The Woodson Museum honors Juneteenth, Birmingham and Charleston


ST. PETERSBURG — The Carter G. Woodson African American Museum presented “Lest We Forget” to commemorate Juneteenth, the Birmingham bombing and the recent Charleston tragedy last Thurs., June 25. These events, spread over seven generations, will continue to shape the landscape of civil rights in the United Stated for many decades to come.

The latest incident of racial violence was on the minds of more than 100 community members who packed the museum, at 2240 9th Ave. S, St Petersburg, to show unity and community spirit. The program featured inspirational songs such as “We’ve Come This Far By Faith,” “The Battle Is Not Mine” and “Give Me Jesus.”

One of the highlights that involved the participation of the whole audience was community drumming made possible by Giving Tree Music. Steve Turner, founder and facilitator of the organization, provided several dozen African drums that were given to the audience to form a drumming circle.

Within seconds, the formal look of a crowd watching a performance transitioned into a large drum circle. Turner turned into a conductor of a pulsating orchestra, bringing different drumming sections and solos in on queue. The starlets of the drumming circle were four black girls in the back of the room. Their smiles matched their eager enthusiasm for playing authentic African drums.

After everyone was invigorated by community, an open dialog was led by School Board member Rene Flowers concerning the events in Charleston, S.C., and relationships within and beyond our community. “Hate will not win” encapsulated the discussion in the genre of the spoken word.

Culminating the spiritually charged communal gathering was a memorial candlelight vigil and fireworks in the beautiful Legacy Garden behind museum.

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