Thursday, September 1, 2011

Barbados Connection

I had the good fortune today to give a walking tour of the Uptown area of the city to a gentleman from Barbados. He is a government official there and is here in town for the special event, "Barbados Comes Back to Charleston." That island nation, a British colony until just four decades ago, has a very strong connection to our holy city. Some even say that the city of Charleston was modeled after Barbados. Certainly, there are too many similarities for it to be simply coincidental. Both were British colonies. The plantation system and the use of Africans as slave labor here came from Barbados. The homes here, with their long porches on either the front or the side of the house, are similar to those in Barbados. Referring to geographic areas as parishes (named after the closest Anglican church) is yet another similarity. When I was walking through Mazyck-Wraggborough and Ansonborough with this gentleman, he continually pointed out similitaries in the architecture as well as recognizing surnames on some of the house plaques as being the same family names as wealthy white landowners in his homeland. I could see his interest and enthusiasm for our city and its connection to his country. I look forward to a visit to Barbados at some point and viewing it through the eyes of a Charlestonian. In the meantime, it'll be fun to explore more of this through the events of the upcoming weekend. For more on this, check out .