Of the 10.7 million Africans displaced to the Americas between the 16th and late 19th centuries, 103 landed in Alabama in July 1860 on the Clotilda. Infamous as the last slave ship to arrive in the U.S., the Clotilda has been the subject of several recent histories and a documentary, which, along with rich archival sources, inform British historian Durkin’s vivid recounting. In searing detail, she relates the circumstances of the Africans’ capture by Dahomeyan kidnappers, the cruelty they endured as enslaved people, and their valiant efforts to assert their West African heritage when they finally were freed. After a long incarceration in Africa as they waited for slave buyers to arrive, family members were forcibly separated—mothers from infants, husbands from wives—and those chosen were stripped and crammed into the ship’s hold for a horrific ocean journey. Although the slave trade had been outlawed in the U.S. since 1808, bans were poorly enforced. A group of pro-slavery conspirators funded the voyage; a wily captain navigated the ship to avoid detection; and when the crew threatened mutiny, they were bribed and threatened into submission. With the Africans offloaded, the Clotilda was set on fire, and its human cargo hidden on a plantation. Although the trafficking scheme soon became known, government officials failed to find the Africans or prosecute the conspirators. One by one, enslavers came to make their purchases. Durkin depicts the “incessant labour and violence” and the culture of virulent racism they found as freed men and women. Nevertheless, they endured: Some established a “self-sufficient community” they called Africa Town. They defied white efforts to keep them from voting, and they married, owned land, and raised families. Generations later, their descendants became active in the civil rights movement. The book includes maps, photos, and artwork.