3 Key Black History Facts Behind The Viral ‘Alabama Boat Brawl’ Incident

riverboat at a dock
Via Picryl
Leslie Grover-Taylor
August 8, 2023

The Alabama Boat Brawl was nothing short of glorious. It was a show of Black unity, and it gave us a wealth of internet memes. However, the Fade in the Water also reveals a rich source of Black History. Here are three historical facts that make the Sweet Tea Party even Blacker.

#1 The Folding Chair - In 1911, Black inventor Nathaniel Alexander patented a folding chair with a book holder. While not much is known about Alexander, we do know that he intended his chairs to be used in churches because they had a book rest on the back for Bibles or hymn books.

#2 The Slave Trade - The dock’s location on the river helped the population of enslaved people in Alabama swell to one of the largest in the nation by 1860.

#3 The Month - That this scuffle happened during August is pure serendipity. Black August was first observed in California's jails in the 1970s, following the deaths of Black political prisoners and brothers George and Jonathan Jackson. It has since become an annual recognition of Black freedom fights and revolutionaries who fought against oppression or lost their lives defending our liberation.

Our efforts to exist peacefully and gain our liberation span centuries. As the future unfolds, we know one thing is certain - we must never forget we are more powerful when we work together.

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