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International African American Museum sets spring and early summer programming

Latest slate of events and online exhibitions supplement ongoing in-person and virtual engagement ahead of Museum’s June opening

Charleston, S.C. — The International African American Museum (IAAM) has set a series of additional programming ahead of its official opening on June 27. Ranging from virtual exhibitions to in-person events, audiences will engage with topics such as the achievements of African American men to the prevailing influence of jazz. The upcoming events are a continuation of the pre-opening IAAM-sponsored events and educational content that kicked off in February of this year.

“Over the past few weeks, we’ve had the opportunity to invite members of the community and folks across the world to engage with our programming honoring how African American labor, resistance, and ingenuity have shaped our country and our world,” said Malika N. Pryor, chief learning and engagement officer for the International African American Museum. “As we near  opening in June, we look forward to curating additional educational series and community events within, and still beyond, the physical space of the museum.”

The list below provides details on these upcoming events, along with information on how to register and/or RSVP. More information can also by found by visiting the IAAM website at www.iaamuseum.org.

Unearthing History: Exploring the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, And Abandoned Lands

April 15, 1:00pm ET | REGISTER HERE

Join us for an engaging and informative webinar where the panel of esteemed experts will delve into the fascinating history and critical role of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands during the Reconstruction Era. This interactive discussion will provide insight into the Bureau’s establishment, its key objectives, and the wealth of genealogical information it contains. Panelists will also explore how researchers and genealogists utilize these invaluable records to trace African American ancestry, study the lives of freed slaves, and better understand the social, economic, and political landscape of the time. This event provides an opportunity to learn from leading historians and genealogy experts as they bring the stories of the Freedmen’s Bureau to life. Panelists include Angela Walton-Raji, Damani Davis and Toni Carrier.

Healing Earth

April 22, 6:00-7:30pm ET | IAAM African Ancestors Memorial Garden | REGISTER HERE

IAAM is proud to host Healing Earth, an interactive program that explores the African roots of utilizing plants and herbs as healing agents for the body and the spirit. Through dialogue and demonstration, community members will learn about the extensive history of holistic practices, the medical properties of plants and herbs, and how Africans and their descendants in the Lowcountry used them for healing and survival.

Jazz in the Garden

April 28, 6:00-8:00pm ET | IAAM African Ancestors Memorial Garden | REGISTER HERE

With roots as early as the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Charleston has a deep connection to the musical style of jazz. From the historical influence and significance of the Jenkins Orphanage to works of musicians such as Freddie Green and Rufus “Speedy” Jones, the city has provided opportunities for many performers and continues to celebrate artistic expression and welcome both up-and-coming and established musicians to showcase their artistry. IAAM invites music lovers from across the city to join us on Friday, April 28, to mark the end of Jazz Appreciation Month with a performance and conversation with professional singer/songwriter, vocal coach, and producer Zandrina Dunning in the African Ancestors Memorial Garden.

Lavinia C. Thompson-The Personal Story of Slavery and Civil War in South Carolina

May 20, 1pm ET | REGISTER HERE

A genealogy webinar led by Dr. Walter Curry, this presentation will tell the story of Lavinia C. Thompson’s slavery and survival during the Civil War. Born enslaved on June 3, 1844, in Aiken County, Lavinia would follow her master into battle in the Civil War, serving the Confederate army as a cook. Six decades later, she would be among about 100 black South Carolinians who received small pensions for their involuntary service to the Confederate cause.

Welcome to Wikitree’s U.S. Black Heritage Program

June 17, 1pm ET | REGISTER HERE

Panelists will discuss the Wikitree U.S. Black Heritage Project, which defines Black heritage as having family with African diaspora who have been in the USA for several generations, some of whom were likely enslaved in this country before the Civil War. Discussed will be the benefits and successes of this project to the genealogy community. Panelists include Emma MacBeath, Denise Jarrett, Dr. Jajuan Johnson, and Center for Family History.

Living Legacies Series

IAAM Living Legacies is a series of digital exhibitions exploring local African American history through the lens of its wider impact and connections to national and diaspora history. Focusing on under documented stories, IAAM hopes to shed light on the broader impact and reverberation of local events and histories at a national and international level.

The Living Legacy of Moving Star Hall | AVAILABLE ONLINE

Moving Star Hall is a historic one-room praise house on Johns Island, S.C. It is also the birthplace of the Moving Star Hall Singers, a Gullah Geechee group that recorded traditional praise songs and received international notoriety. The Moving Star Hall Singers were instrumental in sharing Gullah Geechee spiritual and cultural practices with a wider audience. Ten oral history interviews were collected for the exhibition.

The Living Legacy of African American Longshoremen | AVAILABLE ONLINE

African Americans have worked as longshoremen in and around Charleston for over two centuries, and as such, have been at the center of international commerce and labor. The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) has a long history of fighting for labor rights. The ILA and African American longshoremen have been at the center of many labor struggles that have shaped the landscape of labor rights nationally. In this exhibition panelists speak with historians, and past and present longshoremen, in order to document that history and to better understand its significance to the Lowcountry and America as a whole.

The Living Legacy of Sol Legare Island and Mosquito Beach | COMING SOON

Members of the Parks/Wilder family have been steadfast members of the Sol Legare Island settlement community for generations. Mosquito Beach, on Sol Legare Island, was the home to juke joints and African American nightlife in an era of segregation. When Blacks were not welcome on Folly Beach after dark, they often visited Mosquito Beach for enjoyment on a gravel path just down the road. In this exhibition, multiple generations of the Parks/Wilder family tell their history and the story of Sol Legare Island.

The International African American Museum (IAAM) explores cultures and knowledge systems retained and adapted by Africans in the Americas and the diverse journeys and achievements of these individuals and their descendants in South Carolina, the United States, and throughout the African Diaspora. IAAM is a champion of authentic, empathetic storytelling of American history and is thus one of the nation’s newest platforms for the disruption of institutionalized racism as it evolves today. IAAM honors the untold stories of the African American journey from Charleston, S.C., at the historically sacred site of Gadsden’s Wharf and beyond. For more information, please visit iaamuseum.org or call 843-872-5352. 



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