26th Annual Middle Passage Remembrance Ceremony on June 10, 2023

Charleston Branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) REMEMBRANCE COMMITTEE

Honoring our ancestors who perished during the “Middle Passage”

Saturday, June 10, 2023 • 9:00am – 1:00pm

Fort Moultrie at Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina

“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” ––From the film Sankofa (1993)

On Saturday, June 10, 2023, The Charleston Branch ASALH Remembrance Committee will host the 26th Annual Remembrance Program on Sullivan’s Island, SC from 9:00am – 1:00pm.

The annual commemoration, held the second Saturday of every June, provides an opportunity for members of African Diaspora communities to collectively remember the countless Africans — men, women, and children — who were kidnapped, sold, shipped and died along the route from Africa to the Americas.

We believe that by remembering, we honor and restore the humanity of those nameless, faceless Africans. We continue the process of healing from the fear, pain, guilt and shame of the experience that continues to traumatize the African descended community today. After all, If we don’t remember them, who will?!

We also honor and commemorate those who survived the Transatlantic trafficking of African people and we stand upon their strength, courage and determination to overcome obstacles of enormous magnitude.

The program begins promptly at 9:15am in the Fort Moultrie Auditorium with greetings from The Charleston Remembrance Committee. Dr Felice Knight, History Professor at the Citadel, will speak on “Remembrance as Resistance.”

The program includes a drum procession to the Beach and back to the “Bench by the Road” for remarks by community members.

At 12:00pm EST, the Libation Ceremony conducted by Yoruba Priestess OsunWonuola EfunLayo, will be held simultaneously in conjunction with various locations, including: Brooklyn, NY; Washington, DC; Georgetown, SC; Hampton, VA; New Orleans, LA; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland, CA; Montgomery, AL; Miami, FL; Detroit, MI. Tributes are also held internationally in locations in West Africa, The Caribbean and South and Central America.

The program and gathering is free and open to the public; all who wish to attend are welcome.

Attendees are encouraged to bring fresh flowers as an offering and to be dressed in white.

For those unable to attend a scheduled Remembrance/Tribute to the Ancestors program, we encourage you to gather with friends and family and reflect upon the occasion.

For additional information, visit Charleston Middle Passage Remembrance on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube.


The Charleston Remembrance Program is a member of the International Coalition to Commemorate the African Ancestors of the Middle Passage (ICCAAMP). For ICCAAMP info: www.remembertheancestors.com

Feedback Needed! Share your experiences, thoughts, and satisfaction with the Charleston Police Department


Feedback Needed!
Share your experiences, thoughts, and satisfaction with the Charleston Police Department


Option 1: Saturday, May 20, 10 AM – 12 PM
Bees Landing Recreation Center, 1580 Ashley Gardens Blvd, 29414

Option 2: Thursday, May 25, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM Main Library Auditorium, 68 Calhoun Street 29401

Programs are moderated by Bob Kahle and Thuane B. Fielding

This will be a safe, supportive environment. Refreshments will be provided.


*Hosted by the Racial Bias Audit External Review & Assessment Team.

Cannot attend?

If unable to attend, share your thoughts at cpdracialbiasfeedback@gmail.com or 843-619-7342.

Honoring the Ancestors on May 3rd, 4th, and 6th


In 2012, Dr. Ade Ofunniyin had a vision for an organization that would advocate for, preserve and protect Gullah Geechee burial grounds, history and culture. Between 2016-2020, the ASABG team – Ade Ofunniyin, Joanna Gilmore, La’Sheia Oubré, Grant Mishoe, Raquel Fleskes and Theodore Schurr, worked to further the mission of the Gullah Society, guided by the Ancestors. This website documents the memorialization process for the Anson Street Ancestors, between 2017-2019, and provides space for updates about our ongoing work.  Thank you for supporting us.

May 3rd-DNA Testing

This is an opportunity for a free DNA test conducted by Dr. Theodore Schurr, who is an Anthropological Geneticist and member of the ASABG team. The samples will be analyzed at the University of Pennsylvania. Please sign up for your test here. One test per family please.

May 4th-TadTalk

Join us for a community conversation about the DNA and dental calculus research and an update about plans for the Anson African Burials Memorial, with Dr. Theodore Schurr, La’Sheia Oubré and Joanna Gilmore.

May 6th Ancestors’ Reinterment Anniversary

We will be marking the 4-year anniversary of the reinterment of the Ancestors with the pouring of libations, drumming, and speeches. Join us as we celebrate our Ancestors!

