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Exhibitions

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A History of Burke High School in Charleston, South Carolina since 1894close

Burke High School has served students in downtown Charleston, South Carolina for over a century. From its roots as a segregated school for African Americans in the late nineteenth century, to emerging as an institution that fostered significant student activism during the twentieth century civil rights movement, Burke's history provides insights into the achievements and challenges of public education in Charleston. Published July 2013.

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A Tribute to the Mother Emanuel Churchclose

This online tribute documents local, statewide, and national responses to the tragic mass shooting that took place at the Emanuel AME Church, also known as Mother Emanuel, in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17, 2015. Through photographs from a range of sources, this visual account reveals an overwhelming outpouring of emotion and grief for the victims, survivors, and their families, as well as powerful efforts in the weeks and months following the shooting to address racial injustice and violence. Published May 2016.

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African Laborers for a New Empire: Iberia, Slavery, and the Atlantic World close

This online exhibition examines the beginnings of Iberian expansion into the Americas in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when political and religious leaders in Spain, Portugal, and colonial Spanish America established arguments supporting the use of enslaved Africans—and limiting other forms of coerced labor—in ways that would greatly influence the development of slavery in the Atlantic World. Published February 2014. Updated 2016.

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African Passages, Lowcountry Adaptationsclose

An online exhibition series about the history of slavery, plantations, and the trans-Atlantic slave trade from the Atlantic World to Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry. Exhibitions include: Atlantic World Context and Establishing Slavery in the Carolina Lowcountry. Published 2013.

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After Slavery: Educator Resourcesclose

After Slavery: Educator Resources links to exhibition units within the After Slavery online exhibition. The primary source document transcriptions featured here include excerpts from diaries and letters, government reports, memoirs, handbills, court transcripts, census materials, and newspaper accounts. Each educational document provides insight into different issues and events from the post-Emancipation period in the Carolinas. We encourage educators to employ these resources and the accompanying questions featured with each document in their classroom instruction, to help students engage this complex history through archival materials.These resources are adaptable to a variety of classroom settings. Acurriculum guideis also available for South Carolina Social Studies Academic Standards. Launched in 2006 with startup funding from the (UK) Arts & Humanities Research Council, After Slavery has been hosted by the Lowcountry Digital Library (LCDL), and the Program in the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World (CLAW) at the College of Charleston since 2010. In 2013-2014, After Slaverywas redesigned and published in the Lowcountry Digital History Initiative (LDHI).

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After Slavery: Race, Labor, and Politics in the Post-Emancipation Carolinasclose

This online exhibition and educator resource series focuses on the complex history of emancipation and the period of Reconstruction that followed the American Civil War. After Slavery showcases a rich collection of source materials organized for high school and college/university classroom use. Originally published 2006, redesigned for LDHI in 2013-2014. Updated 2016.

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Avery: The Spirit That Would Not Die, 1865-2015close

2015 marked the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Avery Normal Institute and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture at the College of Charleston.This online exhibition explores over one hundred and fifty years of Avery history—from its origins as a school for Black Charlestonians starting in 1865, to its current form as a center for promoting the history and culture of the African diaspora with an emphasis on Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry. Published May 2016.

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Charleston's Cigar Factory Strike, 1945-1946 close

In October 1945, unionized workers at the American Tobacco Company Cigar Factory in Charleston, South Carolina, launched a strike that lasted five months. This online exhibition provides an overview of the Charleston strike as adistinctive moment in South Carolina history when grassroots alliances led to massive protests and social justice advocacy. Published May 2014.

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Charleston's Cotton Factory, 1880-1900close

This exhibition traces the history of the cotton factory in Charleston, South Carolina, from 1880 to 1900, and examines how mill workers—black and white, male and female—struggled for better working conditions in the contentious political, social, and economic contexts of the late nineteenth century. Published December 2015.

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Forgotten Fields: Inland Rice Plantations in the South Carolina Lowcountryclose

Forgotten Fields documents the agricultural, economic, and social development of inland rice plantations in the South Carolina Lowcountry, from the inception of this agricultural system at the turn of the eighteenth century to the decline of inland rice in the mid-nineteenth century. Published February 2014.

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Keeper of the Gate: Philip Simmons Ironwork in Charleston, South Carolinaclose

Keeper of the Gate outlines the history and work of Philip Simmons (1912-2009), a master blacksmith from Charleston, South Carolina. This online exhibition draws from materials and essays originally featured in a traveling exhibition produced by the Philip Simmons Foundation, Inc. Published May 2014.

