Columbia’s African American history spans from Civil Rights to hip-hop; from historical sites to cultural influence. This rich heritage can be celebrated this month though art, entertainment, history tours, rhythm and rhyme. 

Tribe: A Celebration of South Carolina Hip-Hop Culture 

Love Peace and Hip Hop and the Columbia Museum of Art have teamed up to present an exhibit to celebrate the core elements of hip-hop culture and highlight the contributions of South Carolina to the hip-hop genre worldwide. Tribe: A Celebration of South Carolina Hip-Hop Culture is a mixed media exhibition featuring visual art, audio and visual elements as well as artifacts from South Carolina hip-hop history. The exhibit is curated by Love, Peace and Hip-Hop founder and hip-hop artist FatRat Da Czar.


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Columbia SC 63 Black History Month Civil Rights Walking Tour

Take a stroll down Main Street any time of year, and you'll see signs telling of Columbia SC's Civil Rights story. Throughout the month of February, Columbia SC 63 will offer free Civil Rights walking tours in downtown Columbia every Sunday. The tour aims to raise awareness and understanding of this pivotal chapter in America and South Carolina's history. 


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Black Stories: Real Fiction Film Series

South Carolina's only independent movie theatre, The Nickelodeon is giving a look into African American History through film. Their Black Stories: Real Fiction series runs throughout the month of February and features both full length films and a day of short films. Grab a bag of popcorn and dive into this celebration of Black storytelling.


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Historic Columbia House Tours

For the history buff, Historic Columbia offers bus tours of African America sites. From the Mann-Simons site, home of Celia Mann, a free black midwife in Antebellum Columbia, to the North Carolina Mutual Building, office of the largest African-America owned life insurance company in the United States, the tour explores house, businesses and other sites important to the African American community. 

Tour historic houses like the Hampton Preston Mansion and hear narratives that focus on the stories of all inhabitants of historic houses, including perspectives of enslaved persons. The Woodrow Wilson Home is the only museum dedicated to interpreting the post-Civil War Reconstruction period and is housed in South Carolina’s only remaining presidential site. Learn about how African American residents navigated this period, participated in government, claimed access to education, African American leaders of the time and the changing meanings of citizenship over the past 150 years. 


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Gullah Geechie Celebration

History and food? You can sign us up! The Richland Library Saint Andrews will have a Gullah/Geechie Celebration featuring the history and traditions of the Gullah/Geechie culture with a live performance from master storyteller Donald Sweeper. Sweeper is a rice, slavery and Gullah historian and brings the Gullah culture alive from a personal perspective. Attendees can also taste an authentic Gullah dish. 

Harambee Festival – Benedict College

The 31st annual Harambee Festival at Benedict College closes out African American History Month Feb. 28-March. 1. Harambee features live performances, good, merchandise, a Children’s Village, free health screening in a family friendly environment. Headlining this year’s festival is award-winning gospel recording artist VaShawn Mitchell who will also direct a community choir performance during the festival. Harambee is one of the largest college-sponsored festivals in the nation.


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Click here for more African America history sites in Columbia SC.