The Jubilee Festival of Heritage is held annually in August on the grounds of the historic Mann-Simons Site in Columbia, SC. The festival was started in 1978 by Historic Columbia Foundation as a way to celebrate the rich heritage and entrepreneurial spirit of the Mann-Simons family, while also acknowledging and honoring African American culture throughout South Carolina. Jubilee features a variety of activities, including hands-on demonstrations, from some of the region’s most skilled artists and craftsmen, musical entertainment including African drumming, R&B, jazz, and gospel, and vendors with African-influenced and traditional merchandise. Highlights of the festival also include tours of the Mann-Simons Site, African American heritage site tours, and many other activities throughout the day.

Harambee literally means “all pull together” in Swahili. It derives from a Kenyan tradition of events that helps to build and maintain community. The Annual Harambee Festival in Columbia, SC is one of the largest college-sponsored festivals in the nation. The Harambee Festival was started by Benedict College in 1989. The festival features gospel music, including the national award winning Benedict College Gospel Choir and the Harambee Festival Community Choir, all day stage performances, food, jazz, contemporary music, empowerment workshops, an art exhibit, health screenings, traditional African merchandise, and the KIJIJI children’s village.

Photo courtesy of the Historic Columbia Foundation and Mr. Benny Brown