Netflix’s ‘Descendant’ Trailer Offers Stark Look at Alabama’s ‘Africatown’ Built by Enslaved Africans (Video)

Descendant Documentary (Credit: Netflix)

Netflix has released the trailer for Descendant, a new documentary about the last known slave ship to arrive on U.S. shores, and the legacy of the enslaved Africans illegally brought to America on that ship.

The documentary follows award-winning filmmaker Margaret Brown (The Order of Myths) as she returns to her hometown of Mobile, Alabama, to document the search and discovery of The Clotilda.

The ship arrived in Mobile in 1860, with about 100 kidnapped African men, women, and children on board, decades after it was declared illegal to continue transporting enslaved people to the U.S.

Descendants of the enslaved Africans who arrived on the ship still live in the community known as “Africatown.”

“They created this thriving place and they’ve been holding it down and fighting ever since,” one person says in the trailer about the residents of Africatown.

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Africatown as shown in Desendant documentary. (Credit: Netflix)
Africatown as shown in Descendant. (Credit: Netflix)

The historic town is now surrounded by industrial factories filling the area with pollution. Residents say they’re fighting to preserve their heritage, their health, and their community.

Descendant is a Higher Ground and Night Tide production, in association with Two One Five Entertainment. The film won a special jury prize at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

Producers include Margaret Brown, Kyle Martin and Essie Chambers. Executive producers are Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter, Shawn Gee, Zarah Zohlman and Kate Hurwitz.

Descendant begins streaming Friday, Oct. 21 on Netflix.

Watch the trailer below.