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
Join us for a free, live performance of the traditional music of the Gullah Geechee people of the South Carolina Lowcountry. During our time together, we’ll provide music and historical education about ancestral music. Learn about the styles, meaning, and purpose of the Lowcountry spirituals and discuss them with the museum and our co-hosts at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church – North Charleston, SC!
There will be a special performance by the Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters at 3:45 pm!
Program begins at 4:30 p.m.
Date: Saturday, March 18, 2022 Time: 3:45 p.m.
Presented in partnership by the International African American Museum, Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, and the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission. Free and open to the public. All ages.
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.
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.
The Charles Joyner Institute for Gullah and African Diaspora Studies examines the historical migration and scattering of African populations to local geographical areas and the subsequent evolution of blended cultures, specifically Gullah. CCU’s location at the northern tip of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor puts it in a unique position for diaspora study and research. The work of the institute provides students with experiential learning opportunities, both at home and abroad, that center on interconnections among local, national, and global peoples and their societies. The Institute is also a catalyst for community involvement.
South Carolina ETV (SCETV) will be premiering a new hour-long documentary film on October 1 entitled “Gullah Roots.” Follow members of the South Carolina, Florida and Georgia Gullah Geechee community as they experience a homecoming in Sierra Leone. You can also join community members to celebrate the debut of this project at a film screening event on Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Highway 21 Drive-In, located at 55 Parker Drive in Beaufort, S.C. The event is open to the public. Additional information and a registration link can be found on Eventbrite.
The trip to Sierra Leone took place last winter and included Gullah Geechee scholars, performers and cultural ambassadors, such as Anita Singleton Prather, also known as Aunt Pearlie Sue of the Gullah Kinfolk, and Ron and Natalie Daise, as well as Victoria Smalls, a commissioner of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor. While touring the country, members of the group noted powerful connections between Sierra Leone and the Gullah Geechee people.
In addition to its premiere on Oct. 1, Gullah Roots will also be airing on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. on ETV World and Monday, Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. on the South Carolina Channel.