By the Sweat of Our Brows


McConnells, SC – Experience the African-American journey from enslavement to today at the compelling program By the Sweat of Our Brows, 10:00 am until 4:00 pm, Saturday, September 8 at Historic Brattonsville, 1444 Brattonsville Road, McConnells, SC.

Records indicate that in 1843, the Bratton plantation was home to 139 enslaved men, women and children.  More than 150 years later, their descendants have come together to help Historic Brattonsville honor and celebrate their ancestors’ legacies. Historic Brattonsville is one of the few living history sites which share the story of African-American history.

Well-known African-American-Jewish culinary writer, historian and living history interpreter, Michael W. Twitty will present special cooking demonstrations from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm in the Plantation kitchen.  Twitty became interested in culinary history after a childhood visit to Colonial Williamsburg.  “I liked how they recreated history,” he said.  “When you cook, you’re not just throwing something together — it’s an art.  There’s an incredible body of knowledge.”  Twitty’s cooking demonstration will include barbeque pork, chicken, rabbit and other foods indigenous to York County around 1860.
Twitty will present an informal discussion tracing his journey to uncover his ancestry at 3:15pm. Twitty’s father’s parents were migrants from south-central Virginia and the South Carolina upcountry.  “Visiting places of culinary memory where slavery meets food” are part of his current Southern Discomfort Tour and scholarly research.  “We are very fortunate to have Michael Twitty participate with us in this year’s By the Sweat of Our Brows,” says Dontavious Williams, Historic Brattonsville Interpreter and coordinator for this year’s program, now in its sixteenth year. Twitty has conducted classes, workshops and performed cooking demonstrations for over 100 groups including the Smithsonian Institution, Colonial Williamsburg, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and the Library of Congress.

Other activities include a bus tour to Fishing Creek Presbyterian Church (the site in which Captain Christian Huck burned the parsonage prior to coming to Brattonsville where he met his demise).  At Fishing Creek, visitors will tour the church and learn of its Revolutionary War history as well as the African American roots that are tied to the church. In the “Black Cemetery,” award winning African-American Interpreter Kitty Wilson-Evans will present a moving vignette honoring those who are buried there.  Tours will depart from Historic Brattonsville at 10:50 am and 1:20 pm for Fishing Creek.  Bus tours are sponsored by Edward Jones —Office of Lyle Back.

Traditional gospel music will be performed by Mt. Zion Baptist Church Hymn Choir under the direction of Mr. Tommy Rowell at 10:30 am and 12:30 pm.   Mt. Zion Church was built in 1867 on land that originally was owned by the Bratton Family.  At 11:00 am four powerful twenty-minute theatrical performances will explore how a suspected slave revolt shaped the lives of enslaved African-Americans and whites in the Brattonsville community. These performances will repeat at 1:30 pm.
Ongoing throughout the day will be doll making activities, craft vendors and free southern food samples provided by SMS Venture-Prises of York, SC.

COST Adults, $6; Seniors, $5; Youth ages 4-17, $3; ages 3 and younger Free. CHM members, FREE.