The International African American Museum 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, according to an IAAM news release. 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, in the release. “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.”
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The list below provides details on these upcoming events, from the release. More information can be found here.
Unearthing History: Exploring the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, And Abandoned Lands (April 15)
A panel of 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.
Healing Earth (April 22)
Healing Earth is 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)
With roots as early as the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Charleston has a deep connection to the musical style of jazz. IAAM invites music lovers from across the 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)
A genealogy webinar led by 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)
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.
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 (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 (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 has a long history of fighting for labor rights. 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.