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Charmine Minniefield joins us from The Gambia, where she is pursuing her study of the Ring Shout, an African American spiritual practice with roots in West Africa that predate slavery. The Ring Shout figures prominently in Minniefield’s work with Flux Projects, “Remembrance as Resistance: Preserving Black Narratives,” which honors the over 800 unmarked graves discovered in Oakland Cemetery.

“Remembrance as Resistance” kicked off Juneteenth 2019 with a performance by the Georgia Gullah Geechee Ring Shouters in Oakland Cemetery. For Juneteenth 2020, as COVID prevented us from gathering in person, we presented a virtual celebration. The project will culminate Juneteenth of this year with a multi-media installation of a Praise House in the newly restored African American Grounds of Oakland Cemetery.

Minniefield’s extended stay in The Gambia has allowed her to explore the origins of these traditions first hand through indigenous ceremony, celebrations, and materials. Join us to learn about her search for her own ancestors as she follows what she considers encoded messages hidden inside of customs, traditions, materials, and medium by tracing these traditions from Gullah Geechee to The Gambia, from the past to the present. Also learn about her trip to Gorée Island, an infamous slave port in Senegal and her upcoming exhibitions there, as she frames all of this work of remembrance as both prayer and resistance.

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