4/10/17: Patrice Gaines and Rev. Sam McGregor – “Let the Land Say… Amen”

Posted April 10, 2017 10:30 am | Filed under Palmetto Mornings

“Let the Land Say… Amen” is a two-day festival interpreting the history of Allison Creek and the Clay Hill Community.  The festival is Saturday, May 6 from 10a-4p at 5780 Allison Creek Road in York.

The 2017 festival will explore life in the Clay Hill Community during the middle to late Nineteenth Century. It will take place on Saturday, May 6th and Sunday, May 7th in York County, South Carolina on “Common Ground-Allison Creek” which includes the historic Allison Creek Presbyterian Church (built in 1854) and two historic cemeteries.

Clay Hill Graveyard served as a burial ground for former slaves and free African-Americans while Allison Creek Cemetery holds the remains of Civil War soldiers, church founders and their descendants.

While these burial grounds represent a time of division, “Let the Land Say…Amen” aspires to create a different future. Through guided tours, a photo exhibit and contest, music, historical interpretation, film, children’s games, lectures and discussion, the festival aims to foster in residents a sense of the land’s collective history.

The event takes place on the 146th anniversary of a brutal attack that was meant for bad but that eventually resulted in great good, joining former slaves and former slave owners to rally and pursue legal action that chased the KKK out of SC. The Ku Klux Klan violently attacked blacks, including Rev. Elias Hill, a leading advocate of equal rights for the Freedmen in the Clay Hill community. Hill lead black community members to a new Freedmen settlement in Liberia.

The festival will close with the dedication of a state historic marker commemorating Rev. Hill and the Liberian migration on Sunday, May 7 at 10am at the church.  Significantly, this will be the first state marker to acknowledge the horrific legacy of the Ku Klux Klan.