Community participates in history
by Emily Wachter | March 2, 2018 8:03 pm
Last Updated: March 2, 2018 at 1:06 pm
After enjoying the living history museum as a student at Scott’s Branch High School, Event Coordinator for Taw Caw Community Outreach Center Anita Benbow decided to bring the Black Heritage Expo Living Museum to her church.
On Feb. 23, the outreach center was filled with Clarendon county residents eager to hear about the successes and influences of African Americans throughout the nation’s history.
The event began at 6:00 p.m. in the outreach center’s gym, and Benbow organized several tours to take place throughout the evening. During each tour, attendees were invited to walk through the gym and learn information about famous African Americans who left a positive impact on the U.S. in different ways. Each tour consisted of a presentation by a “tour guide,” who shared information about the lives and experiences of each character in the museum. Between each tour, those who attended the event were encouraged to enjoy refreshments and listen to music.
According to Benbow, this is the first year that the living history museum has been held at the church and was only possible with help from the members of the community, especially Terrance Tindal.
“Terrance has been my eyes and ears for this project,” Benbow said. “He plays a huge role in organizing the event. I tell him my vision and what I want for the museum, and he makes it happen.”
According to Benbow, the planning process for the museum is extremely tedious, and a large portion of her planning process depends on the community’s willingness to participate. When she began planning the event, Benbow said that her first step was making her list of characters and then picking the actors based off of acting skill and physical resemblance to the character.
“I had a basic idea of what individuals I wanted to ask to be in the museum based off of looks,” Benbow said. “Obviously we try to have our volunteers bear some type of resemblance to the characters in real life, and we have some really great people this year who look a lot like the characters and were willing to get involved.”
There were approximately sixteen characters in the living museum, most of which were volunteers from the Summerton area. While Bembo said that she approached some of individuals for the event, most of the actors volunteered to play their characters. The characters ranged from well-known individuals, such as former president Barack Obama and George Washington Carver to lesser-known celebrities such as Mary Jackson and Madam C. J. Walker.