Oaklander Jenah Keeby traces her roots back to her West African ancestors
Jenah Keeby was born in Oakland. But, unlike most African-Americans, she can trace her family roots directly back 163 years to West Africa.
That was where her great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Ossa Keeby, was captured in what was then the Dahomey Kingdom. He was sold into slavery and then smuggled aboard the Clotilda, the last slave ship to travel from and back to the United States. The story of that group of enslaved people was featured in the stage play “An Ocean in My Bones” earlier this month in Mobile, Alabama, which is where the ship originated.
In this interview, Jenah talks about about how she discovered her family’s unique history and what it means to her.
- Black Past: Clotilda (Slave Ship)
- The 'Clotilda,' the Last Known Slave Ship to Arrive in the US, Is Found
- America’s last slave ship is more intact than anyone thought
This interview was produced by Sunni Khalid.