September 8, 2015
ANNOUNCEMENT: Cultural Excursions During the 2015 ASWAD Conference
Dear Colleagues,
We are looking forward to seeing you in Charleston in November for our 8th biennial ASWAD conference! As you know, information about the program is listed on our website and we invite you to visit it at your convenience:
In the meantime, we would like to share information with you about the cultural excursions that will be available during the conference. These activities will be held during periods when there are no other sessions, so conference participants can enjoy the site visits without missing conference presentations. The details are below. PLEASE NOTE: we will be asking folks to sign up for the excursions later in September, and more details about that process will soon follow.
Wednesday, November 4
Drayton Hall Plantation
Drayton Hall, built in 1738, is the oldest preserved plantation house that is open to the public. Following seven generations of Drayton family ownership, the house remains in nearly original condition and has never been modernized, providing an unmatched look at colonial living. Drayton Hall is also home to one of the country's oldest African American cemeteries and the Drayton Hall Preservation Trust is dedicated to telling the stories of both the Europeans and the Africans who lived and labored on the plantation. At its height, the Drayton Hall plantation encompassed over 350 acres, and it served as the hub of the Drayton family's massive commercial empire. The family eventually owned 100 different plantations totaling approximately 76,000 acres across South Carolina and Georgia where generations of enslaved Africans and Native Americans grew rice and indigo for exportation to Europe and reared cattle and pigs for shipment to the Caribbean sugar islands.
For more information about Drayton Hall and its commitment to preserving African American history, see here:
Saturday, November 7
Sullivan's Island Remembrance
Historians estimate that 40% of Africans who were brought to North America between 1619 and 1808 arrived through the port of Charleston. Sullivan's Island, located just off the Charleston coast, served as a location where many Africans were held before making their final entry into the city. This painful history makes Sullivan's Island a gateway through which many African Americans can trace their entry into America. During this excursion, conference participants will experience a Remembrance Ritual to honor the Africans who passed through Sullivan's Island. The Remembrance Ritual will include a drum and dance procession, libation, and sacred words from local Yoruba priestess, Iya Helen Phillips. Participants are encouraged to wear white and bring small offerings for the ancestors including fruit and flowers. The ritual will include time for guided and silent mediation and words from those gathered about the importance of the occasion. 
Explore Black Charleston
Beyond the formal tours that are included in the program, we encourage conference participants to explore and enjoy historic Charleston. For those who are interested in organized tours of Charleston from a Black perspective, please consider the Sites and Insights Black History tour. The S ites and Insights Tour company offers 1, 2, and 2 ½ hour motorized tours of greater Charleston, South Carolina from a Black perspective. All tours are conducted by licensed guides who are well versed in all aspects of Charleston history and deeply rooted in Gullah culture. Whether you are a first time visitor to Charleston or an ardent history buff, you will learn of the rich black history that has helped shape modern-day Charleston.

For more information see here:

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