SC State’s Ujimma to perform at the 26th Annual Heritage Days Celebration

Sunday, November 9, 2008

SC State’s Ujimma performers will participate in the 26th Annual Heritage Days Celebration on Sat, Nov. 8, 2008, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Penn Center on St. Helena Island, S.C. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Promoting Tolerance in a Changing World.”

Heritage Days is a four-day event on St. Helena Island, where communities and surrounding areas host events that consists of many festivities that display the Gullah heritage.

“Ujimma looks forward to the Heritage Days Celebration; it is truly an honor to be able to showcase our talents,” said Delvina Westcott, advisor of SC State’s Ujimma dance troupe.

The Ujimma dancers will appear on center stage as a part of the Celebration’s outdoor entertainment, during the finale of the four-day event.

“Heritage Days Celebration is truly an experience and being a part of Ujimma has given me the opportunity to express myself though creative dancing,” said Tavonya Swain, SC State student.

The name Ujimma was developed from one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Ujimma means creative work and responsibility. Created in 1999, Ujimma’s mission is to build and maintain community efforts by bridging the gap of bringing forth young African American’s to express their ideals and to solve them as a team through creative dance. The troupe performs traditional African dances among other types of dance styles.
In addition to the Ujimma dance troupe’s performance, the Heritage Days Celebration will feature an art exhibition, an educational symposium, community seminars, fish fry and a blues night.

One of the Celebration’s highlighted events is a panel discussion on “Tolerance”. Panelist include: actress Kerry Washington, artist Jonathan Green and Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Other events that will be taking place on Sat, Nov. 8, 2008 will include:
• Annual Heritage Day Parade: 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. ~ The parade will begin at St. Helena Elementary School and continue through the Penn School Historic District.
• Old Fashion Craft Fair: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. ~ The Fair will consist of crafts displays, exhibits, food and merchandise vendors.
• Center Stage Entertainment: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. ~ This will include, Gullah storytellers, African drummers, dancers, and gospel singers.
• Guest Panelist/ Luncheon: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. ~ The panel discussion will include civil rights and social activists, famous authors, political and religious leaders.
• Gullah Roots Village and De Rice Shack: ~ This exhibit will consist of demonstrations of bateau making, basket making, and net making.
• The Bunce Island Slave Castle Exhibit: ~ This exhibit will give visitors the opportunity to tour a replica of the castle via hanging panels. More than 30,000 slaves entered the United States through Bunce Island, S.C.
There are 30 additional seats available at the price of $30 each for Ujimma dance troupe supporters, who would like to travel to the Celebration.

For more information about the Ujimma dance troupe, please contact Delvina Westcott, advisor, at (803)536-5276.