"By the Sweat of Our Brows"


Contact: Marie Cheek, Community Relations for Culture & Heritage Museums

803.818.6767 mcheek@chmuseums.org


African American descendants from the Bratton plantation come together to share their stories for “By the Sweat of Our Brows”

McCONNELLS, S.C. - “By the Sweat of Our Brows” is an annual award-winning program honoring African American culture and heritage. Descendants of the enslaved families who lived on the Bratton plantation come together and share their stories. This year the program expands to a two-day event with on-site programs for Sat., Sept. 8 and special tours of two historical churches on Sun., Sept. 9.

Saturday’s program for “By the Sweat of Our Brows” includes an array of activities throughout the day. Historically dressed interpreters portray what life was like on the plantation. Cooking over open hearths, demonstrating traditional agricultural practices, storytelling and playing folk games will be ongoing. A historical wedding scenario explores the meaning of “jumping the broom.” Watch live portrait drawing as visiting descendants sit for Stacey Davidson, Winthrop professor of fine arts, and her students. Vendors highlight African American arts and crafts. Food will be available for purchase from Kenny Liles Fish Fry.

Saturday’s schedule:

11 a.m.: Hear the story of Watt and learn about his role in the American Revolution

11 a.m. – noon: Live music by the House Band

Noon -12:30 p.m.: Scripted scenarios

1-2 p.m.: Live music by the House Band

2-3 p.m.: Dr. Lisa Bratton gives a presentation on her family’s connection to the site and insights on the “Seven Sacred Families of Brattonsville”

3 – 3:30 p.m.: Dr. Chris Gillam, a Winthrop University archaeologist, discusses a recently discovered structure that may have links to the enslaved African American community at Brattonsville

3:30- 4 p.m.: Live music by Mt. Zion Choir

4 p.m.: “By the Sweat of Our Brows” culminates in the oak grove with the “reading of the names” of enslaved African Americans at Brattonsville and the singing of the Lord’s Prayer


Sunday’s tour of two historic churches:

Saturday’s admission to “By the Sweat of Our Brows” includes a free pass for Sunday’s tour of two historic churches that are significant to the Brattonsville community. On Sun., Sept. 9, meet at Historic Brattonsville at 2 p.m. to caravan to Bethesda Presbyterian Church and Mt. Zion Baptist Church. The guided tour explores the churches, their grounds and cemeteries. Prior to the Civil War, African Americans worshiped in the balcony of Bethesda Presbyterian Church while the white members of the community worshiped below. After emancipation, these former slaves and free blacks formed the nearby Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Both churches are located on McConnells Highway within a four minute drive from Historic Brattonsville. Live music and light refreshments will be provided.

WHEN: “By the Sweat of Our Brows” Sat., Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. with special church tours on Sun., Sept. 9 from 2:30-5 p.m.

LOCATION: Historic Brattonsville, 1444 Brattonsville Road, McConnells, S.C. 29726 (803)684-2327

ADMISSION: Adults $8, Seniors $7, Youth $5, CHM members & ages 3 and under FREE

For more information, please visit http://www.chmuseums.org/brattonsville/


Historic Brattonsville is included in “The Green Book of South Carolina” - a travel guide to significant African American heritage and cultural destinations across the state. Learn more: https://greenbookofsc.com/locations/historic-brattonsville/


AWARD WINNING PROJECT: South Carolina African American Heritage Commission recognizes “By the Sweat of Our Brows” as a project that significantly and dramatically influences in a permanent way the preservation and interpretation of African American history and culture in SC. The South Carolina African American Heritage Commission’s Project Award was presented to York County’s Culture and Heritage Museums on behalf of “By the Sweat of Our Brows” at the South Carolina Archives & History Center in Columbia on March 28, 2014.