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Kingsley Heritage Celebration 2009 summary newsletter by a714b445c7ff83b7

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									                                                                                                National Park Service
Timucuan Preserve                                                                               U.S. Department of hte Interior




Kingsley Heritage Celebration 2009




February events at the Timucuan Preserve
held in honor of Black History Month
Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, former President      Senegalese woman purchased by Zephaniah
of Spelman and Bennett Colleges, and de-         Kingsley in Havana, Cuba in 1806. He wrote
scendant of Anna and Zephaniah Kingsley,         that they were married according to her
presented the keynote speech at the 11th         customs in a foreign land. Anna Kingsley, as
Annual Kingsley Heritage Celebration. Held       she became known, was freed by Kingsley
at the Timucuan Ecological and Historic          and became a land owner, businesswoman,
Preserve’s Kingsley Plantation site on Satur-    and slave owner. Dr. Cole’s lineage also
day, February 21, 2009 at 2:00 p.m., the event   connects her to Abraham Lincoln Lewis,
also featured a musical presentation by the      who married Mary Sammis, a descendant of
Edward Waters College Choir, a historically      Anna Kingsley. Lewis was Jacksonville’s first
Black college in Jacksonville, Florida.          Black millionaire, and co-founded the Afro
                                                 American Life Insurance Company, the first
Dr. Cole’s presentation was entitled             insurance company in the state of Florida.
“Sankofa: Looking Back to Go Forward.”
An anthropologist by training, Dr. Cole used     Johnnetta B. Cole will assume the role of
the concept of sankofa during her speech.        Director of the Smithsonian’s National
Sankofa is a Adinkra symbol of the Ga            Museum of African Art on March 2, 2009.
speaking people of Ghana, in West Africa.        Cole has served on the Scholarly Advisory
The word is tied to the idea that we need to     Board of the Smithsonian’s National            Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole gave the
                                                                                                keynote address at the Kingsley
know our past in order to move forward and       Museum of African American History and         Heritage Celebration.
understand who we are as a culture today.        Culture since its inception, and has worked
                                                 with a number of Smithsonian programs          At top: The choir from Edwater Waters
                                                                                                College, the historically Black college
Throughout her speech, Dr. Cole referred to      since the mid-1980s.                           in Jacksonville, Florida.
her ancestors and how events in their lives
shaped her life and work today. Dr. Cole is a    Contributed by Carol S. Clark, Park Ranger,    Photographs above: NPS/Paul Haftel

descendant of Anta Madgigine Jai, a              carol_s_clark@nps.gov
The Culture of the Sea Islands                                                             Events each
and the Legacy of Slavery                                                                  Saturday Afternoon
                                                                                           in February 2009
The Kingsley Heritage Celebration             The musical legacy that came out of
recognizes the rich culture that evolved      the horrors of slavery was the focus
amongst slave communities despite the         of “The Art of Music: The Roots of
severe oppression of slavery and cel-         Gospel.” Florida-based choirs
ebrates the determination and strength        performed music under a large tent
of those men, women, and children.            on the plantation grounds.
These events also examine cultural as-
pects of modern American society that         Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole’s speech
originated in the plantation period.          highlighted the power of persever-
                                              ance and the ways in which our history
This year’s event brought individuals         shapes our lives as priviate individuals,
and families, after school programs           citizens in a democracy, and family
and church groups, and National Park          members.                                     With the slave quarters as a backdrop,
Service dignitaries and partners to                                                        Xhabbo, an African American griot, told
                                                                                           the story of Anta Madgigne Jai Kingsley.
Kingsley Plantation. Special guests           The final Saturday event focuses on
                                                                                           - NPS/Katy Ruder
included Regional Director David Vela         recent archaeological work at the slave
and commissioners from the Gullah/            quarters. Park visitors learn about
Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.           discoveries at Kingsley Plantation that
                                              provide clues about how slaves main-
Activities for February 2009 included         tained African identity and culture.
storytelling and workshops with
Xhabbo, an African American griot             Kingsley Plantation is a unit of the
from St. Augustine, Florida. His story        Timucuan Ecological and Historic
of Anna Kingsley highlighted the com-         Preserve. Today, the public can visit
plex life of a young woman from Sen-          the grounds, which include the oldest
egal, who survived the Middle Passage         standing plantation house in Florida,
and was purchased by the man who              the kitchen, barn, slave quarters and
would become her husband. He told             waterfront. The annual event is free
the story of her life as a free African       and open to the public, co-sponsored         Children participated in Xhabbo’s
woman in Spanish Florida during a             by the Florida Humanities Council.           percussion workshop on February 7, 2009.
time of change in Florida.                                                                 - NPS/Katy Ruder




                                                                                           The Living Truth Ministries Choir from
                                                                                           Daytona Beach, Florida, mixed gospel and
                                                                                           storytelling on Febrary 14, 2009.
                                                                                           - NPS/ Sarah Ackerman


Commissioners of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, which spans from Florida
to North Carolina, listened as Dr. Cole inspired the audience with her words.
- NPS/Katy Ruder

                                                                                           2 Kingsley Heritage Celebration

								
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