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Fort Frederica National Monument and its partners; St Simons Library, Historic Harrington School Cultural Center, the Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters, and the Friends of Fort Frederica invite you to attend a weekend of events this February.
On Friday, Feb. 16th, from 1- 4 pm, Melanie Zeck from the Library of Congress, American Folklife Center will be at the St. Simons Library conducting a transcription activity with Gullah Geechee performances recorded on St. Simons Island.
The African American History Festival will be held at Fort Frederica NM from 10 am – 3 pm and at the Historic Harrington School from 10 am – 3 pm, on Feb. 17, 2024. The event is free. “Fort Frederica NM was recently included in the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network, and we are excited for this opportunity to share the rich history of the site and to celebrate the significant contributions of native son Robert S. Abbott. Born on St. Simons Island. Mr. Abbott started the Chicago Defender newspaper and was called the ‘Father of Black Journalism’”, said Acting Superintendent Gia Wagner. Exhibitors from local organizations and historical sites will be set up behind the Visitor Center, to share local culture and history and demonstrate sweet grass basket making and musket firings. At the amphitheater, LaTanya Abbott Austin will discuss Robert S. Abbott’s life at 1 pm, followed by a discussion of the Ring Shout with Griffin Lotson of the Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters and Melanie Zeck. The world renowned Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters will demonstrate their culture through music and dance at 2:00 pm. Historic Harrington School is the main educational structure that once served three African American communities.
A free trolley will run from the Fort to the Harrington School between the hours of 10:30 am-2:30 pm. The school will be open, and visitors are encouraged to tour the building, peruse the bookstore, see the Igbo Landing painting, and Abbott display. A food truck will also be on site providing food.