Black History Month 2014

Carter G. Woodson began highlighting the distinct and crucial history of African-Americans in 1926. Since then, a week long celebration has turned into a month-long emphasis and reminder of the role that African Americans have made to American life and culture. The 2014 theme for Black History Month is "Civil Rights in America."

The Beaufort District Collection makes an extra special effort to draw attention to the deep and broad history of African-Americans through our Facebook ( and Connections posts (, genealogy workshops, and emphasis on Library materials and services about Black History. Be sure to check out the posts in Connections labeled "African Americans" and "Black History Month" to get started.

Already underway, in cooperation with Penn Center, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the St. Helena Branch Library is hosting "Created Equal: America's Civil Rights Struggle" a film and lecture series. Schedule at

In addition, several of our sister cultural heritage organizations are hosting special exhibits or workshops on topics of African and African American history to commemorate Black History Month:

The Heritage Library Foundation is hosting a workshop: "Breaking Through the 1870 Brick Wall: Locating Your African American Ancestors in SC Freedmen’s Bureau Records" with Toni Carrier, Founding Director of Lowcountry Africana and the USF Africana Heritage Project on Sunday, February 16th. Call the Heritage Library at 843-686-6560 for details.

Visit the Coastal Discovery Museum on Hilton Head Island to see "Finding Freedom's Home: Archaeology at Mitchelville."Recent archeological discoveries at the site of one of the first self-governed Freedmen's communities include evidence of possible homes, several barrel wells, a large refuse pit, and more than 20,000 artifacts, including personal belongings, tools and household goods. The exhibition will be on display through December. Details: 843-689-6767 or

Read more here:

Penn Center has "Bunce Island, a British slave castle in Sierra Leone" on exhibit through the end of May in the York W. Bailey Museum. Bunce Island was one of about 40 slave castles, or fortified trading posts, that European merchants built along the coast of West Africa during the period of the Atlantic slave trade. Details: 843-838-2474,

Parris Island Museum exhibits focus on the long and honored history and traditions of the Marine Corps, including the history of African-American Marines before Harry S. Truman desegregated the military. Museum: 843-228-2951