Get local news delivered straight to your phone

21

WEDNESDAY

Support City Paper!

$
$
$

Your contribution is appreciated.

I have an aunt down in Greenville, S.C., named Henrietta. Her name sounds like a honeyed lullaby; it tumbles lightly from the tongue with a familiar ring. But history has rendered the name heavy indeed. Discovered in 1972 off the Florida coast, the Henrietta Marie is the only wrecked slave ship in the Western Hemisphere known by name. The 120-ton vessel carried ivory, glass beads, shackles, and more than its weight in human horror and sank in 1700 after leaving 190 African slaves in Jamaica. I want to call her Tyrant, Duce, Cudjoe. Anything but her name, which is too light and breezy for the load she bore. But the vessel’s moniker is as nonsensical as the centuries-long brutality and bondage of African people it supported. Tonight, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and scuba diver Michael H. Cottman will share his three-year affair with Henrietta Marie in a slide-illustrated presentation and book signing at 6 p.m. at the National Museum of American History’s Carmichael Auditorium, 14th & Constitution Ave. NW. $13. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Nefretiti Makenta)