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

Modjeska Monteith Simkins | Carolina Snaps


Modjeska Monteith Simkins is known as the "matriarch of civil rights activists" in South Carolina. Born in Columbia in 1899, Simkins spent her adult life fighting for equality and advocating for human...
Ronald McNair | Carolina Snaps


South Carolina native Ronald McNair was the second African-American to go into space, and was part of the STS-51L crew that died when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after lift-off on...