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Located in Beaufort County, South Carolina, Oyotunji African Village describes itself as “the first intentional community based on the culture of the Yoruba and Dahomey societies of West Africa founded in the Americas.” It is a modern instance of the historical quilombos—liberated settlements and states established by Africans on the periphery of slaveholding societies. Quilombos were spaces where formerly enslaved Africans could practice their cultures and build life-sustaining institutions. Oyotunji’s establishment and longevity continues this long tradition of freedom movements and Black nationalist thought in the United States.

Impetus for the Village

The founder of Oyotunji was Walter Serge King (1928–2005), who was later crowned as Oba Efun-tola Adefunmi I and received the title of Alase (“lawgiver”) for Oyotunji. He was often referred ...

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