Perserving Black American history through song in the Dominican Republic

The Elders of Samana

New York Times

Preserving Black American history through song in the Dominican Republic. Words and images for The New York Times.

Perserving Black American history through song in the Dominican Republic

Perserving Black American history through song in the Dominican Republic

For older community members, ranging in age from 80 to 104, passing down church hymns is a way to teach the youth about their rich and unique history.

8D43C8EB-51CD-403A-94B0-7B6CA7018C1F.JPG
It is a history that many fear will be forgotten.

It is a history that many fear will be forgotten.

Ms. Wilmore is a descendant of a group of more than 300 african-americans who chartered a boat to samana in 1824 from philadelphia. For her and 10 other older community members, ranging in age from 80 to 104, attending the weekly church service is a way to preserve the history of the early african-american settlers, passed down through songs and the english language.

76C2BD6E-84EF-4C38-B66A-C16E6B6A1135.JPG
8310F971-05AB-4472-9B5C-DC7C29BD3705.JPG
16F2125C-F7BE-4F91-8114-959D8941B8E5 2.JPG
 The town of Samana, where the African-American community settled though, was geographically isolated, further insulating them from Dominican society, complicating issues of identity and acceptance on the island.

The town of Samana, where the African-American community settled though, was geographically isolated, further insulating them from Dominican society, complicating issues of identity and acceptance on the island.

A0EA6E5E-C5FE-4266-A80A-84CBF8922CC4.JPG
E967FC11-E4E2-4471-A09D-BCAEE810008B.JPG
F23DDFEE-278A-42E9-B90C-5659C6B25C88.JPG
0402AAC8-9437-4FF4-BB71-18E971EA1997.JPG
16F2125C-F7BE-4F91-8114-959D8941B8E5.JPG
521DDC65-30A0-4A2E-AB8F-497069E5DA31.JPG
C957D068-5271-44EB-B485-9B5DF62706FD.JPG
4147EAA3-7E17-4E0F-BB55-0DD18747895B.JPG