It is no surprise that Charleston is deeply rooted in history, and a major building block of the city’s story is the African American experience.
Late this June, Explore Charleston launched a new website with the vision of the African American experience in Charleston being seen + heard. The site, titled “Voices: Stories of Change,” is a collection of history + stories told through the viewpoint of Charleston’s African American community.
The site’s stories + articles are composed of volunteer contributions. Typically, each story is written by someone who has a personal tie to the subject matter – whether it was a firsthand experience, something a family member lived through, or is a topic on which the contributor is particularly knowledgeable.
Visitors can read stories dating back to the pre-colonial era, or accounts of current events such as the Emanuel AME Church tragedy. Articles are organized by easily-navigable “themes” ranging from culinary impact to social, economic and political leadership, and can even be searched for by specific locations or time periods.
The goal of the site is not only to be an outlet for those with a story to tell, but a platform to inspire equality of all within a community in the present + future generations.
These are just a few of the stories we’ve already got bookmarked:
○ “Living Canvas” by Herb Fraizer | A story of the picturesque Magnolia Plantation and Gardens + a reflection on how it was sculpted into the magnificent place it is today.
○ “The Incredible Life of Robert Smalls” by Michael Boulware Moore | The journey of a Beaufort-born man whose labor on a Civil War vessel granted him the position of her pilot, which he used to free his enslaved family, crew + others.
○ “Respect for Heritage” by Jonathan Green | Green reflects on his Gullah African ancestors + their legacy on his family + the Charleston community.