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The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

South Carolina African American Heritage Commission


Members of the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission in 2017.

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 (SCAAHC) 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.  

List of South Carolina African American Heritage Commission Members (PDF)

For more information about the Commission, visit the organization on Facebook, Twitter, or contact Jannie Harriot, 843-332-3589.


Call & Response Newsletter: Back issues through Fall 2006.

Call & Response Newsletter, Fall 2020 edition

Preserving Our Places in History Awards

2020 Awards Nomination Form (PDF)

Award Recipients 2006-2017 (PDF)

Award Recipients 2018 (PDF)

Upcoming Events

“Preserving Our Places in History” Awards Ceremony and Luncheon, October 2020, Columbia

South Carolina African American Heritage Foundation 

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 scaaheritagefound@gmail.comYou can also follow the South Carolina African American Heritage Foundation on Facebook.

Commission Goals
  • 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. 
Commission Services
  • 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. 
Commission Accomplishments
  • 2020: Successfully launched Black Carolinians Speak: Portraits of a Pandemic, an oral history initiative that seeks to capture the African American experience in South Carolina during the COVID-19 public health crisis. 
  • 2019: On April 4-5th, the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission hosted its annual "Preserving Our Places in History" Awards Luncheon and its 25th Anniversary Gala at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Seven charter members of the Commission--Dr. Ricky Hill, Alada Shinault Small, Bhakti Larry Hough, Elaine Nichols, Dr. Cornelius St. Mark, Joseph McGill and Dr. Karry Guillory--were presented with honorary resolutions from the South Carolina General Assembly.  Three of our longest serving members--Michael Allen, Dr. Barbara Jenkins, and Jannie Harriot--received the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor awarded by the governor.
  • 2018: Published The Business of Rural Heritage, Culture and Art: An Introductory Resource Guide for Entrepreneurs, and revised the Supplement to the Teacher’s Guide, Integrating the Arts into Classroom Instruction
  • 2017: Launched the Green Book of South Carolina, an online travel guide to South Carolina's African American historic and cultural sites.
  • 2016: Created the Supplement to the Teacher's Guide “Integrating Art into Classroom Instruction”.
  • 2016: Completed project identifying African American Schools “How Did We Get to Now?”:  Volume 1 (2016) Volume 2 (2019).
  • 2015: Updated “A Teacher's Guide to African American Historic Places in South Carolina”.
  • 2013: Premiered POV's documentary Homegoings at SCDAH.
  • 2012: Featured award winning artist, Natalie Daise in “Becoming Harriet Tubman”.
  • 2010: Presented Opera Noire at the Township Auditorium in Columbia and Hartsville.
  • 2009: Sponsored a state-wide Diversity Conference in Charleston.
  • 2007: Launched Call & Response, an online newsletter highlighting news about African American historic preservation in the state.
  • 1999-2011: Reduced the number of counties having no recognized African American historic resources from fourteen counties to none.
  • 2007: Hosted two regional workshops in Florence and Hartsville, and partnered with SCDAH to host a statewide conference titled “In Our Trust: Preserving the African American Church in South Carolina”. 
  • 2007: First annual meeting of SCAAHC.
  • 2006-Present: Presented Preserving Our Places in History Awards. The awards are intended to recognize efforts to preserve the legacy of African Americans in South Carolina and encourage others to do the same.
  • 2005: Successfully lobbied the South Carolina General Assembly for $25,000 in funding to support the work of the Commission.
  • 1994: Preservation award to the South Carolina African American Heritage Council (now Commission) from the National Park Service Southeast Regional Office for efforts to preserve the state’s African American buildings and sites.