City Of Charleston: Black History Month Is Here (2023)

Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture is Awarded $2 Million Grant from Mellon Foundation

The Mellon Foundation has awarded the College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture a $2 million grant to support the collection and preservation of the South Carolina Lowcountry’s social and cultural history.

“This grant is a true difference maker for the College’s Avery Research Center and our entire campus,” says Andrew T. Hsu, president of the College of Charleston. “The Mellon Foundation has an incredibly strong legacy of helping to build just communities, with their significant investments to enhance a dialogue of ideas and bolster imaginations. I am excited to see how this grant will accelerate and expand the important work of the Avery Research Center’s staff as well as its immediate impact on our greater community in Charleston.”

The funding, says Tamara T. Butler, executive director of the Avery Research Center, will allow the Avery Research Center to explore and share new and rich cultural histories.


2023 TeenSpot Annual Black History Essay Contest
February 1st - March 1st during library hours

Hurd/St. Andrews Library
1735 N Woodmere Dr
Admission: Free

The 2023 Cynthia Graham Hurd/ St. Andrews Library TeenSpot Annual Black History Essay Contest has begun. This contest is open to all Charleston-area students in grades 6 through 12. One winner will be chosen from each level (middle school and high school) and will receive a trophy and a $50 Amazon Gift Card. Entries are due March 1, 2023. Winners will be notified on March 31, 2023.


Edisto Island Branch Celebrating Black History Through Music
February 1st-28th during library hours

Edisto Island Library
1589 Highway 174 Trinity Episcopal Hall, Edisto, SC
Admission: Free

Edisto Island Branch is celebrating Black History Month through music. Stop by the branch and pick up a bookmark with a list of some black musicians who have been a huge influence on American music. Perhaps this list of artitsts will help you discover some musicians you have never listened to. All of these artists' music is available through the Freegal App. Our staff is here and ready to show you how you can download free music through this free app that is offered by CCPL.


Black History Month Trivia
February 1st-28th from 9am to 8pm

Otranto Road Library
2261 Otranto Rd
Admission: Free

Throughout February test your knowledge by participating in daily trivia and be rewarded with a sweet treat at the Otranto Road Library.


Colour of Music Festival
February 1st-4th at varying times

Varying venues
Admission: $16.38+, plus fees

Since 2013, the Colour of Music Festival offers a musical kaleidoscope highlighting the impact and historical significance of black classical composers and performers on American and world culture. The Colour of Music Festival began with performances at various venues throughout historic Charleston, South Carolina and has grown to debut in cities across the country with artists from across the globe.


Sweetgrass Basket
Weaving Workshop
February 4th from 9:30am - 1:30pm
The Charleston Museum
360 Meeting Street
Admission: $75-$105, plus fees

(Video) How a trip to Charleston , SC opened my eyes! : A black history tour, cat cafe, and rant on life!

Join local artisan Sarah Edwards-Hammond for in-depth instruction on sweetgrass basketry which has been an integral part of the Lowcountry’s Gullah Geechee community since the 17th century. Edwards-Hammond comes from a long line of basket makers and has passed down the tradition to her family and others in the community.


Presentation about Edmund Jenkins and Panel Discussion with African Americans in Law Enforcement

February 4th at 2pm
Darby Building
302 Pitt Street, Mt. Pleasant
Admission: Free

Officer Calabrese will give a presentation on the life of Edmund Jenkins, an African American veteran who became the Town's first town marshal. Following the presentation, Mount Pleasant police officers will discuss topics including the legacy of Edmund Jenkins, the benefits and challenges of being in law enforcement, and the meaning of Black History Month.


Oh Happy Day Gospel Concert - "From Slavery to Freedom: Songs of Hope, Faith & Love"

February 5th at 4pm
Circular Congregational Church
150 Meeting Street
Admission: $28 (plus fees)*

children, student, & senior tickets vary

From the creators of The Sound of Charleston comes the Oh Happy Day Gospel Series at Circular Congregational Church.

In celebration of Black History Month, come and join Carl Bright and Family and Friends in celebrating Charleston’s rich gospel music heritage. Clap your hands, tap your feet, and join in singing this joyous music.


Carolima's Lowcountry Cuisine Presents: Taste of Gullah Geechee
February 5th from 4-7pm
IBA Event Venue
7910 Dorchester Rd
Admission: $75-$85, plus fees

Join Carolima's Lowcountry Cuisine to kick off Black History Month with culturally inspired cuisine prepared by some of Charleston’s top, talented, community chefs! There will be more than a dozen chefs featured with cuisine ranging from savory to sweet. Enjoy the sample sized tastings as you learn about the history of how the African diaspora has inspired the way we enjoy food in the Gullah Geechee corridor.

