CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Thirty-six volunteers will have a hand in preserving an important piece of Charleston history.
In 2013, the remains of 36 individuals of African descent were found during a renovation at the Gaillard Center in Downtown Charleston. It’s believed they were buried sometime between 1760 and 1790. A permanent memorial will be built at their burial site near George and Anson Streets.
Adrian Capers and 35 others are lending their hands to be part of the Anson African Burial Memorial.
“It’s truly been an honor. Because for me and especially the time it’s happening in, it’s so timely,” said Adrian Capers.
North Carolina-based artist, Stephen Hayes, was at the Gibbes Museum of Art on Thursday to begin the hand-casting process. According to organizers, the hands will be made out of bronze and will be conjoined around a fountain.
Each volunteer who is serving as a hand model, is representing one of the ancestors.
“In the process of selecting individuals, we looked at their ages and their sexes to match them as close as we could,” said Joanna Gilmore, the Director of Research and Interpretation for the Anson Street African Burial Ground Project.
Capers told News 2 she is representing the ancestor, Tima.
“Even though we’re representing the 36 ancestors, we’re representing all ancestors that have gone before us,” said LaSheia Oubre, the organization’s Director of Education and Community Outreach and Engagement.
Organizers said they hope the project will be complete within the next year.