African presence in the Black Towns of America does not begin or end with the institution of slavery. Despite this barbaric system giving rise to one of the most horrific holocausts known to civilization, the undaunted spirit of African people has proven a worthy match. The story of pioneers who actively participated in the building of black communities in the United States is incredible and emotionally stirring. First, a number of black people arrived in America as free men and women.
These women and men, facing treacherous physical surroundings and even more harsh and unaccommodating human environments circumvented legislated racial supremacy by cultivating communities in areas whites considered uninhabitable. Whether erected as Underground Railroad Stations or strategic outposts in desolate territories, these settlements were often secluded in swamp lands, deserts, sand dunes, or along rocky cliffs. They existed in nearly every state, as well as Canada and Mexico.
Some of these towns continue to exist in some form today. From Dempsey, Alaska to Eatonville, Florida, this missing chapter in American history is revealed.
Morris Turner, III
Author of Black Towns and Settlements