RSVP for All Events here

April 15, 2023 CHS ASALH Branch Program titled Celebration of Black Resistance – Jazz and Poetry

Location: Riley Center for Sustainable Communities | 176 Lockwood Avenue | Charleston, SC 29403

Online: Zoom Code 861 9531 5995

Topic: Celebration of Black Resistance – Jazz and Poetry


April and May 2023 Calendar of Events

April 13 -Tri County Community Education Meeting, Charleston Shared Future: Charleston Forum, Trident Technical College 7000 Rivers Ave, Building 920, North Charleston, SC 29406

April 18- Under Represented Communities National Park Service Grant Program Call, contact Chloe Stuber,  stuberc@charleston-sc.gov

April 18-20 – Charleston County Superintendent Search Committee Community Input Sessions see:  ccsdschools.com/superintendentsearch2023

April  20-23 – Charleston Jazz Festival, see www.charlestonjazz.com

April 29, 2023- Charleston Human Affairs and Racial Conciliation Workshop, 9 am -12 noon, City Council Chambers City Hall, *0 Broad Street, Charleston, SC

April 30 – Submission deadline for Proposals and Posters for the 2023 Annual ASALH Conference see www.asalh.org/call-for-propsals

May 3-6- Honoring our Ancestors Events, Anson Street African Burial Ground Project. see wwwasabgproject.com/a-memorial-for-the-ancestors

May 20- Charleston Area Branch ASALH Meeting and Forum, 2-4 pm , Riley Center for Sustainable Communities, 176 Lockwood Ave, Charleston, SC

Remembering History: The Charleston Movement

Charleston activism is not a new concept in the Lowcountry with roots stemming from the Civil Rights Movement. On April 1, 1960, twenty-four students from Burke High School orchestrated the first sit-in in the historic district. The Kress building sit-in demonstrated a peaceful protest against segregated lunch counters. The black high school students sat at the whites-only counter where they were refused service and asked to leave. When Kress’ staff removed empty seats, poured ammonia on the bar surface, and called in a false bomb threat, the young protesters stood their ground and remained at the lunch counter. After five hours, Charleston police arrested the high school demonstrators for trespassing. NAACP leader Arthur Brown paid the students’ bail for their bravery to stand up against the city’s oppressive Jim Crow laws.

Modeled after the Greensboro sit-in earlier that year, the protest has shown how impactful the actions of students are to the Civil Rights Movement. Because of the limited resources for higher education in the Lowcountry, most of the work was done by high school students. Three more sit-in demonstrations took place at the Kress’ “five and dime” establishment later that summer in order to fight for equality for black Charlestonians. Notable Kress protesters Harvey Gantt, Minerva Brown, and Millicent Brown continued this activism work in the education field. Gantt became the first African American student admitted to Clemson University and the first mayor of Charlotte in 1983. His fight for equity for the African American community remains strong through the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture in Charlotte. He believes philanthropy and supporting black culture by black individuals can help move progress forward within the community.

Sisters Minerva and Millicent Brown are the daughters of former NAACP president Arthur Brown. The passion for activism was instilled in the Browns at an early age as they were both involved in the Brown vs. Charleston County School District 20 case to integrate schools in the Lowcountry. The Court ruled in favor of the Browns stating segregation in Charleston schools were unlawful according to the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Later that year, Millicent Brown became one of the first African American students to integrate Charleston schools at Rivers High School in 1963. She attended the College of Charleston and The Citadel to earn degrees in History and Education. She is now a Senior Research Fellow and Associate Professor at Claflin University.

The power of local protest can ignite a change in the community. Organizations like Charleston Black Lives Matter, the Charleston branch of the NAACP, and the Charleston Activist Network, advocate for black Americans here and beyond. Using your voice to speak out against injustices you have noticed or experienced at work, in schools, or even in the community can continue the momentum of black advocacy. To learn how to get more involved with local activist groups, check out the following organizations to join the fight for equality.


Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories

This year’s theme of Women’s History Month is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” In the Lowcountry, local women share their narratives of black female liberation through various forms of media. Here are some Charleston creatives that have greatly influenced women in the media beyond the peninsula.

Kris Kaylin- Social Media Influencer, Radio Personality, Event Host

Kris Kaylin is a charismatic media personality and host of the Chucktown Hit Factory. With her new talk show, Diva Talk, she interviews a number of guests on topics ranging from black entertainment to mental health in the black community. Known as “The Princess of Charleston,” Kaylin is active within the community where she uses her platform to highlight the black Charleston scene.


Mabel King- Actress

Mabel King was an actress from Charleston who got her big break on the ABC sitcom, “What’s Happening!!” in the late 70s. She stepped down from her role as Mabel “Mama” Thomas after her request to represent the show’s family as a two parent household rather than single mother household was denied by the network. King is best known for her role as the wicked witch of the west, Evillene, in Motown production, “The Wiz.” Her portrayal of black motherhood and culture during the 70s provided positive representation of black women of that time and beyond.

Jirah Perkins- Artist

Jirah Perkins is an up and coming artist from the Lowcountry who depicts the joy of girlhood to womanhood in the black community. Her latest exhibit, “Miss Mary Mack” showcases the many children’s songs and games black girls would take part in. Perkins wanted to change the narrative of criminalizing and sexualizing black women in the media through her work. Perkins’s work can be viewed on her website and Instagram.


Alice Childress- Novelist, Playwright, Actress

Alice Childress was a playwright and novelist born here in Charleston. She later moved to Harlem, New York where she went on to write and direct her first play, Florence. All of the plays she conducted addressed issues of racism, poverty in black urban communities, and problems plaguing black youth. Her play, Gullah, paid homage to her Charleston roots. discussed her acclimation to life up north, and finding a sense of community with other black southerners who moved to New York. Childress is also a children’s book writer covering racial and socioeconomic topics.

