African American History

Learn about the achievements of African Americans who have shaped South Carolina and American history.

Black History Month is celebrated every February to honor the achievements of African Americans who have shaped American history. Historian Carter G. Woodson hoped to raise awareness of African American's contributions to civilization by establishing Negro History Week. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that included both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass' birthdays. The week was later expanded to a month in 1976 during the United States bicentennial.

PHOTO: On March 20, 1969, Black hospital workers at the Medical College of South Carolina in Charleston went on strike to protest the firing of twelve employees and to call for higher wages and union recognition.

Within this Collection

Marian Wright Edelman | Carolina Snaps

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Marian Wright Edelman has dedicated her life to advancing civil rights and children’s rights. Born in South Carolina in 1939, she was inspired by her father to pursue education despite adversity...
HBCUs in South Carolina | Carolina Snaps

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South Carolina is home to 8 of the 107 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), including Claflin University, the state's oldest and one of the top HBCUs. HBCUs played a vital role in...
Congressman James E. Clyburn | Carolina Snaps

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James E. Clyburn, a prominent figure in American politics, serves as the Assistant Democratic Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives and Chairman of the Democratic Faith Working Group. He is...
Cecil Williams | Carolina Snaps

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Cecil Williams, a prolific photographer, captured the essence of the South Carolina Civil Rights movement. Starting at age 9, his talent led to early bookings for events. As a Jet magazine...
Fish and Grits | Carolina Snaps

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The combination of seafood like fish or shrimp with grits has its origins in Charleston, South Carolina. Grits, an ancient staple, predate European conquest, African enslavement, and the founding of...