Today in class Dr. McCoy brought up the town Nicodemus. This really sparked my curiosity, what did it have to do with Paradiso, with Paradise?
Nicodemus is a region of land that is not governed by its own local government but rather by larger administrative divisions. It was founded in 1877 and was named after Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a name of two people a biblical figure and an African slave prince. Nicodemus, the biblical figure, after the crucifixion brought the customary spices to prepare Jesus’s body. Nicodemus also had a discussion with Jesus about being born again. Because of this conversation with Jesus he was a model of rebirth to African Americans after the civil war. Nicodemus was also the name of a legendary figure who came to america on a slave ship and then later was able to purchase his freedom.
Nicodemus Kansas was settled by free slaves after the civil war. Most of the slaves that came were from Kentucky, and their goal was to establish the first all black settlement of the great plains. The town thrived in the beginning but then rough winters that killed crops led them to decline in their population. Today the population of Nicodemus Kansas is only 52 people, which was surveyed in 2000. Clearly a small town, but it is very cool to see that the first ever town created by freed slaves still exists.
One Reply to “Nicodemus”
Thank you for your informative post!
I googled Nicodemus also and found that the name means “Victory of the people.” I think this is fitting as you said that freed slaves settled in Nicodemus, Kansas, after the Civil War.
I am interested to see if the name comes up in our next Morrison reading!