There are a lot of places to visit in Glynn County, Georgia like the Driftwood Beach, the Fort Federica National Monument, The Georgia Sea Turtle Center, and many more.
Driftwood beach in Glynn County, Georgia. (Link: https://www.goldenisles.com/listing/driftwood-beach/148/)
One of the famous spots that tourists visit here, however, is the Igbo Landing. This is a very historic place because a number of Igbo people brought to the United States to be slaves committed a mass suicide to protest what the Americans intended to do with them.
An artwork depicting the Igbo People’s mass suicide. (Link: https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/events-african-american-history/igbo-landing-mass-suicide-1803/)
The History Of The Igbo Landing
Igbo Landing, which is also sometimes referred to as the Ibo Landing, the Ebo Landing, or the Ebos Landing, is located at Dunbar Creek on St. Simons Island in Glynn County, Georgia. This is where the final scenes of the historic event related to the Igbo people took place. The Igbo people were from the place that is now referred to as Nigeria.
How it allegedly looked like inside the ship where the Igbo people were placed. (Link: https://www.letstalkhistory.com.ng/the-igbo-landing-1803/)
In May 1803, a slave ship containing captive West Africans were landed in Savannah, Georgia. They were supposed to be auctioned off at the local slave markets for $100. Even before the historic event, the Igbo people already had a reputation for being fierce and resistant to the practice of slavery of the Americans. There were a total of 75 Igbo people on that ship and they were chained and were packed under the deck of the small vessel known as The Schooner York. During their voyage, however, they took control of the ship and they were able to drown their captors.
A photo showing the Igbo Landing from above. (Link: https://www.themoonlitroad.com/ibo-landing/)
What happened next remains unclear to this day because there are several versions of what transpired after the Igbo people drowned their captors and took over the ship. One version claims that the Igbo people went ashore and later, their chief told them to walk in unison into the creek. They reportedly sang in the Igbo language the words, “The Water Spirit brought us, the Water Spirit will take us home.” They then committed the mass suicide via drowning.
One slave dealer claimed another version of the story. The slave dealer, identified as William Mein, claimed that the Igbo people walked into the marsh but only 10 to 12 of them drowned. The rest were salvaged by bounty hunters who received $10 per head from the original people who brought the Igbo people to the United States. The survivors were allegedly taken to Cannon’s Point in St. Simons Island and in Sapelo Island.
Linda S. Watts also wrote the following regarding the Igbo Landing, “The West Africans upon assessing their situation resolved to risk their lives by walking home over the water rather than submit to the living death that awaited them in American slavery. As the tale has it, the tribes people disembark from the ship, and as a group, turned around and walked along the water, traveling in the opposite direction from the arrival port. As they took this march together, the West Africans joined in song. They are reported to have sung a hymn in which the lyrics assert that the water spirits will take them home. While versions of this story vary in nuance, all attest to the courage in rebellion displayed by the enslaved Igbo.”
Whichever version is true, it has been referred to as the first freedom march in the history of the United States relating to the slaves.
An undated photo of Igbo women. (Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igbo_Landing)
Igbo Landing has no official historical marker. Back in the 1940s, a sewage disposal plant was built beside the historical site. The Igbo Landing is now incorporated in the curriculum of coastal Georgia schools.
The Paranormal Activities At The Igbo Landing
There haven’t been accounts about tourists or locals seeing ghosts or apparitions of the ghosts of the slaves who committed mass suicide. However, there have been recorded paranormal activities in the area. Some say that there are certain nights when the sound of rattling chains could be heard as well as the sound of bare feet slapping against the waters.
Another artwork showing the mass suicide by drowning of the Igbo people. (Link: https://oldnaija.com/2018/09/24/the-igbo-landing-story-of-igbo-slaves-who-rebelled-against-slave-traders-and-committed-mass-suicide-in-u-s-a-1803/)
It is also a rare encounter, supposedly during full moon, when the song of the Igbo people could be heard. Their song “The Water Spirit brought us, the Water Spirit will take us home” when they started marching to the water could be reportedly heard when one listens intently.
References To The Igbo Landing
In one of Beyonce’s songs called “Love Drought,” a scene in the music video mimicked the story surrounding Igbo Landing.
A screenshot showing the scene from Beyonce’s ‘Love Drought’ mimicking the events at the Igbo Landing. (Link: http://tink-africa.com/stories/6-facts-to-know-about-ibo-landing)
Also, in the Marvel movie “Black Panther,” Killmonger, who is played by actor Michael B. Jordan, referred to the event during one of the scenes. His line reads, “Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships, ’cause they knew death was better than bondage.”