To honor International Underground Railroad Month this September, watch “The Underground Railroad is Here: Commemorating Angola”—a short video about the archaeological efforts to understand daily lifeways of the early 19th-century maroonage of Angola on the Manatee River.
The video is, in part, an effort by Reflections of Manatee, Inc., for the preservation of Angola (a haven of liberty from the 1770s to 1821). The community’s demise was a tragedy, but the spirit of the freedom-seeking people continues for descendants of those who escaped to Andros Island in the Bahamas. To remember the 1821 tragedy and the September 15, 1963 Sixteenth Street Church Bombing, the video offers a virtual tour of the New College Public Archaeology Lab.

Uzi Baram, professor of Anthropology and Director of the New College Public Archaeology Lab, opens the lab to show the ongoing archaeological research into the belongings recovered by excavations in January 2020 by the Manatee Mineral Spring. The excavations, funded by the City of Bradenton; and the laboratory research, funded by the Florida Division of Historical Resources; are illuminating everyday life for the maroons of the 1770s-1821 Angola community (as well as the lifeways of the settlers who created the Village of Manatee, now the eastern part of Bradenton). The ongoing research will be integrated into commemorations of Angola at the eastern terminal of Bradenton’s Riverwalk at the Manatee Mineral Spring.

“Recovering History by the Manatee Mineral Spring” is a multifaceted program. For more information, visit and Also read