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Mobile looking to create historic districts in two black communities

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MOBILE, Ala. — The city of Mobile wants to create two new historic districts in black communities near downtown Mobile.

A city-paid consultant will survey the Africatown and Oakdale areas.

Africatown, located near the Plateau community in north Mobile, is the neighborhood founded by many of the Africans who arrived on the last slave ship to reach America.

The Oakdale community includes about 1,300 buildings in south Mobile, south of Virginia Street and west of Interstate 10.

Mobile Mayor Sam Jones said he’s glad to see more black neighborhoods get recognition from the city. Africatown in particular, he said, could use its past to become a major tourist draw.

“There’s a lot of history in those communities,” he said.

The council voted to hire Shaun Wilson to conduct the surveys. He will walk through the neighborhoods, taking pictures and assessing the historical significance of every building in them, said Keri Coumanis, assistant director of the Mobile Historic Development Commission.

Source: read more about Africatown