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Charleston Gullah Geechee People Bond With The Maroons Of Jamaica At The Seventh Annual Charleston Carifest Caribbean Carnival, June 14, 2012

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South Carolina Caribbean Culture and Heritage, Inc makes history with Akwantu: the Journey, a film about the Maroons of Jamaica at the Avery Research Center on Thursday, June 14, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM signaling the commencement of the celebrations in honour of Caribbean American Heritage Month.

Akwantu: the Journey documents the struggle for freedom of the Maroons of Jamaica who were able to flee the plantations and slave ships to form communities in some of the most inhospitable regions of the island. Poorly armed and outgunned, the Maroons faced down the mighty British Empire led by such brave warriors as Cudjoe and Nanny. Cudjoe who has historically been described as a “short almost dwarf-like man” fought for years to maintain his people’s independence and freedom. However, Cudjoe also held the belief that the only way to secure a stable future for his people would be to negotiate a long-term peace with the British. This way of thinking, some would say eventually lead to the signing of a peace treaty with the British in 1739. Nanny, a spiritual leader skilled in the use of herbs not only managed to keep her people healthy, but safe as well by utilizing effective “guerilla warfare” tactics to defend against the vaunted British firepower.

Professor Harcourt Fuller, a descendant of the Maroons will lead the discussion following the film.

On Friday, June 15, the Masquerade Fete offers a dinner dance Mardi Gras-like event at the International Longshoremen’s Association Hall from 7:00 PM – Midnight. The proceeds will benefit the Children’s Steel Band Project.

The third day of the Carnival starts with a Carnival Street Parade at 3:00 PM from the Visitor’s Center and travels down King Street to Sumter Street to Hagood Street to Fishburne into Brittle Bank Park

The Grand Finale at Brittle Bank Park starts at 2:00 PM on Saturday, June 16. The cultural celebration includes cultural dances, Caribbean Steel Band, Reggae, and Soca music, live performers, and a Caribbean marketplace.

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Written by Staff Writer