Black History Month in Columbia SC
Friday, January 29, 2021 12:00 AM by Helen Dennis
Black history flows through the streets of Columbia SC, touching our modern lives through art, politics, food and beyond. This February, we dive deeper into that heritage with Black History Month.
Historic Columbia wraps up their Color of Law series on February 4. Join this virtual event to hear from regional leaders about how we can shape a more equitable future. For the musically inclined, the University of South Carolina is hosting the 2021 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration: Brighter Beginnings. Attendees can view the concert virtually and then join in on a Q&A with a panel to discuss the role of Black music in modern freedom movements. The Richland Library is offering virtual events throughout the month of February to examine race and Black history. They're kicking things off with a Black History Month Fair and you can explore their events page for more programing throughout the month.
Engage and Learn
African American History Monument
On the east side of the South Carolina State House Grounds you'll find the African American History Monument, which tracks history from the slave trade through the Civil Rights Movement, including monumental legal battles, and on to modern Black leaders in a variety of industries. The monument is said to be the first of it's kind on state house grounds in the United States.
The Mann-Simons Site was home to the same Black family for over 100 years and traces the changes of life in Columbia SC through the lens of this entrepreneurial family. While the house is currently closed due to Covid-19, the gardens are open to the public. This site is particularly interesting because, though only one home still stands, Historic Columbia has created "ghost structures" to provide an idea of the previous buildings that occupied the space, including a lunch counter and grocery store, among others.
Columbia SC 63
Curious about the Civil Rights Movement in Columbia SC? Take the self guided Columbia SC 63 walking tour down Main Street. From sit-ins at the Kress Building to marches at the State House Grounds, you'll learn how the movement changed South Carolina's capital and beyond.
Beyond social and political change, the impact of Black art in Columbia SC is huge. Both contemporary and classic works shape the capital city's identity. Read through our Black art blog to learn more.
There are so many ways to celebrate and honor Black history across Columbia SC. Let us know how you're engaging in the comments!