Jannie Harriot has devoted her life to education, the preservation of South Carolina's African American history, and her family. Harriot is a graduate from several colleges, such as Fayetteville State University, the University of South Carolina, and Montclair State College, in New Jersey. After graduation, Harriot taught in various North Carolina and South Carolina public schools, and in several community colleges in New Jersey. During her time as an educator, she performed a multitude of roles in community-based organizations, such as the Teen Life Center, and the Family Life Center, which assisted youth and families in need.
Harriot is the founding Chairperson of the Butler Heritage foundation - she was instrumental in getting the Darlington County Board of Education to deed her high school alma mater to the foundation, for restoration and preservation. In 1993, Governor Carroll Campbell appointed Harriot as a charter member of the S.C. African American Heritage Council, which became the S.C. African American Heritage Commission in 2001. Harriot currently serves as the Chairperson of the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission, and as Executive Director of the South Carolina African American Heritage Foundation.
As a strong advocate for preserving South Carolina's African American history, Harriot, along with Leon Love, established The Green Book of South Carolina - an award winning mobile travel guide which highlights important cultural and historical African American sites throughout the state.
Jannie Harriot has received numerous awards for her years of service, including the Purpose Prize in 2009, the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission's Herbert A. DeCosta Trailblazer award, induction into the Ernest Finney Hall of Fame, and the Order of the Palmetto. However, her proudest title held to date, is "Aunt Jannie," given to her by her 172 nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and great nieces and nephews.
To learn more about other honorees, visit the South Carolina African American Calendar.