Bertha Hill- Singer

Bertha Hill is a Charleston blues singer who found success in the genre at the age of 14. She worked with a number of black artists such as Louis Armstrong, Ma Rainey, and studied under Ethel Waters. Hill moved to Harlem and Chicago to perform in various nightclubs during her youth. While her music career was short-lived, her records, “Pratt City Blues,” “Trouble in Mind,” and “Weary Money Blues” keeps her memory alive.

International Women’s Day: On the Fringe of Change

International Women’s Day is a holiday observed on March 8th to bring awareness to the achievements and challenges of the women’s rights movement. Matters such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence against women and girls are often highlighted throughout the month. Along with this,  female activists around the world fight to improve the quality of life for women. In Charleston, the local foundation IBU Movement hosted an event called the Fringe Revolution to showcase the stories of women artisans around the world through international cuisine, speeches, and a fashion showcase.

IBU Movement works with craftswomen around the world in order for women to generate a source of income based on their artisanal skills. This organization gives women from underrepresented cultures a platform for female empowerment through fashion. This year, IBU celebrated artisan women and their designs in honor of International Women’s Day. The global craftswomen noted the revolutionary change within their communities that has expanded beyond that. In a culturally rich city like Charleston, these women’s stories resonated with many attendees who had a strong appreciation for the customs and traditions of others. Downtown’s strong Gullah roots could feel akin to the representation of designers from various parts of Africa. 

I had the privilege of walking in the Fringe Revolution fashion show, and it was an amazing experience. Exhibiting the beautiful work of Uzbekistan artisan women, I felt esteemed to share the stories of these women through their designs. A day full of female empowerment and celebration created an aspiration of change among women. The challenges and triumphs of women around the world are a testament to the fight for equity. In many cultures and societies, women do not receive the same opportunities for social, political, and economic success as men. IBU’s foundation created a platform for women around the world to stand on a united front to make a difference for women, by women. 

To learn more about Charleston’s fashion hub for change, visit their website and check out their latest spring/summer collection available online or in-store downtown on King Street.


Submit your proposal for the 108th ASALH Annual Meeting and Conference

Submit proposal here

African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms, and police killings since our arrival upon these shores. These efforts have been to advocate for a dignified self-determined life in a just democratic society in the United States and beyond the United States political jurisdiction. During the 1950s and 1970s the United States was defined by actions such as sit-ins, boycotts, walk outs, strikes by Black people and white allies in the fight for justice against discrimination in all sectors of society from employment to education to housing. Black people have had to consistently push the United States to live up to its ideals of freedom, liberty, and justice for all. Black people also have sought ways to nurture and protect Black lives, and for autonomy of their physical and intellectual bodies through armed resistance, voluntary emigration, nonviolence, education, music, literature, sports, media, and legislation/politics.

Black-led institutions and affiliations have lobbied, litigated, legislated, protested, and achieved success. In an effort to live, maintain, and protect economic success Black people have organized/planned violent insurrections against those who enslaved them, or choose to self-liberate as seen by the actions those who left the plantation system. Black people established faith institutions to organize resistance efforts; and it was a space that inspired folk to participate in the movements and offered sanctuary during times of crisis.

This is a call to everyone, inside and outside the academy, to study the history of Black Americans’ responses to establish safe spaces, where Black life can be sustained, fortified, and respected.

Proposal Types

Proposals should be detailed, comprehensive, and descriptive that outline the theme, scope, and aim of session. Details on each can be found on the ASALH website.

Papers: There will be limited slots for paper sessions at the ASALH annual meeting. Papers will ONLY be accepted by non-academics, undergraduate, and graduate students on the 2023 Annual Black History Theme: Black Resistance. For those who do not fit into these categories the Academic Program Committee encourages you to use the Google spreadsheet, which is an informal tool to connect individuals who are seeking ideas and/or collaboration. The spreadsheet is not monitored by ASALH or the Academic Program Committee and is not part of the official submission process.

Panels, Workshops, Roundtables, Media, and Woodson Pop-Ups: Proposals that incorporate the annual theme are preferred, but submissions can be on a variety of temporal, geographical, thematic, and topical areas in Black history, life and culture. Proposals will be accepted by all affiliations and academic status. For individuals who are interested in collaborating on a panel, workshop, roundtable please use the Google spreadsheet, which is an informal tool to connect individuals who are seeking ideas and/or collaboration. The spreadsheet is not monitored by ASALH or the Academic Program Committee and is not part of the official submission process.


The All Academic system will be open in January 2023. The submission deadlines for proposals are as follows: Early Bird Submissions will be accepted via All Academic until March 18, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). Conditional acceptance responses to Early Bird submissions will be sent out by April 21, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). After this date, the committee will accept all submissions until the deadline of April 30, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). Regular conditional acceptances submissions will be responded to by June 9, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). You will not be considered official until all session participants have joined the Association and registered for the conference.