African American Heritage Day Sets New Attendance Record

African American Heritage Days (1)_201212170953272204Approximately 1,300 elementary and middle school students braved a very rainy day to celebrate African American Heritage Day at Wannamaker County Park.  The children experienced Sierra Leonean drumming, Gullah storytelling, Wo’se African dancing, Capoiera martial arts, and other performances. In addition, the children learned about Carolina Gold rice cultivation and processing by pounding rice in mortars and pestles, observing a rice trunk model, and fanning rice in baskets. The 54th Massachusetts re-enactment group also spoke about the role of this legendary unit in the attack on Battery Wagner and in other Charleston area battles. Vera Manigault, an award winning sweetgrass basket maker, also spoke with the children about the long history of Charleston area baskets from their roots in West Africa to their utility on plantations to their evolution as a highly regarded and collectible art form.

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