From No Return
The 221-Year Journey of the Slave Ship São José
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From No Return: The 221-Year Journey of the Slave Ship São José tells of the 2014 recovery of artifacts from the São José slave ship. In 1794, the ship capsized, and while its captain, crew and about half of the captives were rescued, 212 slaves drowned. The ship is a singular lens through which to view the unfathomable scope of the Middle Passage. From No Return chronicles the efforts of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture founding director Lonnie Bunch and collaborators to locate the ship and unearth its ungodly objects, including some of the 1,130 iron bars the São José crew used to balance the weight of the ship's human cargo, remnants of shackles, and many other artifacts. The book features full-page illustrations of these objects along with reproductions of the ship's manifest, the captain's deposition, and other archival documents that together tell a moving tale of a moment of discovery that will forever be a part of history.
Smithsonian Books, 9781588346063, 120pp.
Publication Date: May 9, 2017
About the Author
JACO JACQUES BOSHOFF and STEPHEN C. LUBKEMANN are the co-founders of the Slave Wrecks Project, and they have repeatedly explored the São José site. LONNIE G. BUNCH III is the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. PAUL GARDULLO is a curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture whose current research projects examine slavery in American cultural memory.
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