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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
Collage of Local Legacies
Buffalo Soldiers - 10th Cavalry Re-enactors
10th Cavalry Troop A, Buffalo Soldiers Re-enactors Photo: Willie "Jeff" Moody

Jubilee: Festival of Heritage

A celebration of African-American heritage and culture, Jubilee: Festival of Heritage has been celebrated at the Mann-Simons Cottage in Columbia, South Carolina, for 21 years. The cottage was the home of Celia Mann, a free black midwife in antebellum Columbia. The festival captures the historical perspective of life in the nineteenth century as exemplified by one family who live in the cottage for over a hundred years, and draws attention to the significant contributions of African Americans in shaping the history of both Columbia and South Carolina.

In the last several years, the festival has grown considerably in size and diversity in audience, necessitating the addition of several more historic sites as venues for new Jubilee events, for example, a gala dedicated to the African-American influence on music. New educational events included re-enactments of camp life with horses, tents and camp gear by the Buffalo Soldiers and re-enactments of ranch/frontier life by cowboys from Greenfield Farms. Also featured were traditional story-telling and African drumming; appearances by local South Carolina African-American authors who autographed copies of their books; and a demonstration of traditional African-American art forms by local artisans, including basket-weaving, quiliting, the forging of iron and the crafting of wooden walking-sticks. Music was provided by a contemporary jazz ensemble and a classic R & B soul band. An unusual aspect of the 1999 Jubilee was a performance by the Double Dutch jump-rope world champions, "Delta Force," who demonstrated their incredible skill and style. Festival goers were also treated to a tour of 25 African-American heritage sites, "Homeplaces, Workplaces, Resting Places," by the Historic Columbia Foundation.

Project documentation comprises sixteen 8 x 10 color photos with descriptions; a seven-page report describing the Jubilee; an additional report on the Historic Columbia Foundation, which manages the event; newspaper clippings; Festival brochures, programs, and flyers; a map of the Jubilee sites; video coverage of the event; and a media kit and tee-shirt from the 1999 Jubilee.

Originally submitted by: James E. Clyburn, Representative (6th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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