Online Event on June 26th at 12pm: The Black Family: United by History, Restored by Storytelling

Join the Association for the Study of African American Life and History for our project launch on June 26th with insightful presentations by Tracey Artis from Black Family Reunion and Therese Nelson of Black Culinary History. Through this launch event, we hope to inspire families to reconnect and reemerge whole through archiving, storytelling, and breaking bread guided by both our live and pre-recorded sessions.

In continuing this year’s theme, “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity,” the Association for the Study of African American Life and History is excited to announce a new national campaign, “The Black Family: United by History, Restored by Storytelling.” Launching in collaboration with NY Life and Archival Alchemy®, the campaign encourages participants to host intergenerational Black family reunions—virtual or in person—to explore their unique African American heritage and family History.

“The Black Family: United by History, Restored by Storytelling” will include prerecorded workshops, Q&A sessions, panel discussions, and a certificate program to guide participants through tools of oral storytelling, genealogy, and familial archiving that may serve as a roadmap to their reunions, after a year apart.

Celebrate Juneteenth in the Lowcountry

There are several opportunities to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday in the Lowcountry. Check out the individual events below.

This festival is open to all cultures, but will specifically target the national African American community and seek to galvanize the rising awareness, popularity and pride in celebrating the Juneteenth holiday. During this event, and as a sobering reflection of Charleston serving as the number one slave port sending enslaved people to various destinations, “All roads lead to Charleston, SC”

We will tap into the richness of the history, culture and flavor of The Lowcountry. This event will be branded as a yearly destination for the celebration of the Juneteenth holiday!
Celebrating Juneteenth in Charleston, South Carolina as a large-scale event is significant to our heritage and who we are as a people. Originating in Galveston, Texas, Juneteenth is now celebrated throughout the United States annually on the 19th of June, with varying official recognition. Juneteenth pays tribute and celebrates the journey to freedom, the contributions, ingenuity, and sacrifices that were made by those who came before us. Charleston has an abundantly rich black history due to its Gullah Geechee roots and because nearly half of enslaved Africans (Afrikans) brought to America came through Charleston, and nearly 80 percent of African-Americans can potentially trace an ancestor who arrived in Charleston. Juneteenth is a pivotal milestone in African American history. It demonstrates the long, enduring fight for freedom. It took nearly two and half years for those who were enslaved, in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas to finally be free from enslavement when the Union soldiers arrived, many of whom were black, to enforce the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation (Delaware and Kentucky, would not come until several months later, on December 18th, 1865 through the Thirteenth Amendment).
“Juneteenth” also referred to as Freedom Day or Liberation Day is the longest running African American Holiday celebrating the emancipation of African Americans who had been enslaved in the United States. Through Lowcountry Juneteenth Week and Festival, we aim to magnify an often overlooked moment in African American history. Join us June 14th – June 20th as we empower, celebrate and educate thru Gullah History, arts and culture.
Juneteenth Week will highlight black owned business with curated events throughout the city. The festival will include a family day of fun on Saturday June 19th at The Bend, a breathtaking waterfront venue located in beautiful North Charleston. The family affair will feature children’s activities, food trucks, vendors, performances, live concert, firework finale and more.
Juneteenth Pride Celebration sponsored by Charleston Black Pride

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

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

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 (