Enjoy the fellowship, music and hand crafted cocktails.

Support local.


Conversations with a Curator: Sea Grass Baskets with Curator of Archaeology Martha Zierden and Curator of History Chad Stewart

February 10th at 10:30- 11:00am
The Charleston Museum
360 Meeting Street
Free with admission & free for members

Join Curator of History, Chad Stewart, and Curator of Historical Archaeology, Martha Zierden, in the Lowcountry History Hall as they discuss sea grass baskets in the collections of The Charleston Museum. Rooted in Africa, coiled baskets of rush, sweetgrass, palmetto, and other local materials have been produced by local African Americans since their first arrival in Carolina.



Honors in Black: A Black History Program Celebrating Black Successors
February 10th at 8pm
Charleston Music Hall
37 John Street
Admission: $25, plus fees

A Black History Program paying homage to professionals and successors locally and abroad that have paved the way and made a difference in their communities.

The program includes some of Charleston’s most respected & recognized vocalists, groups, and musicians. Under the musical direction of “The Fellas” of LaFaye & The Fellas, bringing you a show filled with historic songs & moments that tell stories of the past struggles and successes of African American culture.


Footlight Players Present: The Mountaintop
February 10th-24th, varying times
Queen Street Playhouse
20 Queen Street
Admission: $34-$48, plus fees

Featuring NYC Equity guest actors J. Jerome Rogers and Crystin Gilmore, The Mountaintop is a compelling, fictional depiction of Martin Luther King Jr’s last night on earth set entirely in Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel on the eve of his assassination in 1968.

This is a story written to humanize Dr. King, to help us understand that you don’t have to be superhuman to be a hero.


Keepers of the Culture: Black History, Culture, and Food in Charleston, SC

February 11th at 9am
Hyatt House Charleston/Mt. Pleasant
1430 Midtown Avenue
Admission: $275, plus fees

Explore the history of the Lowcountry with food, beverage and conversation led by bearers of Black culture in Charleston.

12:00 pm- Fireside Lunch + Craft Brewery Tasting by Chef B.J. Dennis + April Dove Featured on Netflix's High on the Hog : How African American Cuisine Transformed America, Chef BJ Dennis is considered an icon in Gullah Geechee culture and a true "Keeper of the Culture." April Dove, founder of Tha CommUNITY brew is a Charleston native and trailblazer in the craft brewery industry as an African American woman.


The Plantation Singers
February 11th at 7pm
Christ Church
2725 Bulrush Basket Lane,
Mt. Pleasant
Admission: Free

The Plantations Singers, with director Lynnette White, will perform an A Capella performance of traditional Gullah Spirituals. The intermission will include a brief presentation on sweetgrass basket making.


The View From the Workyard: Black History at the Aiken-Rhett House
February 11 from 9-11am
Aiken-Rhett House
48 Elizabeth Street
Admission: $40 plus fees

This special tour, in honor of Black History Month, will be a full house tour given from the enslaved perspective, exploring how the landscape and buildings that make up the Aiken-Rhett House complex were experienced by those held in bondage. Looking beyond the bounds of enslavement, the tour will share some of the triumphs and persistent survival tactics that enabled some of the enslaved to succeed after emancipation as free Charlestonians. Additionally, the tour will give attention to the knowledge, skills, abilities, and ingenuity of an oppressed population who built the foundations of the American Republic, and who had equal share in creating a uniquely American culture and identity.


Art Forms & Theatre Concepts, Inc. presents "Smart People"
February 16 - 26
Cannon Street Arts Center
134 Cannon Street

Admission: $30 plus fees

(Video) Charleston re-examines its slave trade history

This dramatic comedy by the award-winning playwright Lydia R. Diamond tells a delicious and heartrending story. On the eve of Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Election, four hyper-intelligent Cambridge residents find that despite their best intentions upon broaching the subject the topic of race is a treacherous one, full of stumbles and wrong turns. Brian, a neuroscientist, is studying the brain’s responses to race and its societal implications. Ginny, a psychiatrist, is studying low-income Asian-American women’s reaction to stress. Jackson, a young doctor, has opened a clinic for low-income patients. Valerie, a talented actor, is struggling to make ends meet by working as a house cleaner.

