The Charlotte Museum of History on December 9 for a live-streamed program to learn about one of North Carolina’s most unique holiday celebrations, Jonkonnu.

The Jamaican and West African origins of the holiday enabled enslaved people in North Carolina during the 19th century to preserve its religious and cultural traditions. The museum’s free lunchtime program will explore the cultural and historical significance of Jonkonnu, a Christmastide tradition that tapped into African spiritual roots through a combination of costume, music, and dance.

Sharon Bryant and Keith McClease from Tryon Palace in New Bern will join the museum for the program. Bryant is African American outreach coordinator and McClease is the garden operations supervisor at Tryon Palace, which hosts a Jonkonnu celebration annually to continue the tradition into the 21st century. McClease also is the lead drummer for Tryon Palace’s Jonkonnu celebrations and helped to revive the tradition at the historic site.

This program will be live-streamed on the Museum’s Facebook and YouTube channels. Registration is not required. To get a reminder email, sign up here. Sign up to get a reminder email from the museum at A recording will be available on YouTube after the event.


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Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige

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