Barbados and the Carolinas Chronicle of Events

Posted by Rhoda Green

History can be compelling and transforming if we remain students of life. The past stalks us into the present and casts its colossal shadow of influence upon each of us. Some are nudged by gentle reminders of the way things used to be. Others are jolted through harsh experiences of how things continue to be. Students of life desire and welcome opportunities to make a positive contribution today, Why? There’s a stark reality that each one exits the present leaving a sphere of influence. Activities, as listed, below, provide opportunities to enjoy, ponder and learn of shared influences.

November 1997 – A group of South Carolinians traveled to Barbados on a cultural exchange initiative. On November 14, 1997 Speightstown, Barbados was twinned with Charleston, South Carolina in a sister city relationship in recognition of Barbados’ role in the settlement of the Carolinas in 1670. The Twinning Agreement between the Barbados Government and the City of Charleston provides an opportunity to facilitate collaboration between both regions in areas of history, heritage and culture.

October 2009 – The South Carolina National Heritage Corridor (SCNHC) and the Barbados Ministry of Tourism sponsored an Art Exhibit which traveled from the foot hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains through 14 counties to the Charleston coast, then on to Barbados to wrap up the Exhibit. Artists from Barbados and the Carolinas had the opportunity to showcase through their art, aspects of shared influence between Barbados and South Carolina.

2010 International Heritage Development Conference ‘Advancing Beyond Borders’ - Charleston, SC - The heritage development industry filled the cobblestoned streets of Charleston, SC during the 2010 International Heritage Development Conference: “Advancing Beyond Borders.” Sponsored by the Alliance of National Heritage Areas and hosted by the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor, the conference stayed true to their theme by bringing in hundreds of both national and international heritage tourism industry representatives to take advantage of the most state-of-the-art resources, networking opportunities, and educational seminars.

The wide range of activities offered included a choice of tours that explored different themes such as the Gullah Geechee culture and tradition, the connection between South Carolina and the island of Barbados, telling stories through food, experiencing natural heritage, showcasing your military heritage, and telling sensitive stories.

A Barbados inspired luncheon was a collaboration with the Charleston Place Hotel Chef and Barbados Chef that featured Caribbean inspired fare with entertainment from a Barbadian Tuk Band and stilt walkers. An evening reception was held at the Charleston Aquarium which also featured Caribbean inspired fare and entertainment.

September 01- 05, 2011 – The Barbados Consulate in Miami sponsored the “Barbados Comes Back to Charleston, SC” Extravaganza. This event was designed to initiate another level of awareness in Barbados and the Carolinas. Featured was a “Bridgetown Market” at Charles Towne Landing State Historic Parked, touted as the birthplace of the State.

April 15 – 18, 2012 – Sister Cities Association of Wilmington, North Carolina, hosted its first Sister Cities Symposium in Wilmington, NC. Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados shares a sister city relationship with Wilmington. As a presenter at the Symposium, Barbados featured some of the historical links Barbados shares with the Carolinas dating back to the Colonial Period.

August 14 – 19, 2012 – The Myriad Singers of Barbados, capitalizing on the Barbados Carolina initiative, visited South Carolina and showcased their musical talents which included a wide range of music including Sacred Music and a musical workshop for students of the Carolina Youth Development Center. Concert attendees gave rave views and were awed by the Singers professionalism and talents.

January 10 – 13, 2013 – The Allegro Foundation…a Champion for Children with Disabilities in Charlotte, North Carolina, invited Barbados’ Ambassador, the Honorable John Beale and his Barbados contingency, as guests to this year’s Ambassador’s Ball where Barbados was featured. Here Barbados highlighted the Barbados Carolinas connection which many of the Gala Affair had absolutely no knowledge.

Anna Joyner