Updated information on the 2021 Middle Passage Remembrance Ceremony

Charleston, South Carolina

On Saturday June 12, 2021 from 10:00am – 2:00pm EST, the Charleston Area Branch Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) Remembrance Committee hosts Virtual REMEMBRANCE 2021.

Included in the program, a welcome by Mr. Jerome Harris, President, Charleston Area Branch ASALH, the program Occasion by Ms. Dena Davis, the Charleston Branch Historian and special greetings from the Charleston Branch Remembrance Committee Chairperson, Ms. Regina Williams. Dr. Tamara T. Butler, Executive Director of the College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture will be featured in an interview format. The Libation Ceremony at 12:00 Noon EST, officiated by Yoruba Priestess OsunWonuola EfunLayo pays homage to African Ancestors. Other features include historic footage recorded by Videographer Brenda J. Peart with memorable moments from past Charleston Remembrance Programs, and footage from the Diaspora showcasing the continuity of culture. “Connecting the dots across the Diaspora!”

The annual commemoration provides an opportunity for members of the African-descended community to collectively remember the millions of Africans — men, women, and children, who were sold, kidnapped, shipped away from their homeland, and who died along the route from Africa to the Americas. By remembering, we honor and restore the humanity of the nameless faceless Ancestors, disrupt the collective amnesia, and continue the process of healing from the fear, pain, guilt and shame of the experience that continues to traumatize the African descended community. Additionally, we seek the restoration of cultural identity, dignity and pride.

REMEMBRANCE programs (aka Tribute to the Ancestors) are conducted in various National and International locations. All people of African heritage are strongly encouraged participate. For information visit our Facebook page.

Join us Saturday June 12, 2021, 10:00 am – 2:00pm on Facebook LIVE: Charleston Middle Passage Remembrance

YouTube LIVE: Charleston Middle Passage Remembrance


REMEMBRANCE Inspiration: “All those Africans in the briny deep. All those people who said ‘no’ and jumped ship. All those people who tried to figure a way to steer, to navigate amongst the sharks. We don’t call upon that power… upon those spirits. We don’t celebrate those ancestors. We don’t have a marker, an expression, a song that we use to acknowledge them. We have nothing to indicate that those are our people and they mattered … we don’t tap into the ancestral presence in the waters.” ––Toni Cade Bambara (1987)

“Spirit of the Dead, rise up and claim your story.” ––Introduction to the film “Sankofa” (1993)

“If the Atlantic were to dry up, it would reveal a scattered pathway of human bones, African bones marking the various routes of the Middle Passage.” ––Dr. John Henrik Clarke’s introduction to “The Middle Passage: Black Ships/White Cargo” by Tom Feelings (1995)

The Charleston Remembrance Program is a sponsored by:
Charleston Branch ASALH Remembrance Committee

May 8, 2021: The Black Family and the Intergenerational Transfer of Wealth


The Black Family and the Intergenerational Transfer of Wealth


May 8, 2021 1:00 PM-3:00 PM EST


CHS Area Branch ASALH and Charleston Freedom School


The forum explores the historic and contemporary factors contributing to the persistence of the massive Black/white wealth gap and the intergenerational consequences on the family. Programs and strategies for reducing the gap will be discussed. Narratives of success in achieving intergenerational transfers will be shared.



  • Call to Order
  • Lift Every Voice and Sing
  • President’s Comments
  • Forum
  • Announcements


Rest in Power: Julie Saunders Monroe (obituary)

Julie Saunders Monroe CHARLESTON – On April 11th, longtime NJ resident, Julie Gaetatina Saunders Monroe, died in Charleston, SC following a long illness. Born in Newark to Louise Gaetatina (Gaetty) and Carter Morton Saunders, Julie graduated from West Side High School in 1964. She attended Mount Holyoke College and New York University before receiving a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from Rutgers University in 1997. Coming of age at the height of the Civil Rights Movement fueled her passion for promoting justice in American life. Politically astute, Julie was a community advocate and activist. In her early career, she worked at NAPA (Newark Area Planning Association) which fought Negro removal and assured the development of low-income housing. She helped organize the Black and Puerto Rican Political Convention which promoted the election of Newark’s first Black mayor, Kenneth Gibson. Julie held major management positions at Bloomingdale’s Import Office and Alcatel-Lucent’s corporate accounting division in 2013. In January 1990, Julie married Frank F. Monroe, Jr. Although she lost Frank in 2010, they spent 20 marvelous years together, traveling and enjoying their many friends while actively engaged in the community service work of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Following her retirement Julie relocated to Charleston, SC, where she continued her community advocacy. She was active in ASALH (Association for the Study of African American Life and History). Mrs. Monroe was serving as its president at the time of her illness. Julie is survived by her sister, Constance Saunders; niece, Alexis Hilton; step-daughters, Linda Mallory and Sherry Monroe; grandchildren, Miles and Madison Mallory along with numerous cousins and lifelong friends. A memorial service will be announced. Visit our guestbook at legacy.com/obituaries/charleston

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.

