The story speaks to the nearly 2 million enslaved Africans who died at sea.
For National Geographic Explorer and narrator Tara Roberts, the story begins at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
Among all the exhibits and artifacts, there was a painting of a Black female sea diver that drew her in.
Roberts recalls: “They looked so free and happy and adventurous.
She had never seen a group of black women scuba diving before – that representation represented an inspiration to her.
“It made me think, ‘Oh, maybe I can do that too. “
What she later learned was that the women were members, and the man accompanying them, a co-founder, of the group Diving With A Purpose.
The nonprofit’s mission is to locate and document shipwrecks associated with the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Within a few months, Roberts would join the organization, learn how to scuba dive, and begin documenting their work for the “Into the Depths” podcast.
“I feel powerful underwater,” Roberts said. “It was like I raised my hand and I said I’m going to keep looking at this history, which means giving a voice to people who have never had a voice.” .
It is estimated that 12.5 million Africans have been torn from their families and homelands, kidnapped and taken on ships crossing the Middle Passage to be forced into slavery in a strange land centuries ago. 15th to 19th century.
About 1,000 of those shipwrecks at sea crossed the treacherous waters of the Atlantic and some 1.8 million African souls were lost, their stories rarely acknowledged.
The six-part podcast takes listeners on an enriching journey of discovery around the world to find those lost ships.
To date, less than 10 shipwrecks caused by the slave trade have been identified.
From Mozambique to Costa Rica, the Florida coast and beyond, Roberts joins a team of mostly black divers, archaeologists and historians to uncover these untold hidden stories.
“I’m seeing real-life evidence from that experience more than 200 years ago. It’s crazy and beautiful – it’s amazing,” Roberts said. “Encountering these shipwrecks is truly healing. It’s an opportunity to close.”
Roberts hopes listeners will join her on this journey of a lifetime as she re-imagines and rearranges the origin story of Africans in the Americas, telling a human story and bringing together sympathy for those who are often forgotten.
“Too much of our history is hidden. It’s obscured. It’s not fully told,” she said. “I hope people are curious to learn more and participate in this important work.”
“Into the Depths” was featured on the cover of the March issue of National Geographic.
To learn more about existing podcasts, visit Website NatGeo.
You can find “Into the Depths” anywhere you listen to podcasts. Episodes will drop weekly.
On February 7 at 10 p.m. ET / PT | At 9 p.m. CT, National Geographic will also premiere documentary special, “Clotilda: The Last American Slave Train“about the most intact slave shipwreck found to date and the only one for which we know the full story of the voyage, the passengers and their descendants.
“Clotilda: The Last American Slave Ship” will be available to stream the next day on Hulu.
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https://abc13.com/into-the-depths-podcast-natgeo-undiscovered-slave-shipwrecks-about/11514909/ NatGeo launches ‘Into the Depths’ podcast in search of slave shipwrecks, untold stories; available now