South Carolina Presents Enlightening Events During Black History Month

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Black History Month will be observed with a variety of programming across South Carolina this coming February.

Black History Month will be observed with a variety of programming across South Carolina this coming February. Visitors and residents alike are invited to learn about the numerous African American milestones that occurred in South Carolina and significantly impacted U.S. history - from museums featuring information on influential slaves to sit-ins that helped push forward the civil rights movement. Commemorative events include:

The Connection - Anderson, Greenwood, Aiken, St. Helena Island & Charleston, S.C.
The South Carolina National Corridor will be presenting The Connection, a traveling art exhibit about the Carolina-Barbados sugar industry connection, featuring the work of South Carolina artists who work in a variety of media, from sweet grass to clay to oils. The exhibit will appear at the Anderson Arts Warehouse until Jan. 4, then go on to the Greenwood Arts Center at the Federal Building in Greenwood from Feb. 1 to March 7, then to the Aiken Center for the Arts from April 17 to May 8, the Penn Center on St. Helena Island in June and July, in North Charleston from Aug. 15 to Sept. 26.

EdVenture, The Future is Now: African Americans in Dentistry - Columbia, S.C
From Feb. 1, 2008 to April 30, 2008, the South Carolina Dental Association and EdVenture children's museum will showcase an exhibition which pays tribute to individuals who paved the way for African Americans' success as dental professionals. Featured will be portraits, moving memoirs and inspirational stories. This exhibit was created and produced by the Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. For more information, please visit

From Here to Timbuktu - Columbia, S.C.
Through Jan. 11, 2009, From Here to Timbuktu takes visitors to EdVenture children's museum on a journey through West Africa's spectacular and diverse geographic regions. Along the way, children and adults alike are immersed in an adventure of discovery as they learn about the rhythm of West African life. In each geographic region children are introduced to the foodways, customs and culture of the people who call that area home. Travel from the coastal cities, through the treetops of mountain rainforests and make your way to the open-air family compound on the savannah. Finally, trek the last leg of the journey to find Timbuktu, an ancient center of learning. For more information, please visit

McCrory's Dime Store: First "Jail, No Bail" Sit-in - Rock Hill, S. C.
The former McCrory's dime store building at 135 E. Main St. is the site of the first "jail, no bail" sit-in. On Jan. 31, 1961, eight freshmen from Friendship Junior College and a civil rights activist carried out a sit-in at McCrory's dime store's "whites only" lunch counter. The activists, who became famous as the Friendship Nine, were the first to use the "jail, no bail" technique. They served their 30-day sentences in solitary confinement and chain-gang labor at the York County prison farm. Their sacrifice returned energy to a movement that seemed to be losing momentum. The Piedmont Regional Association of Realtors has renovated the McCrory's building to include the association headquarters, a ballroom and a restaurant which incorporates the original lunch counter. In addition, a Heritage Hall permanent exhibit of graphic panels highlights the Friendship Nine, the history of downtown Rock Hill and McCrory's , a classic "five and dime" department store that operated in Rock Hill from 1937 to 1997.

Follow the Drinking Gourd Planetarium Show - Rock Hill, S.C.
The Museum of York County in Rock Hill will present an exhibit which teaches how slaves in Alabama and Mississippi used the Big Dipper and a song as guides to find their way to freedom in Canada before the Civil War. Programs are available each Saturday and Sunday by appointment. For more information please visit

Africa Alive! - Rock Hill, S.C.
Africa Alive!, a program of African history and culture on Feb. 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Museum of York County. Museum visitors can listen to traditional African storytelling, play the game of mancala (a board game played in many African societies comparable to chess in the West), try on African clothing and listen to the music of Borenya, a high-energy West African drum and dance group. Other popular Africa Alive! activities include children's crafts, hands-on activities and planetarium programs. At the African Marketplace, vendors will offer items from Ghana, Kenya and Mali. Authentic Ethiopian food will be available for purchase. For more information please call 803-329-2121.

Afternoon of Spirituals - Columbia Museum of Art - Columbia, S.C.
In conjunction with celebrations of Black History Month, Allen University Chorale and faculty presents an evening of African American spirituals in the museum galleries on Sunday, Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. The University Chorale, one of the primary student ambassador groups, and the 7th District of the AME Church completed a recording project featuring student soloists last April. The ensemble tours regularly throughout the Southeast and performs under the direction of Gregory McPherson. For information please visit

Days Have Spoken - Columbia Museum of Art - Columbia, S.C.
In tribute to Black History Month, composer and native South Carolinian John Lane will present on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 2 p.m. a concert of nationally acclaimed original modern music for vocal, wind, string and pitched percussive media. Performers from across the southeast perform the regional premieres of works such as "Serenity" and "Comet Run" that reveal ranges of affections and explore modern writing techniques. For information please visit

Finding Priscilla's Children - South Carolina State Museum - Columbia, S.C.
In honor of Black History Month, the S.C. State Museum will debut on Feb. 15 a new exhibit titled "Finding Priscilla's Children." The precise number of African people transported to North America as part of the slave trade is unknown. Once sold, these men, women and children ended up living and dying in obscurity. It is rare to be able to pick out the thread of one slave's life from this human tapestry and follow it down through history to the present day, even more unusual when that slave is a child. "Finding Priscilla's Children" makes that effort. For more information visit

Ghosts and Legends Theatre - North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
This February, come meet the local spirits at the Ghosts and Legends Theatre and hear stories from the old plantation days of the south. A former slave of the indigo field weaves tales about the Boo-Hag, a curious paranormal creature that was believed to have slipped through the keyholes of people's homes while they slept. Performed in an antebellum-style parlor, this live action show brings southern folklore and superstitions to life with masterful storytelling and special effects. Afterwards, enjoy a stroll amongst alligators and Spanish moss, as a pirate guide relates stories of Gullah workers on the rice plantations and the tragic account of the Stone Crab Boy on the Myrtle Beach Ghost Walk. For more information please visit

Brookgreen Gardens - Silent Cities Tour - Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Each Sunday and Tuesday from Jan. 2 through March 9, travel down the back roads of Brookgreen Gardens and explore some of the cemeteries, also known as the Silent Cities. Walk through graveyards and resting places of former slaves and plantation owners and hear about the historical burial customs of European and African origin. For more information please visit

South Carolina is a destination rich in vibrant landscapes, diverse culture and extensive history. Located on the southeast coast of the United States and bordered by North Carolina and Georgia, South Carolina is acclaimed for approximately 200 miles of idyllic Atlantic Ocean coastline. The Palmetto State is the place to explore nature's best, unwind in first-class luxury hotels and spas, celebrate at a variety of festivals or find a small-town gem. Anywhere within its borders, visitors will find smiling faces and beautiful places. For a South Carolina vacation guide, please call the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism at (866) 224-9339. For more information on South Carolina, visit the Web site at


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