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The Looking for Angola Site is Live!

Hi Everyone,

It's Toni Carrier, I wanted to invite you to visit the Looking for Angola website at:

Looking for Angola is a multidisciplinary research project, aimed at discovering the location “Angola,” a maroon community that thrived on Florida's southwest coast from 1812-1821. It was comprised of formerly enslaved Africans and African-Americans and Red Stick Creek and Seminole Indians.

In 1821, Lower Creek Indians and bounty hunters raided the Angola Settlement. Some survivors of the raid escaped south along the Florida coast to Cape Florida, where they boarded canoes and wreckers, heading for safety and freedom in The Bahamas.

According to Rosalyn Howard’s research, published in her book Black Seminoles in the Bahamas, this was the same year that Black Seminoles established a settlement on Andros Island called Red Bays where a descendant population of these original inhabitants lives today. The ongoing excavations will likely provide a direct link of the Angola exiles to today’s population in Red Bays.

The Looking for Angola research team includes project director Vickie Oldham, historian Canter Brown, Jr. (Florida A&M University), anthropologist Rosalyn Howard (University of Central Florida) historical archaeologist Uzi Baram (New College of Florida), archaeologist Bill Burger, archaeologist Terrance Weik (University of South Carolina), and Sarasota educator/historian Louis Robinson.

The team is working to combine decades of research in the effort to uncover evidence about this little known story missing from the pages of American history. The saga of Angola highlights Florida’s continuing role as a beacon of freedom for refugees from slavery in the American South. The historical archaeology of the settlement will shed light on matters of national and international importance.

This multi-disciplinary project includes archaeological field surveys of four sites in Manatee County, Florida; historical research throughout England and Nassau, Bahamas; public lectures; the production of a documentary; an educational component that involves middle and high school students playing a vital role as researchers; and an international cultural exchange program.

The search for Angola will attract groups traditionally underrepresented in archaeology. The story brings together the heritage of Africans in America and the Caribbean, the Spanish in Florida, Seminoles on the Gulf Coast and American expansion into the state’s interior. It is attracting international attention; journalists with the British Broadcast Service (BBC) have conducted two radio interviews that aired throughout Africa in Portuguese and English.

Below are links to press coverage of the Looking for Angola project:

WUSF: Looking For Angola: From Bradenton To Red Bays, Bahamas (2005-01-28)

Tampabay: Excavators seeking freedom pioneers

10 News This Morning - Tampa Bay's 10 News - WTSP

WTSP Video

We hope you enjoy this new website (sponsored by the USF Africana Heritage Project!), and we look forward to your comments and feedback.


Toni Carrier
Founding Director
USF Africana Heritage Project

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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