Amistad events focus on history, race and reconciliation
The events, organized on the theme of "Roots to Reconciliation," will emphasize area history and culture, while fostering continuing community dialogue on race and reconciliation.
"The schedule of events has something for everyone and it gives the public the opportunity to experience in person the lessons of the Amistad Incident, discover their own roots and participate in the process of reconciliation," said Coastal Carolina University President Ronald R. Ingle, who initiated the ship's visit to South Carolina.
More than 6,000 of the state's school children and approximately 40,000 visitors will tour the ship and exhibit to learn about the Amistad incident and its significance today.
Freedom Schooner Amistad is a replica of La Amistad, the scene of the historic 1839 shipboard revolt led by 53 illegally enslaved Africans off the coast of Cuba. Sixty days after the mutiny, the United States Navy seized the ship and the Africans were jailed on charges of murder. The incident became a landmark human rights case when former United States President John Quincy Adams argued on behalf of the captives before the United States Supreme Court and won. In 1841 the surviving Africans were returned to Africa.
"Everyone, visitors and residents alike are encouraged to get involved and participate," said David Drayton, co-chair of the Amistad Host Committee. "This is a unique opportunity to come together as a community to learn about our past and celebrate our future."
The events have been planned by several of the community committees including the Community Education Committee, chaired by Stacy Rabon and the Hospitality Committee co-chaired by Peggy Wayne and Pat Singleton-Young.
With Coastal, major contributors for the Amistad visit include: Georgetown County Visitor's Bureau; South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism; South Carolina Humanities Council; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Burroughs & Chapin Company, Inc.; Time Warner Cable; Wachovia Bank; Bank of America; Georgetown Landing Marina and Hampton Inn; and International Paper.
All events are open to the public and free unless otherwise indicated. Tickets to visit the Freedom Schooner Amistad are $3, children 16 and under are admitted free of charge. For more information on tickets and events, call (843) 349-2877 or visit www.coastal.edu on the Internet.