Aggrieved by the Tariff of 1842 and the refusal of Congress to annex Texas, St. Luke’s Parish planters formed a committee and called for a meeting of individuals and their local congressman, Robert Barnwell Rhett, to speak about these issues that had plagued the South since the 1820s. Invitations were sent to nearby parishes, prominent men, and area newspapers (including those in Charleston and Savannah). At this dinner and others to follow, Rhett, a longtime nullifier and disunionist, attempted to rally support for a state convention. He hoped such a convention would nullify the Tariff of 1842 or urge South Carolina’s immediate secession from the Union. Read the Entry »

Headed by four generations of Jones family evangelists, the university emerged from the separatist fundamentalist movement and has from its inception been committed to “combating all atheistic, agnostic, pagan and so-called scientific adulterations of the gospel.” Wary of any secular standards of education, the university eschews accreditation by external agencies, although it is state-certified to offer degrees from the bachelor’s level through the Ph.D. Read the Entry »

As governor, Bonham sought to strengthen state laws on conscription, slave impressments, and desertion, taking positions more in support of the Confederate government. Read the Entry »

In 1888 the school moved to DeGraffenried Place, a ten-acre site in Chester. The institute gained its first black leader, J. D. Martin, in 1928. Brainerd Junior College opened in 1934 to train teachers. Both institutions closed in 1939, citing increased public school opportunities for blacks and financial strains. The actress Phylicia Rashad, daughter of an alumna, purchased the former campus in 1997 and began restoration work on the only surviving building, Kumler Hall. Read the Entry »

Brawley developed into a prolific writer, contributing works to such periodicals as Bookman, Dial, North American Review, Sewanee Review, and Reviewer. But it was in his writing and editing of books about the African American experience that he pioneered. While he was teaching at Morehouse in 1909, a student pleaded with him to write a textbook that would enable black students to learn something of the experiences and accomplishments of their own people. Four years later, in 1913, Macmillan published his book A Short History of the American Negro. Read the Entry »

The American Baptist Publication Society hired Brawley to perform missionary service among black South Carolinians. Although there were numerous black Baptist congregations statewide, Brawley found no existing state convention. Accordingly, in 1876 he organized the Colored Baptist Educational, Missionary, and Sunday School Convention. He went on to organize numerous local Sunday school programs throughout the state. A key ally in these endeavors was the Reverend Jacob Legare, pastor of the Morris Street Baptist Church in Charleston. Meanwhile, Brawley raised funds for Benedict College in Columbia, where he also served on the faculty. Read the Entry »

Originally a lawsuit filed by twenty African American parents in Clarendon County for equal educational opportunities for their children, Briggs v. Elliott was the first case in the twentieth century to challenge the constitutionality of racially segregated schools. The case carries the names of the lead plaintiff, Harry Briggs, who had five children in the school district, and Roderick W. Elliott, chairman of School District 22. Read the Entry »

Brooks is best known for his assault on U.S. Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts in May 1856. Following the eruption of violence on the Kansas frontier, Sumner delivered a speech unusually harsh by the Senate’s standards. He assailed South Carolina’s role in American history (especially during the Revolutionary War) and even attacked by name Senator Andrew P. Butler (who was a distant cousin of Brooks). With the aged Butler unable to defend himself or his state, the task fell to his nearest relative, Congressman Brooks, whose familiarity with South Carolina’s traditions of family honor was surpassed only by his fluency with the code duello. After considering his alternatives and waiting for Senator Sumner to apologize publicly, Brooks decided to punish Sumner. On May 22 he entered the Senate chamber after the Senate had adjourned and found Sumner at his desk. Brooks delivered several blows to Sumner’s head with a gutta-percha cane, and the senator fell senseless to the floor. Read the Entry »

One of the myriad organizations that gave structure to the free black community and functioned primarily as a mutual aid association. During its early history, free blacks received minimal benefits from public services and had to provide for their own needs. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, some members were college-educated professionals. Affiliation with the society became a marker of aristocratic status within Charleston’s black community. Read the Entry »

While he was called the “Godfather of Soul,” his body of work forms the rhythmic foundations of funk, disco, and hip-hop. He is arguably the most sampled musical artist of all time. Read the Entry »