Posts Tagged ‘exhibits’

Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week to be Celebrated Throughout the Coast

July 20, 2017
Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week
“Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week” began in 2012 in the City of Charleston, SC.  Since then, the celebration has grown to encompass the counties and townships of the Gullah/Geechee Nation in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida.  This year, the theme of the celebration is “Fa We Ancestas.”  The Gullah/Geechee Nation is proud that this week is part of the global activities for the “United Nations International Decade of People of African Descent.”  The “Gullah/Geechee Famlee Day” launch celebration for the week will take place at Island Breeze on historic Mosquito Beach in Charleston, SC ( and thereafter, those that are interested in learning about and supporting the continuing historical legacy of the Gullah/Geechee Nation can attend:
• the ribbon cutting on Sunday, July 30th from 1 to 5 pm at the Heyward House in Bluffton, SC where enslavement cabins and big house built by Gullah/Geechee has been restored.  While in the town, people should journey over to the Garvin-Garvey House to learn about this historic Gullah/Geechee family home that continues to stand proudly along the May River.
• the “American Gullah” exhibition at the landmark St. Helena Branch Library during the entire week of celebration.  They will be able to discuss the journey of these works at an artist talk with the creator of this powerful collection, Sonja Griffin Evans on Saturday, August 5, 2017 at 2:30 pm to conclude the performances and workshops at the library as part of the “Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™” (
•  August 1st and 2nd people are encouraged to take authentic Gullah/Geechee tours operated by natives of the Gullah/Geechee Nation.  For details on the tour companies that are participating, email or go to
Thursday, August 3rd is “Queen Quet Day” in Brunswick, GA!  Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation ( request the presents of everyone at the Glynn County Council meeting wherein they will present their “Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week Proclamation” as a gift on her day.
August 4-6, 2016 the entire “Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week” will culminate with the “Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™” on historic St. Helena Island, SC.  The celebration begins with De Gullah Root Experience Tour ( at Noon.  Those arriving that evening will be part of a welcoming “Party with a Purpose Juke Joint Jam at MJ’s Soul Food” on Sea Island Parkway on St. Helena Island, SC.
Saturday, August 5th from Noon to 6 pm is “Gullah/Geechee Reunion Day” at the landmark St. Helena Branch Library and the St. Helena Island Community Market.
Sunday, August 6th participants in the celebration are encouraged to worship at a spiritual center in the Gullah/Geechee Nation and then at 3 pm to gather at Hunting Island, SC for a massive drumming and ancestral tribute.
Throughout the course of the entire week, people should stop and sign in at the “Gullah/Geechee Visitors Center” in Beaufort, SC. When they shop there, they will receive Gullah/Geechee dollars that they can present to Queen Quet whenever they see her during that week.
If you want to find out more details or keep up with the week of festivities, follow“Gullah/Geechee Nation” on Facebook and @GullahGeechee on Twitter and Instagram.  Go to this link for weekend passes for the “Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™” events:
Make sure to bring drums, tambourines, and chairs to the activities!
Jayn we and bring de famlee!  #GullahGeechee
Webe Gullah/Geechee Anointed Peepol!

Lun mo bout who webe


Santa Elena History Center, July 30 – August 20

August 1, 2016


Event and Program Announcements from the Santa Elena History Center

July 30 – August 20

Join us for a variety of special programs and presentations 

In the Lecture Room of the Santa Elena History Center meet characters from our past, dive into the layers of the Santa Elena story, learn about the scientific aspect of archaeology, meet special guests in Beaufort, and much more!  Click here to register online and reserve your seat!

Have you head the big news? Long-Lost Fort on Santa Elena Site is Discovered! Click here to read more.

Lafayette and the Rights of Man

While most South Carolinians know who Lafayette was, the details of his life and his contributions to the cause of American liberty, both military and political, and his 1824-1825 tour of our country, including South Carolina, are not well known. This presentation will not only touch on the above information but will also focus on Lafayette’s life and his connections to South Carolina as well as his lifelong dedication to protecting the rights of all individuals.

August 2, 2016 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Santa Elena History Center 1501 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 29902

Cost: $10.00

Instructor: William S. Davies, Jr.

