Festivities nationwide mark bicentennial of the end of international slavery. (photo of I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium in Orangeburg, SC)
(Savannah, GA, USA)--In commemoration of the 2008 Bicentennial of the end of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium at South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, will present the exhibit "Journey from Africa" to Gullah from October 9, 2008 to January 12, 2009.
Savannah artist Luther E. Vann and author Aberjhani, the creators of ELEMENTAL, The Power of Illuminated Love will autograph copies of their celebrated book during the opening reception. In addition, three of Vann’s paintings have been included in the exhibit.
Journey from Africa to Gullah is designed to showcase the distinct relationship between the art and artifacts of West Africa and those of the Gullah, or Gullah-influenced artists, residing on the southeastern coast of the United States. It may also be considered part of an on-going initiative to further define the implications of slavery and its aftermath in the United States.
“I don’t think anybody can blame most of us for not being all that crazy about discussing the lingering consequences of the Transatlantic Slave Trade but certainly we would be doing ourselves an in injustice if we failed to acknowledge the fantastic leap forward that humanity took by officially abolishing international slave trafficking two centuries ago,” said Aberjhani, who in addition to ELEMENTAL, The Power of Illuminated Love, is also co-author of Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance (Facts On File).
“It’s an extraordinary thing to look back in history at the beginning of the 1800s and see how first Denmark outlawed slavery, with Great Britain and the United States following suit a few years later, then Sweden, the Netherlands, and Spain all adding their voices to the international chorus until international slavery shut down in 1830. It’s like a great light suddenly flashed in the world’s collective consciousness and everybody suddenly woke up. Maybe we’re on the verge of experiencing another great flash.”
The artist Luther E. Vann’s participation in Journey from Africa to Gullah follows the artist’s historic ELEMENTAL exhibition at the Telfair Museum Jepson Center for the Arts in Savannah, Georgia, from May 16-Sept 14, 2008. The program at the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium is one of many taking place across the United States to commemorate the bicentennial. In New York City, author Maya Angelou will help kick off an international symposium titled "Slave Routes: Resistance, Abolition and Creative Progress," hosted by New York University, at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem on October 9 at 7 p.m.
In addition to Vann and Aberjhani, other participants will include: Emory Campbell, Ron Daise, Al Davis, Charles Desaussure, Sam Doyle, Diane Britton Dunham, Allen Fireall, Dr. Tolulope Filani, Cassandra Gillens, Floyd Gordon, Jonathan Green, Alyne Harris, Hank Herring, William Johnson, Arianne King-Comer, Alan Laird, Richard Law, Judy Mooney, Geraldine Smith, Helen Stewart, Jery Bennett Taylor, Leo Twiggs, and Richard White. Film screenings, lectures, live performances, and workshops will also take place during the three-month long festivities.
For more information on the event, please contact the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium at (803)536-7174.