|Denmark Vesey Bicentenary
|This July the Charleston Gaillard Center, Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and the International African American Museum (IAAM) are partnering to mark the bicentenary of freedom fighter Denmark Vesey’s planned uprising to free the enslaved people of Charleston through three days of free and paid cultural performances and conversations.
Events include a panel discussion with W. Kamau Bell, Charlamagne tha God, Dr. Tonya M. Matthews, and others; a ticketed concert with GRAMMY® Award-winning artist Anthony Hamilton; a free outdoor concert featuring the Charleston Symphony and Lowcountry Voices; and a ticketed evening comedy event with D.L. Hughley. Schedule of Events Thursday, July 14 at 7:30pm – Truth be Told: Vesey Panel Discussion Friday, July 15 at 8:00pm – Performance by multi-platinum singer, songwriter, producer, and actor Anthony Hamilton Saturday, July 16 at 5:00pm – Orchestrating Freedom: a free outdoor concert featuring the Charleston Symphony and Lowcountry Voices Saturday, July 16 at 9:00pm – Performance by Comedian D.L. Hughley
About Denmark Vesey
Born either in St. Thomas or Africa around 1767, Denmark Vesey (vee-SEE) was sold to a slaver captain named Joseph Vesey in 1781, assuming the latter’s surname. He was a skilled carpenter and accompanied the captain on numerous voyages, eventually settling in Charleston. After 18 years of bondage, in 1799 Denmark won the East Bay Street Lottery and was allowed to purchase his freedom, though his wife and children remained under the ownership of a different slave master.
As a free man, Vesey remained determined to liberate the oppressed enslaved people of Charleston, and in 1822 organized what has been hailed by historians Douglas R. Egerton and Robert L. Paquette as, “the most sophisticated collective [plan] against slavery in the U.S.” Vesey envisioned that after freeing hundreds of men, women and children, the liberated masses would all sail to Haiti to live as free citizens. However, his plans were leaked and ultimately foiled. One hundred and thirty-one Africans were arrested, with 92 put on trial and another 11 sent into permanent exile.
| Thursday, July 14, 2022 – Saturday, July 16, 2022
Charleston Gaillard Center More Information
CLICK HERE to learn more about Denmark Vesey