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Singing with Bubba's Mama

Gullah Sea Islands & Beyond


This month's Gallery Talk at the Afro-American Cultural Center explores the South Carolina plantation culture and roots music. Gullah Sea Islands & Beyond, the current exhibit at AACC, is the visual depiction of plantation life out of which sprang jazz. Marlena Smalls, who portrayed Bubba's mama in Forrest Gump, is the founding member of the Hallelujah Singers, an outfit trying hard to keep alive the melodies and storytelling traditions of the South Carolina Sea Islands. The group features five singers and two musicians giving life to the Gullah culture through the dramatization of rituals and ceremonies. The Hallelujah Singers will be joined by potter Willie Leftwich, who is one of a small number of American clay artists who have mastered wood-fired stoneware. His work is part of the exhibit. There is no exhibition viewing fee; hours are 6-7 p.m. The concert starts at 7 p.m. Admission to the concert is $15 for adults and $10 for students. More information at


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