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SC African American Heritage Commission

SC African American Heritage Commission

The movement toward recognizing the importance of preserving this cultural richness led to the passage of a joint resolution of the General Assembly in 1993 that established the South Carolina African American Heritage Council and to its establishment as a commission in 2001 by executive order of Governor Jim Hodges. 

The mission of the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission is to identify and promote the preservation of historic sites, structures, buildings, and culture of the African American experience in South Carolina and to assist and enhance the efforts of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. The 15-member commission includes representatives from all regions of the state. 

For more information about the Commission contact Jannie Harriot at or 843-332-3589.

The South Carolina African American Heritage Foundation supports the efforts of the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission. To become a member of the South Carolina African American Heritage Foundation visit their website or send an e-mail to


The Commission seeks to:

  • Increase the social, political, and economic value of African American heritage.
  • Encourage and demonstrate respect for all heritage.
  • Encourage the documentation of African American heritage.
  • Institutionalize African American heritage as an ongoing goal of preservation.
  • Explore every area of South Carolina for African American contributions.
  • Services

    The Commission accomplishes its goals by:

  • Providing advice and technical information—in partnership with the Department of Archives and History—to individuals and groups who want to preserve historic places;
  • Encouraging and supporting the listing of African American historic sites in the National Register of Historic Places and the placement of South Carolina Historical Markers to recognize and interpret places important in African American history;
  • Promoting the infusion of African American history into the curriculum of public schools through a partnership with the Avery Research Center for African American History & Culture and the South Carolina Department of Education;
  • Providing a forum for people interested in preserving African American heritage to learn what is happening across the state, to share success stories, and to receive technical information through meetings and workshops; and
  • Collaborating with other organizations and agencies to encourage the preservation of South Carolina’s African American history and culture.
  • Accomplishments

    In 24 years of service the African American Heritage Commission has celebrated a number of accomplishments including:

    • In 2017 the Commission launched the "Green Book of South Carolina", a travel guide to South Carolina's African American historic and culture sites.
    • In 2016 the Commission created the Supplement to the Teacher's Guide "Integrating Art into Classroom Instruction".
    • In 2016 the Commission completed project identifying African American Schools "How Did We Get to Now".
    • In 2015 the Commission updated "A Teacher's Guide to African American Historic Places in South Carolina".
    • In 2013 the Commission premiered POV's documentary "Homegoings" at the SC Archives and History Center.
    • In 2012 the Commission featured award winning artist, Natalie Daise in "Becoming Harriet Tubman".
    • In 2010 the Commission presented Opera Noire at the Township Auditorium in Columbia and Hartsville, SC.
    • In 2009 the Commission sponsored a state-wide Diversity Conference in Charleston.
    • In 2007, the Commission launched Call & Response, an online newsletter highlighting news about and people involved with African American historic preservation in the state.
    • Since 2006, the Commission has presented Preserving Our Places in History Awards. The awards are intended to recognize the efforts being made by a number of individuals and organizations to preserve the legacy of the African American presence in South Carolina and also to encourage others in these efforts.
    • Since 1999, the African American Heritage Commission has helped reduce the number of counties having no recognized African American historic resources from fourteen counties to two in 2007.
    • In 2005, the Commission successfully lobbied the South Carolina General Assembly for $25,000 in funding to support the work of the Commission.
    • In 2007, the Commission has hosted two regional workshops in Florence and Hartsville, and partnered with Archives and History to host a  statewide conference on African American churches titled “In Our Trust: Preserving the African American Church in South Carolina.” 
    • In 2007, the Commission hosted its first annual meeting.
    • In 1994, the Commission (then known as the African American Heritage Council) received a preservation award from the National Park Service Southeast Regional Office for the Council’s efforts to preserve the state’s African American buildings and sites.

    Become an Associate Member

    For more information, contact Jannie Harriot, 843-332-3589

    Join the  South Carolina African American Heritage Foundation