Aunt Pearlie Sue and the Gullah Kinfolk will perform their foot-stomping, soul-stirring musical, Gullah Kinfolk Christmas Wish: Freedom Comin‘ on Friday, December 1, at 7 pm at USCB Center for the Arts, 801 Carteret St., Beaufort.
The show is set on a South Carolina plantation in 1860 just before the start of the Civil War shortly after South Carolina succeeded from the union and on the eve of reconstruction. There is excitement in the air as the anticipation of war and liberation penetrates the ‘Quarters’ and ‘Big House.’ The expectation of freedom is joyfully expressed through story-telling and song. The production is intended for people of all ages and races.
The history-based performance was created by Anita Singleton Prather, who stars as story teller and singer Aunt Pearlie Sue. The powerful voices of the Gullah Kinfolk – a twenty member choral group - generate a jubilant celebration of song, dance and audience participation demonstrating the hopeful expectation of the time and the deep faith of the Gullah people.
Prather is a retired schoolteacher, ordained minister and nationally-acclaimed storyteller and writer. She has appeared on SCETV and other television networks. She also produced and starred in the film, My Man Done Me Wrong, which was screened at film festivals around the nation. Prather and the Gullah Kinfolk were featured in the made-for-television film Circle Unbroken: From Africa to America, which was also written by Prather. She also performed before the United Nations in 2016.
The Gullah Kinfolk specialize in the hymns, spirituals, dances and traditions of the Gullah people. Many cast members are known individually for their vocal gifts and performance skills. Aunt Pearlie Sue and the Gullah Kinfolk are scheduled to tour California next year for a series of performances and will appear at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., and Villanova University of Philadelphia and at shows in Virginia, New Jersey, Alabama and North Carolina.
Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Admission is $10 for those aged 7 to 17. Advance reservations may be made by called the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce at (843) 986-1102 ext. 2 or visit www.bcbcc.org. Information for out of town visitors regarding hotel and meal packages is also available.
A Taste of Gullah will be held Saturday, Dec. 2 from noon until 5 pm at the historic Tabernacle Baptist Church, 907 Craven Street, Beaufort. It will offer a feast of soul food dishes, a Gullah artist exhibit and marketplace and live entertainment. Menu prices vary. For more information call the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce.
Prather said this first weekend in December promises a great opportunity to indulge in the gifts of the rich Gullah culture and the heritage of the Sea Islands of South Carolina. “We delight in sharing our history, music, stories and wonderful food with visitors and residents, family and friends of all backgrounds. To God be all the glory for the great things he has done,” she said.
The events compliment other annual yuletide activities in Beaufort, including the popular Night on the Town, Light up the Night and the annual Christmas parade. For more information on these events, contact www.downtownbeaufort.com.
Gullah Kinfolk Christmas Wish: Freedom Coming
Friday, December 1 at 7 pm
University of South Carolina-Beaufort Performing Arts Center
801 Carteret Street, Beaufort
A Taste of Gullah
Saturday, December 2 from Noon to 5 pm
Tabernacle Baptist Church
907 Craven Street, Beaufort