Medicine in Colonial South Carolina

What was health care like for people in colonial South Carolina? During this program participants will learn how people in the past dealt with sickness and disease through a PowerPoint presentation and by examining reproduction artifacts. They will then analyze the treatment given to George Washington during his final illness.

August 10, 2016 @ 2:00 pm –3:00 pm

Santa Elena History Center 1501 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 29902

Cost: $10.00

Instructor: Peggy Pickett

A History of the Yamasee Indians: Origins, Migration, Conflict and Pottery

This presentation will focus on the origins and migrations of the Yamasee Indians. It will incorporate some of the most recent research, and includes a brief overview of the Yamasee War and a short discussion of the evolution of Yamasee pottery.

August 13, 2016 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Santa Elena History Center 1501 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 29902 Cost: $10.00

Instructor: Dr. Eric Poplin

Guided Tour of Santa Elena on Parris Island

Special guided tour of the National Historic Site of Santa Elena on Parris Island. Walk in the footsteps of the French and Spanish explorers who tread this ground over 450 years ago, explore the remnants of a Spanish fort surrounded by a moat and learn about the lost century of our American history. Tour of Parris Island lasts approximately 2 hours, weather permitting.  Meet your tour guide at the Santa Elena History Center at 9:00 AM where you will proceed to Parris Island. You may want to enjoy the History Center’s main exhibit “Santa Elena: America’s Untold Story” which will take approximately 30 minutes afterwards ($10.00 admission).

August 16, 2016 @ 9:00 am – 11:30 am

Santa Elena History Center 1501 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 29902

Cost: Free

Instructor: Guy Collier

Meet Marina de Lara—a Settler from Santa Elena

In May of 1569, 193 settlers—men, women, children—arrived at Santa Elena.  Marina de Lara, her husband, their six children and her mother were among these settlers.  Seven years later the settlement they helped start was abandoned.  Come and meet Marina de Lara and she will tell you the story of the seven years she spent at Santa Elena—the successes and then the failures that led to its temporary abandonment.

August 17, 2016 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Santa Elena History Center 1501 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 29902 Cost: $10.00

Instructor: Peggy Pickett

 Everyday Life in Colonial South Carolina

What was life like for the typical lowcountry resident in the 18th century?   In an age with no modern conveniences how did they manage?  This program will explore the fashions, manners, food ways, education and amusements prevalent in the colonial period.

August 19, 2016 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Santa Elena History Center 1501 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 29902 Cost: $10.00

Instructor: Peggy Pickett

Captian William Hilton Visits Santa Elena

In 1663, almost 100 years after the Spanish had started their settlement at Santa Elena, an Englishman—Captain William Hilton, who had been commissioned by settlers in Barbados to explore the Carolina coast for a suitable site for a colony—entered Port Royal Sound.  As he did so he noticed a high bluff or headland on an island that could serve as a navigational marker and called it Hilton’s Head. You are invited to meet Captain William Hilton and hear about his life and harrowing adventures on the Carolina coast. Participants will be able to interact with Captain Hilton, ask him questions, etc.

August 20, 2016 @ 11:00 pm – 12:00 pm

Santa Elena History Center 1501 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 29902 Cost: $10.00

Instructor: Dwayne Pickett

To see a full calendar of events and programs happening each week click here, and check with us often as programs continue to be added.


Extended Camp Dig-It Program

Brand new Camp Dig-It program for ages 7-12, based on the archaeology of Parris Island where the 1566 Spanish settlement of Santa Elena was located.

Participants will get an introduction to the field of archaeology and have the opportunity to learn about the past as they excavate and identify artifacts from dig boxes. Archaeologist Dwayne Pickett will lead you through two simulated excavations; one related to the colonial occupation of Parris Island and the other related to when the Spanish occupied the site. Participants will learn about life on Parris Island during these times periods and also be able to make and keep pottery like the Native American made, which was used by the Spanish at Santa Elena.

We will be taking a 30 min lunch from 12:00-12:30 so please bring a bagged lunch on the day of the program and dress to get dirty.

August 5, 2016 @ 10:30 am – 2:00 pm

Santa Elena History Center: 1501 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 29902

Cost: $35.00

Instructor: Dwayne Pickett

Inaugural Exhibit “Santa Elena: America’s Untold Story”

now open to the public in the beautiful, historic former courtroom

Tuesday-Saturday 10am – 4pm  

Sunday 1pm – 4pm

Admission is $10/adult, $5/child (age 5-12), and free for children under 5, active duty and first responders.

