International African American Museum photo by Greg-Noire
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Charlamagne Tha God Honors African American History at IAAM Dedication Ceremony

On June 24th, Charleston, South Carolina came alive with the vibrant spirit of African American culture as the International African American Museum (IAAM) held its community dedication ceremony at Marion Square. With South Carolina native Charlamagne Tha God, the renowned host of the syndicated radio show The Breakfast Club, serving as the charismatic host, the event was a momentous occasion celebrating the rich heritage and achievements of Black communities. Presented by Boeing, the dedication ceremony united visitors, community members, and influential figures for a day filled with inspiring speeches, captivating performances, and a shared commitment to uplifting Black voices.

The IAAM is a museum dedicated to preserving and promoting the history and culture of African Americans. Built in Charleston, the museum aims to provide a comprehensive exploration of African American history, from the origins of slavery through the Civil Rights Movement and beyond.

A Celebration of African American Heritage:

The IAAM dedication ceremony serves as a testament to the resilience, creativity, and immense contributions of African Americans throughout history. The event featured a diverse range of performances, showcasing the richness and diversity of African American talent.

The Performers:

  • Amadou Kouyate: Hailing from the illustrious Kouyate family of Manding Djeli, known as oral historians and musicians of West Africa, Amadou Kouyate brought his rich musical heritage to the stage.
  • BeBe Winans: A prominent figure in the realms of Gospel and R&B music, BeBe Winans graced the ceremony with his powerful voice and uplifting melodies. His contributions as a singer and radio host have made him an influential figure in the industry.
  • Candice Glover: Renowned for her soulful vocals and captivating performances, Candice Glover, the accomplished R&B singer and actor, showcased her talent during the dedication ceremony.
  • DJ SCrib: Charleston’s very own DJ SCrib, a former Charleston City Paper’s “DJ of the Year,” infused the event with an electrifying mix of music, setting the perfect ambiance for celebration and reflection.
  • Jesse Nager: An esteemed Broadway actor and singer, Jesse Nager lent his captivating voice to the ceremony, adding a touch of theatrical magic to the proceedings.
  • Markus Amaker: Charleston’s Poet Laureate and a distinguished member of the Academy of American Poets, Markus Amaker mesmerized the audience with his poignant words and lyrical artistry.
  • Patti Austin: Recognized for her remarkable contributions to R&B, pop, and jazz music, Patti Austin graced the ceremony with her enchanting voice and soulful renditions.
  • Patrice Covington: Having served as a background singer for esteemed artists such as Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson, Patrice Covington’s powerful vocals resonated through the ceremony, leaving an indelible impression.
  • Ranky Tanky: A Grammy award-winning musical ensemble rooted in Charleston, Ranky Tanky specializes in jazz-influenced arrangements of traditional Gullah and Roots music. Their captivating melodies paid homage to the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Genealogy Marketplace and Interactive Programming:

In addition to the awe-inspiring performances, the IAAM dedication ceremony offers additional attractions for attendees. Boeing South Carolina’s DreamLearners presented interactive programming, engaging visitors of all ages in a captivating and educational experience.

The Barbados Genealogy Marketplace also celebrated the multicultural backgrounds of Barbadians through food, games, documentaries, and more. This unique marketplace honored the longstanding connection between Barbados and South Carolina, providing guests with the opportunity to research their ancestral family lines and forge connections to their heritage.

Charlamagne Tha God: An Empowering Force

Charlamagne Tha God

At the helm of the IAAM dedication ceremony was Charlamagne Tha God, a multifaceted media personality whose work has been instrumental in empowering Black communities across America. Known for his candid and thought-provoking interviews, Charlamagne has consistently used his platform to address social issues and to promote the voices and stories that are often overlooked or marginalized. As a proud native of South Carolina, his involvement in the IAAM dedication ceremony underscores his commitment to honoring African American history and providing a platform for its continued celebration.

In addition to his radio career, he has authored books, founded organizations, and launched platforms that promote social change and upliftment. Charlamagne Tha God’s commitment to addressing mental health issues within the Black community is evident in his book, Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me. In this powerful work, he shares his personal journey with anxiety and mental health, aiming to destigmatize these issues and provide support to those facing similar challenges. By sharing his story, he encourages open conversations about mental health, offering hope and encouragement to individuals who may be struggling.

Recognizing the need for further support in this area, Charlamagne Tha God founded the Mental Wealth Alliance in 2021. This organization is dedicated to destigmatizing mental health in Black communities and improving access to effective treatment options. Through advocacy, education, and community outreach, the Mental Wealth Alliance works to ensure that mental health is given the attention and resources it deserves, ultimately empowering individuals to seek help and thrive.

Beyond his efforts in the arena of mental health, Charlamagne has also worked tirelessly to uplift Black voices and provide them a platform to flourish on. His recent partnership with iHeart led to the creation of the Black Effect Podcast Network. This groundbreaking audio platform is a first of its kind, specifically to promote Black voices. It brings together a diverse range of talented and trusted voices from Black culture to engage in critical conversations on social justice, pop culture, and more. By providing a dedicated space for these discussions, the network amplifies Black voices, cultivates empowerment, and fosters dialogue that inspires positive change within the community and beyond.



About the author

Jamie Moses

Jamie Moses founded Artvoice in 1990

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