Deborah Plant, former chairwoman of Africana Studies at the University of South Florida and editor of the current New York Times bestseller, Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" by Zora Neale Hurston, will discuss "From Bante, West Africa to Africatown , Al.: The Entrepreneurial Spirit of Africans in America'' at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Sulphur Springs Museum and Heritage Center, 1101 E River Cove St., Tampa.
The event is being held in celebration of Juneteenth, which celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. Admission is free and refreshments will be available.
The book, published from a manuscript Hurston wrote in the 1920s, tells the story of Cudjo Lewis, who told Hurston of how he came from West Africa on a slave ship and witnessed the founding of the freedman community of Africatown at Plateau, near Mobile, after five years as a slave. Hurston died in 1960.
Plant, a retired associate professor of English at USF, was instrumental in founding the USF Department of Africana Studies and in the development of its graduate program. She chaired the department for five years, and was Associate Professor of Africana Studies there until taking up her current position a few years ago.
Plant holds a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Southern University (Baton Rouge), a master's degree in French from Atlanta University, and master's and doctorate degrees in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.