Podcast Network. At the time, Peter and Tyler were coastal consultants for Pete’s firm, PAR Consulting, LLC. In that role, they worked with coastal communities in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina, engaged in grant writing, coastal project development, shoreline erosion and land use planning, permitting, and financial planning for communities undertaking big beach restoration projects. Between and among their consulting tasks, they kept talking and kept building the idea of CNT & ASPN. In almost every arena they worked, public engagement played a central role. They spent thousands of hours talking with coastal stakeholders, like business owners, hotel operators, condo managers, watermen, property owners, enviros, surfers, and fishermen. They dived deep into the value, meaning, and responsibility for the American shoreline, segment-by-segment. Common threads emerged, themes were revealed, differences uncovered. There was a big conversation going on along the American shoreline! But, no place to have it. That's where CNT and ASPN were born.