Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor “Freedom’s Eve” Watch Night and Emancipation Day Commemorative Service on December 31, 2021

Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor upcoming “Freedom’s Eve” Watch Night and Emancipation Day Commemorative Service has reached capacity for in-person attendance — Sold Out!

They are delighted that many of you are eager to join us! Please join our professional live stream for this event, viewable via our FB Events page!

This hybrid event is free and open to the public, online and in-person.

Join us virtually: Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor NHA Facebook Events Page

https://facebook.com/events/s/freedoms-eve-celebrating-watch/611398676645363/

Press Release

GULLAH GEECHEE CULTURAL HERITAGE CORRIDOR NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA PLANS FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE WATCH NIGHT AND EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION CELEBRATIONS

For the fourth year, the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission will host an afternoon traditional Watch Night service titled “Freedom’s Eve: A Gullah Geechee Watch Night Emancipation Day Celebration” located at the historic Morris Brown AME Church, 13 Morris Street, Charleston, SC at 12:00 p.m. on December 31st, 2021. This event is a part of the Commission’s larger initiative to partner with Gullah Geechee communities in Charleston and across North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida to raise awareness about a celebration that is almost 160 years old: the New Years Eve & Watch Night service commemorating the date of January 1, 1863 when enslaved people in the Lowcountry, the Sea Islands and throughout the United States emerged from bondage as a result of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. On December 31, 1862, Gullah Geechee people gathered in praise houses and churches to await a new year. One that would mark the beginning of the end of slavery when the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1. This date was remembered as Freedoms Eve and many churches across the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor still use the New Year’s Eve Watch Night Service to remember that historic date.

To commemorate the historic tradition, this year’s hybrid event will showcase the rich, cultural heritage of the Gullah Geechee people with performances from acclaimed musicians Voices of Gullah Singers, Teli Shabu & The Magic of African Rhythm, Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters, storyteller Dontavius Williams, Melba Ayco and Northwestern Tap Connection, and liturgical dancer Diamin Hill. Hosted by Gullah preservationists Geechee Experience and Dr. Jessica Berry.

Sponsored by the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor National Heritage Area, in partnership with the International African American Museum, Emancipation Proclamation Association of Greater Charleston, and Magnolia Plantation & Gardens.