View All Blog Posts

Find the Content You Need on African American History—All in One Place—Knowitall!

Images from the African American History Collection on Knowitall

Knowitall Collections make it easy to find what you need!  You may even find things you didn't know you needed! Check out our African American History Collection and Martin Luther King Day Collection, plus more!

Explore these timely Collections now!



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.

You’ll be amazed at the variety of resources found in the Collection! Take a look!

Resources Include:

The story of Richard Samuel Roberts, a little-known African American photographer from South Carolina whose posthumous discovery transcended stereotypes and brought to light a significant legacy. Heralded as one of the south’s most accomplished photographers of the 1920's and 1930's, Roberts was a self-taught artist who was determined to become a master portrait maker, with every image a true likeness of the subject. But for more than 40 years after his death his work remained lost to all but his family and friends.

This collection honors our history and the African Americans who made strides in the advancement of African Americans.

            A. The Father of African American History

            B. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

            C. Ruby Bridges

            D. South Carolina Portraits


Programs & Series

Benjamin Mays, from Epworth, South Carolina, saw the racism and forced segregation of life around him and decided to challenge it with education and religion. Against the advice of his father, Mays pursued a formal education and rose to the top of his class, becoming Dean of Religion at Howard University, and later earned a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Chicago. He would become president of Morehouse College in 1940, and his influence on civil rights and education for the next three decades would reach far and wide. 


Student journalists interviewed Cecil Williams, Justice Ernest Finney, Frank Washington, Cong. James Clyburn, Oveta Glover, Titus Duren and Victoria Eslinger about Civil Rights in S.C.


South Carolinians who fought for equality during the Civil Rights Movement.


Much of America's blues and jazz influences are deeply rooted in the rhythms and melodies of the rural South. One artist who has greatly contributed to these genres' continued popularity is South Carolina's own John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie. Together with Charlie Parker, he was a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz. 


In 1960, a talented African-American student from Charleston, Harvey Gantt, graduated from high school and decided to become an architect. Clemson College was the only school in South Carolina that offered a degree in his chosen field. In January of 1963, with the help of NAACP lawyer Matthew J. Perry, Gantt won a lawsuit against Clemson and was peacefully admitted to the college, making him the first African-American student to attend a formerly all-white school in South Carolina. 


This special explores the connections between the Gullah of the South Carolina/Georgia Sea Islands and the people of West Africa, particularly those of Sierra Leone.


Introduces Gullah culture, language and music to children. The website has three sections: Gullah CultureGullah Music and Gullah Tales, told in Gullah and English.


This program explores the works of two outstanding artists who are sons of the South Carolina Lowcountry. Twiggs and Green share an indelible bond, reflected in their works.


Documentary that pays tribute to the “Friendship Nine,” a group of college students who were arrested for a lunch counter sit-in in Rock Hill, SC in 1961. Instead of paying bail (as was the norm with all previous sit-ins), they served 30 days of hard labor, making the city pay to house, feed & clothe them, thus turning the tables & drying up a dubious revenue stream. This movement caught on nationally, changing the entire sit-in strategy. The program was the centerpiece of 50th anniversary events, and still has legs today. It included extensive television, educational and community outreach initiatives.


One woman’s struggle to gain equality for herself and her students. Mary McLeod Bethune grew up in rural South Carolina and became a teacher. She started with nothing and ended up being an advisor to a president! 


Modjeska Simkins came from relative wealth and married into wealth, but dedicated her life to helping the disadvantaged to be treated equally in South Carolina. 


This program tells the story of the Penn Center’s inception in 1862 as a school for freed slaves to its involvement in the Gullah community today. Today the center collects, documents, preserves, and disseminates information related to cultural heritage of the Sea Island and Lowcountry African-American culture.


Take a historical journey from the founding of Columbia, South Carolina, through the Civil War, the Depression, World War II, civil rights, up to the present. Reflections of Columbia, Part 7 – The 50s and 60s looks back on Columbia’s civil rights history.


Designed to help teachers and students to learn about our history, people and events, and the importance of the civil rights movement in South Carolina from the 1940s to the early 1970s. 


Documentary about the struggle to save an exceptional South Carolina island and its Gullah community from development. The program tells the story of the unique coalition of conservationists, state agencies, businessmen and community residents that came together to save this extraordinary place and preserve a historic culture. 


A 12-month calendar that profiles individuals from across the state who have had a positive, compelling impact on South Carolina and, often, across the country.


Chronology of stories from Palmetto Scene beginning June 18, 2015, culminating in the removal of the Confederate Flag from the grounds of the S.C. State House on Friday, July 10, 2015.


In 1941, an all African American flying squadron was established in Tuskegee, Alabama to train African Americans to fly and maintain combat aircraft. The Tuskegee Airmen paved the way for full integration of African Americans into the U.S. military.


Topics Available in the Collection Include:



This Collection honors the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and relays much of the history of the Civil Rights era. The Collection includes: 

African American History Month on Periscope

            A. The Father of African American History

            B. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

            C. Ruby Bridges

            D. South Carolina Portraits


Road Trip! Through South Carolina Civil Rights History

Resources Include:

View the Collection!



For Holocaust Remembrance Day, observed on Saturday, January 27, we share these resources for remembrance:

Trace the events of the Holocaust through the testimony of survivors who settled in South Carolina. Interviews are combined with dramatic archival footage for a powerful and moving record of the inhumanity that was experienced during the Holocaust.

Full interviews with South Carolinians who survived the Holocaust and those who liberated the concentration camps or witnessed the atrocities that took place. 



  • Be sure to check out our February Factoids throughout the month. You may be surprised at what you’ll find on Knowitall!

Topics in February include: ​

  • Orangeburg Massacre
  • General William Tecumseh Sherman 
  • World War II in the Pacific: Guadalcanal 
  • Thomas Edison 
  • Abraham Lincoln 
  • Susan B. Anthony 
  • Burning of Columbia 
  • H.L. Hunley 
  • Astronaut John Glenn 
  • Malcolm X 
  • George Washington 
  • W.E.B. Dubois 
  • The Trojan Women ... and more!

Check them out here



  • At any time during the month, you can find out about new content available on Knowitall! Make it a habit to check here frequently

New Series Added


Additions to Existing Series


New Videos Added



If you have questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you!