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Las Voces del Lowcountryclose

Las Voces del Lowcountry documents the varied experiences of Latinos in the South Carolina Lowcountry. This exhibition spotlights their struggles as well as their growing public presence and multifaceted contributions to the region's cultural and economic life. Through interviews, photographs, and artistic images, Las Voces del Lowcountry captures a critical moment in the historic evolution of the Latino presence in the Charleston area. Published November 2017. Las Voces del Lowcountry documenta la diversidad de experiencias de los latinos del Lowcountry en Carolina del Sur. Esta exhibición presenta narrativas de dolor y lucha como así también otras historias que manifiestan una creciente presencia pública y multifacéticas contribuciones a la vida cultural y económica de la región. A través de entrevistas, fotografías e imágenes artísticas, Las Voces del Lowcountry captura un momento crítico en la evolución histórica de la presencia latina en el área de Charleston. Publicado en noviembre de 2017.

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Liverpool’s Abercromby Square and the Confederacy During the U.S. Civil Warclose

This exhibition explores connections between the U.S. South and Great Britain during the American Civil War, particularly through trading activities led by a group of influential businessmen who lived in Liverpool's Abercromby Square. Despite widespread popular opinion against slavery by the mid-eighteenth century in Great Britain, the fortunes of this elite neighborhood were still intricately tied to the fate of the Confederacy. Published December 2015.

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Nat Fuller's Feast: The Life and Legacy of an Enslaved Cook in Charlestonclose

In the spring of 1865, Nat Fuller, a newly free African American cook, hosted what one observer described as a “miscegenation dinner” at his restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina. For both black and white guests, his feast celebrated Emancipation and the end of the U.S. Civil War. This exhibition explores Nat Fuller’s work and legacy as an enslaved cook, caterer, and restaurateur, and provides insight into the culinary history of antebellum Charleston. Published April 2015.

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Remembering Individuals, Remembering Communities: Septima P. Clark and Public History in Charlestonclose

Remembering Individuals, Remembering Communities interprets and maps the life and work of Septima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987), to provide insights into her experiences as an African American civil rights educator, activist, and native of Charleston, South Carolina. Highlighting this history not only reveals the significance of the black freedom struggle in Charleston, it also challenges ongoing race, class, and gender divisions throughout the city’s public history landscape. Published February 2017.

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Samuel Williams and His World: Before the War and After the Unionclose

Samuel Williams was born into slavery in Charleston, South Carolina in 1852. In his later years, Williams penned his recollections about his life before and after slavery; but he published his memoir under a pseudonym, Sam Aleckson. Williams’s identity as the author was unknown outside of his family. The author's identity is published for the first time here! By weaving together his memoir and archival research, this exhibition traces Samuel Williams’s life from his childhood in Charleston, through Reconstruction and its aftermath, to his migration North in the late-nineteenth century. Published April 2018.

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Somebody Had To Do It: First Children in School Desegregationclose

Somebody Had To Do It examines the history of school desegregation in South Carolina and the U.S. South. This online exhibition features oral histories with Black Americans who were the “first children” to integrate public schools in the mid-twentieth century. It also includes an essay by Somebody Had To Do It project director and “first child” Millicent E. Brown, historic context by Jon Hale and Clerc Cooper, and an interactive map and timeline. Published May 2015.

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The Charleston Hospital Workers Movement, 1968-1969close

An online exhibition about the development and aftermath of the Charleston Hospital Workers' Strike that took place in Charleston, South Carolina, from March to July 1969. Published November 2013.

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The James Poyas Daybook: An Account of a Charles Town Merchant, 1760-1765 close

Between 1760 and 1765, merchant James Poyas maintained a daybook documenting his numerous business transactions in the growing colonial trade center of Charles Town, South Carolina. Poyas's account provides insights into developing commercial networks in Charles Town, the expanding South Carolina backcountry, and the British Atlantic World. Published June 2014.

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The Orangeburg Massacreclose

On February 8, 1968, South Carolina Highway Patrolmen opened fire on African American college students protesting against ongoing segregation in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Three students were killed and twenty-eight wounded. This shooting was one of the most violent events in South Carolina's twentieth century civil rights history. Published May 2013.

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The Pollitzer Family of South Carolinaclose

This online exhibition presents biographies of three generations of Pollitzer family members in South Carolina. The Pollitzers came to the United States in 1848 as Jewish immigrants from Austria. Over the next century, Pollitzer family members pursued a variety of business, philanthropic, religious, educational, and political ventures within and beyond South Carolina. Their lives and work provide insight into the experiences of Jewish-European immigrants and their descendants in the U.S. South over the last two centuries. Published June 2013.

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Voyage of the Echo: The Trials of an Illegal Trans-Atlantic Slave Shipclose

This online exhibition examines the illegal trans-Atlantic slave trade through the voyage and capture of the slave ship Echo in 1858. The Echo voyage demonstrates how port cities such as New York City and New Orleans were strongly tied to the slave trade long after the U.S. Abolition Act of 1807. The subsequent Echo trials in South Carolina provide insight into debates about the future of U.S. slavery in the years preceding the American Civil War. Published May 2014.