SANTA ELENA HISTORY CENTER        1501 BAY STREET, BEAUFORT, SC 29902         843-379-1550         WWW.SANTA-ELENA.ORG

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Address postal inquiries to:

Santa Elena Foundation

PO Box 1005 Beaufort, SC 29901

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August in the BDC

August 1, 2016

BDC Panel Logo with TaglineDue to scheduled staff absences, the Beaufort District Collection has some schedule adjustments for August 2016.

We have a small panel exhibit “The Pollitzer Family” on loan from the South Carolina Historical Society on display in the 2nd floor gallery just outside the BDC’s Research Room door. It will run through August 31st. The Gallery is open Mondays through Fridays, 9 am to 5 pm.



While the Special Librarian/Archivist is out of the office August 3 – August 19:

  1. Research consultations are suspended.
  2. Permission for reproductions from our collection are suspended.
  3. Remaining staff will have lunch Noon to 1 pm each workday.
  4. Posting to this blog by BDC staff is suspended.
  5. Responses to any email or phone messages received will be made in the order in which they were first received. If you haven’t heard from us by August 31st, please re-submit.

The Water’s Edge Exhibit and Opening at Penn Center

July 13, 2016

penn-center-logoYORK W. BAILEY MUSEUM Penn Center, St Helena Is, SC

Exhibition: The Water’s Edge  – July 8, through October 29, 2016

Opening Reception: Friday, July 15, 2016 5:30 – 7:30pm Music by Phil Griffin

Penn Center’s York W. Bailey Museum will host the exhibition titled, The Water’s Edge featuring artist Diane Britton Dunham on view July 8 through October 29; with an opening reception July 15, from 5:30 – 7:30pm.  The Water’s Edge will feature new works by Dunham exhibiting what she has coined, Gullah Creole history, highlighting the Gullah, Louisiana connection discovered through years of researching her own family lineage, through DNA tests and public records. 

The Water’s Edge is inspired by Gullah-Creole life from Charleston, SC to the Red River and Bayou’s of Louisiana, in which there were plantations established by Lowcountry planters in an area named Carolina Bluff, by John Adger.   The planters brought with them all their possessions from South Carolina, including enslaved people, who brought with them their unique Gullah culture, and passed it on to their descendants.  After the civil war many of these freedmen remained, some took the owners name and were given land in return for share-cropping or worked to purchase their own farms. Paternally, Dunham is one of those descendants, whose great grandfather took the name Adger.

She states it’s a fascinating story of how they frequently traveled back and forth from Louisiana to South Carolina, exchanging mores and significant cultural traditions.  The once prosperous and flourishing area named Carolina Bluff no longer exists; it is now a part of Bossier Parish, where she remains a property owner.  Dunham has come full circle since moving to the Lowcountry, some thirty-six years ago spending over half her life in the region where her father’s line began.

Diane Britton Dunham’s art has been recognized internationally as a genuine illustration of the history and traditions of African American southern culture for decades. Her art career began as a small child, learning all the Folkways her elders could teach her, she was an adept student, fascinated by the stories they told her, and these would later appear in her paintings, which are well known because of their brilliant coloring, intricate human and landscape forms and themes that represent the life commonalities of South Carolina’s Low country region and the bayous of Louisiana. She is a self-taught mixed media artist, instructor and historian.

She has received many awards, exhibited in numerous shows nationally and has been a featured speaker and presenter at universities such as the University of South Carolina Beaufort, The University of Central Missouri African American studies, Drexel University Philadelphia Pennsylvania and Ohio State University, Women’s online Studies Group. She has presented online to various institutions throughout the world including the Sorbonne University, Paris France.  Dunham has been an instructor for the Gullah Studies Institute at Penn Center, The Mather Academy/ Beaufort Art’s Council, as well as private contracts.   Her artwork has been featured in many local, regional and international publications, as far reaching as Greece.  She is currently on the Board of Directors for the Beaufort Arts Council/Mather Academy.

The Water’s Edge Exhibit opens July 8 and run through October 29 with pop-up events throughout.

An opening reception on July 15 at Penn Center’s York W. Bailey Museum will feature music from 5:30 – 7:30pm by her husband, R&B and Blues musician Phil Griffin.

