I’ve got two new, wildly different live programs coming up this month you won’t want to miss. Be prepared to tap your feet with delight, and then shake your fist in disgust. History is like that—some stories make you feel glad and proud, while others stories push back the fog that obscures some painful truths.
In the first program, we’ll look back at the roots of the dance known as “the Charleston,” and retrace the trajectory of a home-grown rhythm from the streets of Charleston to a world-wide phenomenon. Yes, our community is the native land of that wonderful, infectious dance, but it’s more than just a series of steps, kicks, and turns. The “Charleston” is an assemblage of African rhythms and American steps, put into motion by the mass migration of thousands of African Americans from the Lowcountry to “the North” in search of better lives in the early twentieth century.
Tracing the Roots of the “Charleston” Dance
- Tuesday, 14 March at 10: 15 a.m., John’s Island Regional Library, 3531 Maybank Highway, Johns Island, SC 29455
- Thursday, 16 March at 6 p.m., Main library auditorium, 68 Calhoun Street, 29401
Later in the month, we’ll turn to the sobering facts story of the limited rights and opportunities afforded to women in early South Carolina. I’m not talking about the pioneering work of suffragettes in the early twentieth century, or temperance activists in the mid-nineteenth century. Rather, I’m talking about the legal framework of English Common Law that defined the limits of a woman’s life, from cradle to grave, from the arrival of the first settlers in South Carolina in the 1670s to the end of the eighteenth century. We’ll hear about real women whose struggles personify the legal limits placed on women in our early days, and try to connect the dots between colonial-era oppression to South Carolina’s enduring legacy of domestic violence.
Women’s Rights in Early South Carolina
- Tuesday March 28th at 6 p.m., Main library auditorium, 68 Calhoun Street, 29401
As always, these programs are free and open to the public!