October 2021: Uzi Baram

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Finding Angola: A Visual Tour of the Manatee Mineral Spring Site in Bradenton, Florida

Uzi Baram, Professor of Anthropology, New College of Florida

Freedom-seeking people found a haven of liberty on the Manatee River from the 1770s until 1821. The maroon community known as Angola, destroyed just as Spain transferred Florida to the United States, had its memory nearly lost. Looking for Angola launched a public anthropology program in 2004 involving local and descendant communities culminating in a Network to Freedom designation, recognizing the place now known as Bradenton as part of the southern route of the underground railroad.

This presentation offers an hour-long 2021 film following the lead archaeologist on a tour of the Manatee Mineral Spring, the location of January 2020 excavations revealing details for the daily life of the maroons, also known as Black Seminoles or African Seminoles. Questions and discussion with the archaeologist after the film.

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A professor of Anthropology at New College of Florida since 1997, Uzi Baram teaches a wide range of archaeology and cultural anthropology course. His academic efforts focus on the politics of the past in the Eastern Mediterranean and public archaeology in Florida. He has published and contributed to four edited volumes, dozens of scholarly articles and book chapters and delivered many conference papers on topics ranging from the archaeology of the Ottoman Empire to marketing heritage as well as giving public lectures based on archaeological insights into heritage; his current book project is Historical Archaeology of the Sunshine State for the University Press of Florida. As founding director of the New College Public Archaeology Lab, Professor Baram has experimented with “radical openness” for collaborations, undergraduate research opportunities, and representations for the ancient and recent past of the communities around Sarasota, Florida. Recent projects in the region include recovering an early 19th century maroon community, heritage interpretation for a county park, and building community resilience through heritage in an age of rising sea levels.