Penn Center was founded in 1862, as Penn School, and was one of the first academic schools in the South, to provide a formal education for formerly enslaved West Africans. In 1901, the Penn School expanded to become the Penn Normal. For more than 150 years, the Penn Center, Inc., located on St. Helena Island, SC, has been at the epicenter of African American education, historic preservation and social justice for tens of thousands of descendants of formerly enslaved West Africans living in the Sea Islands, known as the Gullah Geechee people. The York W. Bailey Museum is the first African-American museum in Beaufort County, to interpret the history of Penn Center. The Education for Freedom permanent exhibit chronicles Penn Center’s most important history as a place of education, leadership and service.

For More Information Contact:

Ingrid Owens, Director History, Art and Culture  York W. Bailey Museum Phone 843.838.7105

Victoria A. Smalls, Director Development and Marketing Phone: 843.838.2432 Fax: 843.838.8545


York W. Bailey Museum  Penn Center, Inc., National Historic Landmark District P.O. Box 126 16 Penn Center Circle West St. Helena Island, SC 29920

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation Continues Gullah/Geechee Healing and Continuation

April 6, 2016
Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation Continues Gullah/Geechee Healing and Continuation

St. Helena Island, SC native Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation ( celebrated the 17th anniversary of being the first Gullah/Geechee to ever speak before the United Nations in Genevé, Switzerland on behalf of Gullah/Geechees by continuing to work to keep the culture alive.  She and the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition ( which she founded in 1996 in order to insure that Gullah/Geechee traditions and landownership would continue celebrated the conclusion of another successful “Gullah/Geechee Nation Volunteer Month” in which hundreds of students came from around the world to historic St. Helena Island to participate in transformational learning and community service.   These students assisted with the digitization process for De Gullah/Geechee Alkebulan Archive which is the ONLY archive in the world totally dedicated to Gullah/Geechee history, heritage, and culture and also with projects at the landmark St. Helena Branch Library.
The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition provides exhibits from De Gullah/Geechee Alkebulan Archive to and host the “Gullah/Geechee Living History Series” at the St. Helena Branch Library.  The programs are FREE and open to the public.   Students were able to engage with Queen Quet and sweetgrass traditions keeper, Gregory Grant at the branch on Queen Quet’s April 1st anniversary as a part of this series.  Queen Quet is now looking forward to the entire community coming into the library to be a part of two major events regarding the healing and health of the Gullah/Geechee community that will take place this month.
On Saturday, April 16, 2016 from Noon to 5 pm, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Hollings Cancer Center will offer a FREE Cancer Educator Facilitator Training at the St. Helena Branch Library.  They seek to assist community members with identifying things that cause increased risk of cancer and also to provide knowledge on healthy lifestyle choices that can assist with lessening the incidents of cancer.   Participants in the training are required to pre-register by April 11.  They can go by the library to do this or email
MUSC is also one of the many partners of the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank along with the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition and leaders of the Gullah/Geechee Nation which annually host theCoastal Cultures Conference.”  The 4th annual conference which is being sponsored by the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, Gullah/Geechee Angel Network, Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association, South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, South Carolina Sea Grant, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Coastal Program of the US Fish & Wildlife Service will be hosted at the St. Helena Branch Library on Saturday, April 30th from 10 am to 5 pm.  An after party will be held at the Gullah/Geechee owned MJ’s Soul Food on the island and the public is invited to join everyone there at 7 pm as well.
Due to the support from the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank which is seeking ways in which to continue focusing on human health and seafood safety, for the first time in the four year history of the Coastal Cultures Conferencethe registration is free.   Participants are required to pre-register online at
These events are all part of the “Gullah/Geechee Land & Legacy World Tour” which Queen Quet has been on for the past two and a half years.  It will culminate with the anniversary of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition in December.  Queen Quet continues to state her proverb, “Hunnuh mus tek cyare de root fa heal de tree.” and to provide the healing tools to the community in order to do so.  She is pleased with the progress that has seen made throughout the Gullah/Geechee Nation since the first time she stood up for her people’s human rights and she knows with the continued healing that is taking place, the Gullah/Geechees will be strong enough and empowered enough to continue the culture for many generations to come.