Through bright, funny dialogue and fast-paced vignettes, playwright Lydia Diamond brings her quartet of complicated characters to vibrant life. As they each bull-headedly pursue their professional and personal goals, they find that issues of self-awareness, identity, and race are obstacles that even “smart people” can’t seem to avoid.


The College of Charleston Department of History Presents: Black Women's History as American History

February 15th at 5:30pm

Septima Clark Auditorium

25 St. Philip Street

Admission: Free

Please join the Department of History for its annual Black History Month lecture, "Black Women's History as American History and the Everyday Struggles over Liberty and Justice," presented by guest lecturer Tamika Nunley.


CofC Gospel Choir: The Revolt to FREEDOM: The Story of Denmark Vesey

February 18th at 6pm

Trinity United Methodist Church
273 Meeting Street

Admission: $15, plus fees (free to CofC students with a valid ID)

The College of Charleston Gospel Choir will present the Black History Concert, "The Revolt to FREEDOM: The Story of Denmark Vesey."


Gullah Burial Practices
February 25th at 10am

McLeod Plantation Historic Site

325 Country Club Drive

Admission: $10, plus fees

Gullah burial practices contain elements of African spirituality brought and retained from the motherland and Christianity. Those components, their significance, and connections to modern times will be explored in this unique program. Topics will include funeral versus home-going, ownership of the service, the settin' up, what occurred before the service, and systems of support after.


(Video) Black History Month Celebration w/ Dr. Umar Johnson

Presentation by Faith Rivers James and Songs with Storytelling by Ann Caldwell

February 25th at 2pm

Wando Library

1400 Carolina Park Blvd, Mt. Pleasant, SC

Admission: Free

Faith Rivers James, Executive Director of the Coastal Conservation League and Mount Pleasant native, will discuss her career and the connection between African American culture and the environment. Ann Caldwell, of the Magnolia Singers, will close the town's Black History Month celebration with songs and storytelling.


Gullah/Geechee Family Foundation Present: 2nd Annual Gullah Black History Month Experience
February 25th at 12-3pm

Cannon Street Arts Center
134 Cannon Street

Admission: Free

Authentic Gullah/Geechee performances by Deninufay Dance company, Gullah Spiritual Singing by Lorraine Singleton, Spoken word by Georgia Nubia, Gullah/Geechee Arts and Crafts, Books, Gullah Baskets and more.

Come and be apart of De Gullah Black History Month Experience!


Anson Street African Burial
Ground Memorial

Call for Hand Models!

Stephen L. Hayes Jr., a noted creator of public art, has been commissioned to create a memorial for the Ancestors at the site where they were reburied on George Street. He has designed a fountain whose basin will be formed in part from earth taken from African descendant burial sites in Charleston.

Surrounding the basin will be 36 pairs of hands to commemorate the Ancestors. The bronze hands will be cast from the hands of volunteers who share thesame age, gender, and ancestry of the Ancestors.

La’Sheia Oubré and Joanna Gilmore are identifying individuals of African descent to serve as hand models. The model’s hands will be molded in alginate (a natural substance) and cast in bronze for the memorial. The Ancestors included infants, children, teenagers, and adult women and men.

We are also asking individuals, churches, and organizations to collect soil with us from African descendant burial grounds in Charleston. The collected soil will be used to help form the basin for the fountain to symbolize the many enslaved and free Africans who lived, toiled, and were buried in the earth upon which our city is built. If you know of a burial ground and you would like to collect soil to be used in the memorial, please contact us.

Once complete, the Anson Street African Burial Ground Memorial will look like the image below, provided by Outdoor Spatial Design.

Register your interest in serving as a hand model for the memorial. We are interested in all ages.

Hand Model Form

(Video) Visited black history museum in Charleston sc for black history month!!

Volunteer to collect soil from a burial ground that is meaningful for you or your community.

Soil Collection Form

Learn About the Project Here


What of Charleston is black? ›

Race & Ethnicity

The largest Charleston racial/ethnic groups are White (71.7%) followed by Black (19.6%) and Hispanic (4.2%).

Is the Charleston African American museum open? ›

One month before its debut, the long-awaited Charleston center acknowledged problems with humidity and temperature controls. It will open later in 2023.

What is the history of Charleston? ›

Charleston was the seat of the provincial congress in 1775 that created the state of South Carolina, and it was named the state capital the following year. In the American Revolution the city was held by the British from 1780 to 1782. It ceased to be the state capital in 1790, when the legislature moved to Columbia.

