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"Scenic Roots" offers conversations that matter in the heart of Chattanooga and the Tennessee Valley.From the mountains to the river, our conversations are rooted deep within every corner of our community - reflecting who we are, who we were and who we can become.We engage with the news that affects our community, behind and beyond the headlines. We build bridges that span from creators and innovators to storytellers and the outdoors. We focus on our challenges as many communities in one - as we celebrate what inspires us. We resonate with countless voices - in words and spaces, sounds and songs.We are "Scenic Roots."Ray Bassett hosts and produces "Scenic Roots" at WUTC.

Author Ben Raines On His New Book, “The Last Slave Ship”

“The Last Slave Ship” cover
Simon & Schuster

(aired Thu 1/20/22)

In the summer of 1860 - on the eve of the Civil War - a schooner arrived in Mobile Bay, Alabama.

The Clotilda was the last known ship to bring enslaved Africans to the United States from what is now Benin in West Africa, fifty years after the U.S. Congress outlawed the Atlantic slave trade.

The ship was then burned and scuttled - to try to destroy evidence of the voyage.

The Africans - who were later emancipated during the Civil War - built their own community, Africatown, on the north side of Mobile.

In 2018, the remains of the Clotilda were found - by journalist, filmmaker and charter captain Ben Raines - partially buried in mud along an island in the swampy Mobile-Tensaw Delta, miles north of Mobile and accessible only by boat.

Ben tells these stories in his new book: “The Last Slave Ship: The True Story of How Clotilda Was Found, Her Descendants, and an Extraordinary Reckoning” - published by Simon & Schuster.

Ben Raines
Susan Raines
Ben Raines

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  • Author Ben Raines on his new book, “The Last Slave Ship.” From TEDxChattanooga: A talk on “The Goddess Guide.” These voices - and more - on this edition of “Scenic Roots.”
  • (aired Thu 1/20/22) Let’s share another talk from TEDxChattanooga. The series of community speakers was held in November at Common House in downtown Chattanooga. Here is the talk by Drs. Catherine Needham and Tanya Manoni of Designer Drugs Pharmacy on “The Goddess Guide.”