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.
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.
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.