Palmetto Mornings: 2/23/2012 – Sonja Burris, RH/YC CVB

Posted February 23, 2012 9:45 am | Filed under Palmetto Mornings

Sonja Burris of the Rock Hill/York County Convention Visitors Bureau joined Palmetto Mornings to talk about a new tour for groups of all ages: The African American Tour.

The Rock Hill/York County CVB offers a three-day, two-night tour themed “From Chains to Change: An Evolution of African-American History”. The tour focuses on dance, stories of history and educating for change. The tour is available for groups visiting York County, but is also open to local residents and families to experience the history that’s here in York County, SC.

On this tour, visitors can stop by Winthrop University to experience today’s students preserving cultural and artistic traditions with roots both in Africa and in the Black experience in America.  Performing groups such as the Association of Ebonites vocal group or the Department of Music’s West African Drum Ensemble mesmerize audiences with their passion and skill.  Visitors may also take a tour of Clinton Junior College, a historically black private school.

Next stop on the tour, visitors will find a collection of more than 200 artfully mounted African animals along with an assortment of cultural artifacts at the Museum of York County.

After taking a trip through the galleries of the past, visitors can step back in time to a living history farm and Revolutionary war battle site, known as Historic Brattonsville, to experience a first person interpretation of what slave life was like in the 1700’s and 1800’s.

This tour will also take visitors to meet renowned author and farmer, Dori Sanders at her family peach stand. While selling peaches and autographing her books, Dori will tell stories of farm life and southern folklore.

A dinner treat and tour will bring visitors to the Old Town Bistro and former McCrory’s lunch counter where nine Friendship Junior College students staged a sit-in and gained national attention in 1961 for following an untried strategy called “jail, no bail”.  The nine students are known nationwide as the Friendship Nine.

Visitors will also visit a Rosenwald School known as the Carroll School, built in 1929 primarily for the education of African Americans, and still being used by local students today.

Group tours can be customized to fit personal preferences and must be scheduled at least three weeks to one month in advance.

In addition to a regular day visit at many local attractions, during the month of February the African American characteristics that many York County historical sites represent are highlighted.

In honor of Black History month, the Culture & Heritage Museums will host programs at their brand of museums. Each Saturday at Historic Brattonsville visitors will take a guided tour to experience By Way of the Back Door: Enslaved at Brattonsville. On February 25, the Museum of York County will host African Connections, its annual tribute to Black History month. The event will include music performances, hands-on activities, crafts, planetarium programs and more.

During the month of February and throughout the year, the Rock Hill/York County Convention & Visitors Bureau encourages visitors and residents to take off your shoes and sit a spell at one of York County’s many attractions that tell a story rich with African American history and culture.

For more information on the African American tour, call the Rock Hill/York County Convention & Visitors Bureau at 803-329-5200 or toll free at 888-702-1320.