By Hakim Abdul-Ali
Saturday, February 23, a truly unique cultural and educational event, sponsored by the Snowden Community Civic Association Heritage Committee, will be held in historic Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
This memorable event, centered around the 400 year commemorative remembrance of the horrendous and abominable Trans-Atlantic enslaved journeys of Africans during the infamous Middle Passage to the Americas and beyond, will take place at the Snowden Community Center, 485 William Ladson Road in Mount Pleasant.
I spoke with Mr. Joe Palmer, one of the event’s chief coordinators, on last Thursday, February 7, to discuss the distinct symbolism behind this relevant African-centered recollection event. Mr. Palmer informed me that this culturally aesthetic event is rooted in the fact that the observances and recognition of this representative occasion is very much needed in our local, national and worldwide cultural communities’ consciousnesses, especially in light of what’s happening to today’s greater intercontinental African experiences everywhere.
In our rather in depth interview, Mr. Palmer, 72, said,”The effects of the global Trans-Atlantic slave trade, where more than 10 million Africans were kidnapped, captured and enslaved and brought to the West Indies, Brazil, the Caribbean, the United States and elsewhere, are unconscionable to put into words.
“This intellectual event is necessary for all concerned because we need to educate everyone, especially the youth, to and about their ancestral ties to the Motherland, and that’s the purpose of one of the main reasons why the Heritage Committee is organizing and planning this event. This is crucial, my brother. Our cultural heritage and legacy should matter to us, and we will and must never forget our ancestors and what they went through. Never!”
Mr. Palmer gave further insight about the local Snowden community in Mount Pleasant, a community with a rich history of prideful African-American residual existence in the Lowcountry, going back to a documented presence there beginning around the 1880s. This devoted Snowden community organizer added proudly that, “With such a long physical presence in Mount Pleasant, the Snowden community, up to this very day, is still more that ninety per cent African-American.”
It is to be noted that Mr. Palmer, along with many other dedicated individuals, has assisted anyone wanting to travel to Africa for cultural reasons in the last decade by contacting and connecting with like-minded folk from the Motherland. So far, six highly successful trips from the Lowcountry to Ghana since 2008 have occurred, with the most recent being in November 2018.
According to Mr. Palmer, there are increasingly more demands than ever from many diverse people of color who want to visit the Motherland and attach themselves to their original ancestral heritage. “We have to connect to our heritage and now’s the very best occasion to do so, if you ask me,” is how the committed community activist and prolific Afrocentric bibliophile told me.
This event will shed an illuminating light on the need for more awareness about the local and global African presence everywhere, and this is what this sublime program hopes to achieve. Featuring educational speeches, authentic cultural entertainment, splendid ethnic food, along with numerous various activities for the children and youth, etc., this affair will be one you will not want to miss.
The program will begin at 11 am and end at 2:00 pm, and attendees are encouraged to wear traditional African attire, if possible. For additional info about the event, please contact 843.452.4880. Looking forward to seeing you there.