Join us as Dr. Crabtree shares her findings of her sabbatical research on Black Studies in recovering Black voices and their rights to privacy.
Conversation with Patricia Williams Dockery Septima, the play
Mar 22 at 5 PM Septima Clark Auditorium Conversation with Patricia Williams Dockery, about her new play, Septima, now at Pure Theater. Panel moderated by Theater professors Nakeisha Daniels and Gary Marshall.
A Critical Conversations event with Tamara Lanier on Repatriating Artifacts of North American Slavery on March 21st
Tuesday, March 21 5:30-7:00 PM
Septima Clark Memorial Auditorium (ECTR 118)
The Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston invites students, faculty, staff, and members of the community to attend a public conversation about repatriation of artifacts, archives, race, and justice. The conversation will feature the story of Tamara Lanier, whose fight against Harvard University for images of her enslaved ancestors Renty and Delia has been covered by numerous national and international media outlets including the New York Times, Boston Globe, Guardian, and Democracy Now! The event is free and open to the public.
Tamara Lanier gives voice to her enslaved ancestors whose naked or partially clothed photographs were forcibly taken in 1850 outside Columbia, SC for a Harvard scientist, Louis Agassiz, who supported racist theories of polygenesis. Lanier’s case foregrounds the need for legislation that protects the cultural property of descendants of chattel slavery in the United States. All are invited to witness Lanier’s inspiring story about the importance of her family’s history and its relevance to national discussions about slavery and reconciliation.
If you have questions about the lecture, please contact Mary Jo Fairchild at email@example.com.
College of Charleston brings Afro-Brazilian activist Vilma Reis on March 20th for a discussion on “Afro-Feminism and Resistance in Brazil”
Afro-Brazilian activist Vilma Reis on Monday, March 20 at 4 pm in the Stern Ballroom: “Afro-Feminism and Resistance in Brazil”
March 18: Black Resistance: Septima Clark Teaching Citizenship
Date: March 18, 2023
Time: 2:00 PM EST
Location: Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture | 125 Bull Street | Charleston, SC 29424
Description: Join us for a discussion on the importance of Septima Clark’s work and view some items from her collection at the Avery Research Center!
A Gullah Gallery: An Ode to Charleston’s Black History
When thinking about black history, we often reflect on those who came before us. In a city like Charleston, the spirit of the Gullah community is alive through everyday customs and practices that you may not have even known had originated from the Gullah people.
Early Origins of the Gullah People
The Gullah people are descendants of West Africans slaves who were located in the lowcountry region of South Carolina including its sea islands. Historians have linked Charleston’s Gullah ancestry to Bunce Island, Sierra Leone, and Angola. The culture and language of the Gullah people is a blend of West African and European practices. The Gullah language has been inaccurately referred to as broken English when it is actually an English creole language. They use their language to pass down folk tales to younger generations and to sing spirituals in order to preserve the Gullah culture. Before, during, and after slavery, this group of people worked mostly off the coast of the state in fishing and agricultural industries. The climate and environment of South Carolina is similar to that of West Africa so the Gullah community was very knowledgable on land cultivation.
Food for the Soul and the South
The Gullah people are responsible for Charleston’s rich food history. The city is known famously for its shrimp and grits, rice pilaf, and lowcountry seafood boil. Many of these dishes were both affordable and able to feed a family for the week when made in one pot. Oysters and okra soup are both dishes Charlestonians began to eat after the Gullah people introduced it to the community. When dining in the downtown area, it is easy to point out which meals had some African influence with southern flare. Next time you are hungry, we recommend you try these black-owned Charleston Gullah restaurants: Hannibal’s Kitchen, Bertha’s Kitchen, East Side Soul Food, and My Three Sons of Charleston.
African Artistic Roots
Pieces of the Gullah culture can be seen thoughout Charleston. Sweetgrass creations are sold in the city market in the style of baskets, roses, bags, etc. by the locals. Originally used as functional baskets to carry items and to minnow rice, the artistic skill of the Gullah people is a hot commodity for tourists and locals to collect. Local sweetgrass artist, Corey Alston (pictured above) is known for his beautiful craftmanship and his work is featured in the Charleston City Market and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Lowcountry artist Jonathan Green, grew up on the sea islands and reflected his Gullah upbringing through his art. He is known in the creative world as an important artist of the Southern experience. In religious spaces, the ring shout is practiced among the Gullah people and many black Baptist and Methodist churches throughout the South. Dancing, call and response singing, and percussive hand clapping made up the praise and worship services which paid homage to their African origins.