What percent of Charleston is black? ›

Female persons, percent 51.5%
Race and Hispanic Origin
White alone, percent 70.6%
Black or African American alone, percent(a) 25.2%
57 more rows

Is Charleston SC A black city? ›

Charleston Demographics

White: 73.88% Black or African American: 20.77% Asian: 2.08% Two or more races: 1.99%

Is the Charleston Museum free? ›

Admission: Free with admission. Join Curator of History, Chad Stewart, and Curator of Historical Archaeology, Martha Zierden, in the Lowcountry History Hall as they discuss sea grass baskets in the collections of The Charleston Museum.

What is the largest African American museum in the United States? ›

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the nation's largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history.

Why is the African American Museum closed? ›

As a public health precaution due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), the National Museum of African American History and Culture will temporarily close to the public starting Saturday, March 14. We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of all our visitors, employees, and volunteers.

What food is Charleston known for? ›

20 Iconic Charleston Dishes and Drinks and Their History
  • She Crab Soup. She crab soup is a crab soup that has a “little something extra.” Orange roe tops this soup to make it specifically a soup made of female crabs. ...
  • Shrimp and Grits. ...
  • Cornbread. ...
  • Planters Punch. ...
  • Hush Puppies. ...
  • Frogmore Stew. ...
  • Fried Green Tomatoes. ...
  • Okra Soup.
Dec 9, 2018

Why is Charleston so rich? ›

Originally, the city became wealthy through its exports of rice and sea island cotton, and attracted many wealthy individuals. After the Civil War, Charleston's hinterland lost its regional dominance, however, it remained a hub of commerce for South Carolina.

Why is Charleston so famous? ›

Charleston is an historic port city known for its deep southern roots. Due to its charming architecture, pleasant weather, and excellent cuisine, it's a popular romantic getaway destination. However, it's also well loved by history buffs.

Is Charleston a rich town? ›

A new report proclaims Charleston and North Charleston are among the top five most prosperous cities in the U.S.

What is the whitest county in South Carolina? ›

South Carolina White Population Percentage by County
42 more rows

Is South Carolina more white or black? ›

White alone, percent 68.6%
Black or African American alone, percent(a) 26.7%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent(a) 0.6%
Asian alone, percent(a) 1.9%
57 more rows

Is Charleston a drinking city? ›

Charleston has been a serious drinking town since the days her parties flowed with rum, brandy, and madeira that arrived on ships from far flung ports. And yeah, the rest of the country might have had Prohibition in the 20th century, but according to author Mark Jones in Wicked Charleston, Vol.

Where did slaves arrive in Charleston? ›

Overall, by the end of the colonial period, African arrivals in Charleston primarily came from Angola (40 percent), Senegambia (19.5 percent), the Windward Coast (16.3 percent), and the Gold Coast (13.3 percent), as well as the Bight of Benin and Bight of Biafra in smaller percentages.

Why is Charleston called that? ›

Established as Charles Town in honor of King Charles II of England, Charleston adopted its present name in 1783 and is the principal city in the Charleston–North Charleston–Summerville Metropolitan Statistical Area.

What is the prettiest street in Charleston? ›

Possibly one of the most photographed streets in Charleston, Rainbow Row is actually located on East Bay Street. This strip of architectural delight stretches from no. 79 to no. 107 East Bay Street.

What is the cheapest time to visit Charleston SC? ›

The cheapest time to visit Charleston is winter (December through February). Hotel prices are at their lowest during this time. There are fewer tourists in the city. However, keep in mind that Charleston weather is the coolest during the winter months.

What state has the most black history? ›

Virginia is home to the longest continuous experience of Black life and culture in the United States spanning more than four centuries – beginning before the first English settlement at Jamestown and through the Revolutionary War, Civil War, Emancipation and the Civil Rights eras.

What is the oldest African American museum in the US? ›

1868 : The College Museum, the nation's first African American history museum, is established in Hampton, Va., on the campus of Hampton Institute. 1929 : President Herbert Hoover appoints a committee tasked with creating a National Memorial Building to commemorate the contributions of black people to U.S. history.

How much did Oprah donate to the African American museum? ›

Philanthropy News Digest

Home Philanthropy news Oprah Winfrey Makes $12 Million Gift to African-American....

Where is the biggest black history museum? ›

The largest is the 400,000-square-foot National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. Many have a narrow focus. For example, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City presents the history of the Negro National Leagues from 1920 through 1962.

Can you go to the African American Museum without tickets? ›

All visitors, regardless of age, must have a timed-entry pass to enter the museum. A limited number of timed-entry passes are available. Visitors can reserve timed-entry passes up to 30 days in advance on a rolling basis.

