African American History

February 1-28

(except during a leap year)

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.

Explore the videos below and check out the Resources page for more information.  

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.

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Congressman Jim Clyburn, Part 3 | The Big Picture
Congressman Jim Clyburn, Part 3 | The Big Picture

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With Clyburn’s success in Washington, he does not have as much time for golf like he used to. Clyburn’s rise through the ranks has been steady, and marked by his ability to reach across the aisle, and...
Congressman Jim Clyburn, Part 2 | The Big Picture
Congressman Jim Clyburn, Part 2 | The Big Picture

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While serving as the head of the human affairs commission, Jim Clyburn was unsuccessful in his two attempts to be elected South Carolina’s secretary of state. Clyburn’s determination to win put him...
Congressman Jim Clyburn, Part 1 | The Big Picture
Congressman Jim Clyburn, Part 1 | The Big Picture

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To say that Congressman Jim Clyburn is a driven man is an understatement. Clyburn had been involved in politics, one way or another, ever since his youth. It was during his time as South Carolina...
Matthew Perry - Judge, Part 1 | Profile
Matthew Perry - Judge, Part 1 | Profile

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Matthew Perry was born in Columbia, South Carolina, on August 3, 1921. Perry grew up in Columbia, and attended South Carolina State University, where he studied business administration. His education...
Matthew Perry - Judge, Part 3 | Profile
Matthew Perry - Judge, Part 3 | Profile

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In 1975, after a nomination from Senator Strom Thurmond, then President Gerald Ford nominated Matthew Perry to a position on the U.S. Court of Military Appeals. Perry discusses what the Court of...
Matthew Perry - Judge, Part 2 | Profile
Matthew Perry - Judge, Part 2 | Profile

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Upon returning home to Columbia, Matthew Perry established the Jenkins and Perry Law Firm, and became the chief legal counsel for the S.C. NAACP, where he began the battle toward the desegregation of...
Dizzy Gillespie, Part 1- Jazz Legend | Profile
Dizzy Gillespie, Part 1- Jazz Legend | Profile

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Jazz legend John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie, was born in Cheraw, South Carolina. Dizzy Gillespie, Cheraw's claim to fame, filled many musical roles, such as trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and singer...
Dizzy Gillespie, Part 3 - Jazz Legend | Profile
Dizzy Gillespie, Part 3 - Jazz Legend | Profile

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When the opportunity came for a young Dizzy Gillespie to leave Cheraw, he took it. Dizzy moved to Laurinburg, North Carolina, where he went to school at the Laurinburg Institute. While in Laurinburg...
Dizzy Gillespie, Part 2 - Jazz Legend | Profile
Dizzy Gillespie, Part 2 - Jazz Legend | Profile

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Dizzy Gillespie was awarded the coveted Handel Medal, which is New York City’s most prestigious arts award. Gillespie is also part of the Newport Jazz Festival Program, and introduced friends and...
David Drake | SC African American History Calendar
David Drake | SC African American History Calendar

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David Drake, also known as “Dave the Potter” and “Dave the Slave,” (c.1801-c.1870) was an American potter who lived in Edgefield, S.C. Dave produced alkaline-glazed stoneware jugs between the 1820s...