Columbia SC has a rich and impactful African American history which makes it an ideal location to explore, learn and be engaged during Black History Month and beyond. 

 

Explore

Start at the Museum of Reconstruction at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home and continue with a self-guided tour of Reconstructed: A Journey Through the Reconstruction Era in Columbia SC – in partnership with Historic Columbia. This often-misunderstood time period has a unique history here that developed the foundation for African Americans to survive and prosper in this region. 

 

Pick up this exploration with Historic Columbia’s Journey to Freedom Tour which takes visitors on guided tours of the Mann-Simons Site – tracing the journey of Columbia’s African American community from enslavement through urban renewal – and the Modjeska Monteith Simkins House, home to one of South Carolina’s greatest human rights advocates.

 

Pro Tip – Take a few moments to view some of the African American inspired public art throughout the city. From the depiction of Columbia’s Black Wallstreet on Main Street to installations across the city chronicling African American struggles and achievement at Woodland Park, Hyatt Park and Valencia Park, this artwork shows how African Americans have played an integral role in the city’s development. 

 

Learn

The Our Story Matters Gallery inside the Columbia Museum of Art presents visitors with a great opportunity to learn about the city’s extensive civil rights history through exhibitions and interactive experiences. Visitors learn more about the city through a variety of historic artifacts, oral histories, art and reproductions. While you’re at the museum, visit the Sergio Hudson exhibit Focused on the Fit to learn about how the South Carolina native became a rising star in fashion design with clients ranging from Michelle Obama to Beyonce.

 

Pro Tip – Want to learn more? Columbia’s Main Street was the stage for a number of defining moments during the Civil Rights Movement of 1963. Schedule a guided Columbia SC 63’s Main Street Tour to find out about the local impact on the movement here. 

 

Engage

From theater to concerts to conversations about the African American experience, there are events throughout the Columbia region for the entire family. Here are a few highlights:

 

 

Pro Tip: While you’re out, support Columbia’s Black-owned businesses for a bite to eat. From James Beard nominated Kiki’s Chicken and Waffles to the Toasty Hot Spot, Railroad BBQ, Reggae Grill and A Peace of Soul Vegan Kitchen, there are plenty of options to choose from.