Who is the new museum for African American history? ›

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) will debut a major, thought-provoking new exhibition, “Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures,” March 24, 2023.

Why do people like Charleston so much? ›

Why do people move to Charleston, South Carolina? For starters, a rich history, beautiful landscape, and a thriving dining scene are the attractions that draw new residents to move to Charleston. Travel + Leisure magazine readers agree, naming it the Top City in the U.S. for nine consecutive years and, in 2021, No.

What sweets is Charleston known for? ›

Charleston's Iconic Desserts
  • Port Citrus Poached Pear, 39 Rue De Jean. ...
  • Carrot Cake Fritters, Charleston Grill. ...
  • Almond Semifreddo, FIG. ...
  • Whiskey Bread Pudding, Halls Chophouse. ...
  • Banana Cream Pie, Hank's Seafood. ...
  • Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée, High Cotton. ...
  • Buttermilk Pie, Hominy Grill.
Oct 14, 2017

Does the Charleston have a dress code? ›

Formal wear or business attire is encouraged but not required. Charleston offers complimentary valet parking. The valet stand is located on S. Exeter Street, at the corner of Lancaster Street.

Who is the wealthiest in Charleston SC? ›

Anita Zucker (born 1951/1952) is an American businesswoman and philanthropist. She was the chair at the Hudson's Bay Company. Taking over after her husband's death, she is now the chairperson and chief executive officer (CEO) of The Intertech Group. She is the wealthiest person to reside in the state of South Carolina.

What billionaire lives in Charleston? ›

There aren't many people who can say their net worth is in the billions. One of the few who can is Charleston's own Anita Zucker. Anita moved to Charleston in 1978 and has continued to live in the city ever since.

Who is the richest person in Charleston SC? ›

The Center Square
StateCityWealthiest Billionaire in City
South CarolinaCharlestonAnita Zucker
South DakotaSioux FallsT. Denny Sanford
TennesseeNashvilleThomas Frist Jr. and family
TexasDallasJerry Jones
39 more rows
May 17, 2021

What does the pineapple mean in Charleston? ›

Placing a pineapple at the entrance of a home is a way of demonstrating hospitality. Traditionally, American sailors would place the pineapple outside of their door to show that they had safely returned. In Charleston, SC, the woman hung the pineapple from the door to show that her husband had returned.

What is the nickname of Charleston? ›

Charleston's nickname is the Holy City. There are a lot of rumors as to how the city got its name. Legend has it that it was given the nickname by a fond admirer of the city.

What's unique about Charleston? ›

Charleston was the fourth largest city in colonial America, and the wealthiest! Charleston boasts the first public college, museum, and playhouse in the U.S. The first golf club in America was established in Charleston in 1787. North America's longest cable-stayed bridge, the Arthur Ravenel Jr.

What is the racial makeup of Charleston? ›

The 5 largest ethnic groups in Charleston, SC are White (Non-Hispanic) (71.4%), Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) (20.7%), White (Hispanic) (2.48%), Asian (Non-Hispanic) (2.08%), and Two+ (Non-Hispanic) (1.69%).

What percent of Charleston is white? ›

In Charleston County as a whole, the White population has increased from 62 percent in 2000 to nearly 65 percent today. In just the past 10 years, the county's total population has increased by 58,000, to 408,000, driven by an increase of 46,000 Whites, 10,400 Hispanics and 9,100 people of two or more races.

What percent of South Carolina is black? ›

Black or African American: 26.45% Two or more races: 2.98% Other race: 2.02% Asian: 1.64%

Why are people leaving Charleston? ›

Jobs like manufacturing, coal and chemical plants are slowly leaving the state, resulting in higher unemployment. Local area businesses and residents give their thoughts on this common thread of the decreasing population in Charleston.

What is the safest place to live in Charleston? ›

Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Charleston
  • Radcliffeborough.
  • Riverland Terrace.
  • Stiles Point.
  • Wagener Terrace.
  • West Ashley.
Dec 19, 2022


1. W.E.B. DuBois and the Importance of Black History
(The Center for Inclusive Excellence)
2. Exploring Black History at the College of Charleston and Beyond
(CofC Alumni Association)
3. Lecture two of four- 2022 Black History Month
(City of Oak Hill, WV)
4. Lecture Four of Four Black History Month
(City of Oak Hill, WV)
5. The INCREDIBLE Story Everybody Needs To Know This Black History Month
(The Young Turks)
6. Nell Stokes Black History Month 2017
(Nell Stokes)
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