Celebration and Culture
The Gullah culture is celebrated in numerous ways across the Lowcountry. Every May, the city of Beaufort hosts The Original Gullah Festival with a weekend full of food, art, and workshops. Also in May, the Gullah Gala “Charleston Renaissance; Birth of Art,” will be featuring music, fashion, and local businesses at Founders Hall in Charleston, SC.
The Charleston Gullah community has preserved their African heritage and customs more than any other African American group in the United States. Next time you find yourself in the Charleston area, take time to attend a Gullah tour, eat at local soul food restaurants, and speak to the Gullah people in the market to learn more about the rich black history here in the holy city.
Colour of Music and Branch Member only Reception
Charleston Branch members are invited to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Colour of Music Festival founded in Charleston SC by Lee Pringle, the Artistic Director. Over the four days the festival presents a diverse classical repertoire of baroque, classical and 20th century music featuring classically trained musicians of African descent. ASALH members are invited to a reception celebrating the tenth anniversary and honoring Lonnie Hamilton III, musician, educator, community leader who was the first African American to serve on the Charleston County Council.
The reception will be held on Saturday, February 4 at 6pm prior to the festival finale. Information will be provided on the branch website.
The Colour of Music Festival, Inc. presents a diverse classical repertoire of baroque, classical and 20th-century music at the highest of musical standards to diverse audiences nationally. The festival has presented in Atlanta, Georgia; Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Houston; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Richmond, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Sacramento, California.
Few classical music enthusiasts are aware of the tremendous contributions of Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, an African-French composer whose opera and classical masterpieces equaled or far exceeded those of his 18th-century contemporaries. Although his compositions are highly recognized overseas, they have gathered little notice in the United States. Today there are thousands of celebrated and prodigiously talented classical principals, composers and performers of African descent throughout the world. Yet, their opportunities to grace concert stages of major American orchestras are rare to non-existent. The Colour of Music Festival’s mission is reversing this trend.
Since 2013, the Colour of Music Festival offers a musical kaleidoscope highlighting the impact and historical significance of black classical composers and performers on American and world culture. The Colour of Music Festival began with performances at various venues throughout historic Charleston, South Carolina and has grown to debut in cities across the country with artists from across the globe.
Assembling acclaimed black chamber ensemble players and artists to form the Colour of Music Orchestra, the Festival showcases some of the top black classical musicians in the United States, trained at some of the most prestigious music schools, conservatories and universities in the world.
REVISED DATE: Branch Meeting and Forum: January 21, 2023 at 1 p.m. EST
Saturday, Jan 21, 2023 (was formerly the 14th)
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Riley Center for Livable Communities (178 Lockwood Dr, Charleston, SC 29403)
The first membership meeting of the year will include a review of branch activities in 2022 and the presentation of the 2023 projected calendar. This will be followed by a community forum on Black Resistance History, Life and Culture – Making Connections. Participants will be asked to share ideas on how we can best explore the history of the struggle of Black Americans ‘to establish and maintain safe spaces, where Black life can be sustained, fortified and respected. Organizations are asked to share information on their programs and projects that can contribute to this year long focus on the topic of Black Resistance in its many forms
RSVP using the form below
2023 Charleston’s Black Ink Festival
Black Ink: A Charleston African American Book Festival is the first and only annual celebration of African American literature in the Charleston area. Black Ink serves as a platform to support local Black writers, creating a space for them to share their work, discuss their craft, and expose readers of all ages to the great variety of African-American authors in the area. With the support of community-conscious sponsors Black Ink: A Charleston African American Book Festival will impact the lives of hundreds of readers of all ages
A Memorial for the Ancestors
Over the coming months, La’Sheia Oubré and Joanna Gilmore will be working to engage community members in the process of creating the memorial. They will identify individuals in the African American community who match the demographic profiles of the thirty-six Ancestors to provide models for the hands of the Ancestors. The hands of the selected individuals will be moulded in alginate (a natural substance) and later cast in bronze and then attached to the basin. The Ancestors included infants, children, teenagers, and adult women and men.
How can I get involved?
We are looking for people to volunteer who match the demographic profiles of the Ancestors to have their hands cast. Volunteers will be asked to meet with Stephen Hayes for the molding of their hands between February 16 and 18, 2023.
Oubré and Gilmore will also work with individuals, churches and organizations to collect soil from African descendant burial grounds in Charleston. The collected soil will be used in the fabrication of the basin to symbolize the many enslaved and free Africans who lived, toiled and were buried in the earth upon which our city is built.
If you know of a particular burial ground or your church or family members are connected to a sacred burial ground and you would like to collect soil to be used in the memorial design please contact us.
To register your interest in serving as a hand model or to volunteer to collect soil from a burial ground that is meaningful for you or your community, please click the link below