Published by Charleston Post & Courier from Apr. 21 to Apr. 22, 2021.

Video from African Americans and the Vote: Where Do We Go From Here?

On February 24, 2021 the Charleston Area Branch of ASALH invited community organizations to participate in a post-election/inauguration conversation focused on the Black vote, the Black community, and the Black family. The discussion was titled Part I: The Black Vote – Where Do We Go From Here?

The purpose of this conversation was to discuss the activities our organizations undertook leading up to the election, what trends we observed, what were the outcomes, takeaways, and next steps.

Presentation Recording

Presentation of Woodson’s books to the Charleston County Public Library

April 10, 2021: Branch Meeting and Panel on Promoting Health and Wellness

Program Title: The Black Family-Promoting Health and Wellness

Date: April 10, 2021 via Zoom

Time: Membership Meeting at 1pm; Program at 1:50pm


Membership meeting to be followed by a panel discussion

The Covid-19 pandemic has refocused and reinforced attention on the existence of health disparities for Black Americans. Our panel of health care providers will explore the family based issues, strategies, and actions that impact health and wellness outcomes.


  • Thaddeus J. Bell, MD, Closing the Gap in Health Care, Inc.
    • Dr. Thaddeus J. Bell is a practicing Family Practice Physician in Charleston, South Carolina. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Medicine and the Founder of Closing the Gap in Health Care, Inc. (CGHC), a non-profit organization created to decrease health disparities by providing health education for African Americans and other under-served populations. Closing the Gap in Health Care radio health tips as well as the website  has received  National Awards from the National Health Foundation as one the best programs of its kind in the Country in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
  • Paula Orr, MD, Charleston Women’s Wellness Center
    • As board-certified GYN, Dr. Paula Orr brings more than 20 years of extensive experience in every aspect of women’s care. Specializing in Gynecology, Minimally Invasive Pelvic Surgery, Advance Gynecologic Laparoscopic Surgery, to alternative medicine and preventative medicine to treat many gynecological ailments, you will find the experience and care that you need. In addition, Dr. Orr and her staff work to treat the total woman, Body, Mind and Spirit. That’s why you will find a relaxing, motivational, and caring environment inside our practice.


  • Gwendolyn Harris, PhD, Charleston Branch Program Committee


Virtual Tour of the Reconstruction Era National Historical Parkin Beaufort, SC sponsored by the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission

The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act was signed into law on March 12, 2019, and outlined the creation of the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network. This network, managed by Reconstruction Era National Historical Park, includes sites and programs that are affiliated with the Reconstruction Era, but not necessarily managed by the National Park Service. The network facilitates and reviews Reconstruction Era related research and collaboration with affiliated sites and programs through agreements and partnerships. This network is nationwide and works to provide opportunities for visitors to connect to the stories of Reconstruction.

Join Park Ranger Chris Barr for a virtual tour and learn about the integration of newly freed African Americans into social society after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in Beaufort County, SC

Find out more about the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission here.

Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston (CSSC) Inaugural Lecture, March 25th at 6:00 p.m.

Mark your calendars and spread the word. Dr. Hilary Green, Associate Professor of History at the University of Alabama, will be delivering the inaugural Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston (CSSC) Scholarly Lecture next Thursday, March 25th at 6:00 pm EST via Zoom. Her talk is titled “Untangling Campus Histories of Slavery.”

To register, use this link.

Sistahs in Indigo: A Conversation with Arianne King Comer and Ifé Franklin

The African American Studies Program at the College of Charleston, in conjunction with Avery Research Center and the Gibbes Museum of Art, will host their annual artists’ lecture event: Sistahs in Indigo: A Conversation with Arianne King Comer and Ifé Franklin.

Join us for an insightful conversation between two indigo-making artists about the ancestral craft of indigo-dying and its connection to the Lowcountry. Arianne King Comer is Artist-in-Residence at the Gibbs Museum and will be joined in conversation by fellow artist and master dyer, Ifé Franklin. Erica Veal, Project Archivist and Interpretation Specialist at Avery Research Center, will moderate the conversation.

The virtual event will take place on Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 11am EST. You will not need to register to attend the event; we will stream the event on the Avery Research Center’s Youtube page (https://tinyurl.com/IndigoSistahs).