Tag Archives | HistoryMakers

Honorable Lucille Whipper Goes Back-to-School

Welcome sign on front door of the school

On Friday, September 23, 2011, The College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center cofounder and former South Carolina House Representative, the Honorable Lucille Whipper, went back to school as a part of The HistoryMakers’ Back-to-School initiative.  The initiative aims to educate and inform the younger generations about what life was like before they were

Honorable Lucille Whipper talking to the students

born. The Honorable Whipper spoke to approximately seventy-five fifth-grade students at Springfield Elementary School in Charleston, SC. The students were very attentive, took notes, and were very engaged with Honorable Whipper.  She talked about her childhood in Charleston, her political and social activism while she was in high school, in college, in her career, and later in her life. What really got the students engaged was her discussion of segregation and the various inequalities that faced African Americans both in Charleston and on a national scale. Notably Honorable Whipper stated the struggle for Civil Rights did not just begin in the 1950s/1960s, but dates back further to the efforts to end slavery.

The Honorable Whipper did not just provide history lessons to the students, but also life lessons, such as the importance of respect for both yourself and for others, the need to love and appreciate the talents one has, and the need to give back to those who come behind you while not forgetting those who came before.

Before the presentation, the Honorable Whipper; Ms. Georgette Mayo, the Avery Research Center’s Processing Archivist; and Aaisha Haykal,

Aaisha Haykal preparing to speak

Avery’s History

Makers Fellow; were able to take a tour of the school with the Principal Ms. Blondell B. Adams.

Ms. Mayo doing introductions

The event was also an opportunity to promote the archival and historian professions to the students.  The day before Mrs. Whipper’s visit, the students viewed a brief video about the Avery Research Center.  In her introduction, Ms. Mayo discussed what an archivist does and what an archive collects.

The day would not have been possible without the support of Ms. Adams and Ms. Regina Pinckney Stephens, Springfield Elementary School’s Library Media Specialist, Ms. Fanny

Display in the library

Anthony, the library volunteer, and the student helpers, who arranged for the room and the

audio/visual technology.  Lastly, we want to thank the Honorable Lucille Whipper for taking the time out of her day to participate in the HistoryMakers initiative and the students for their avid attention.

More photos from this event can be found on Avery’s Facebook page.




Aaisha Haykal: An Introduction

The Avery Research Center is excited to welcome the newest member of our archives team, Aaisha Haykal!  Her profound interest in Avery’s materials and the archival profession in general have already brought a much-appreciated aura of inspiration and enthusiasm to our archives!

Aaisha Haykal

Photo by L. Barry Hetherington


Hello, my name is Aaisha Haykal, and I have been placed at the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture for the next nine months as a part of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant initiative that aims to diversify the archival profession. While at Avery I will be processing archival collections and maintaining the Avery blog, as well as re-imagining and updating Avery’s social media presence. One of the goals that I hope to achieve during my time here is to make connections with local African American community organizations to talk with them about the importance of keeping records and possibly donating their records to an institution like Avery. If you know of any organization(s) that need(s) assistance in this area please contact me at haykalan at cofc dot com.

Below is an excerpt from my fellowship application about why I chose Avery and the value that both the collections and the institution has to the community.

I am interested in the Avery Research Center because of its emphasis on preserving the documents that detail the life and organizations of the Black Charleston community and beyond; one can obtain an authentic feel of this history in the city not just in the past, but also in its present state. Furthermore, the exhibits and lectures at the center note that the institution is actively connecting the past and the present, which I find necessary in order to maintain relevancy and to make an impact. From the center’s blog posts I can see that they have recognized the need to open the archive up to the public and I want to continue this endeavor by creating online exhibits and having lectures and workshops that would further increase access to the archival resources. Moreover, to continue the legacy of community advocacy of the center I would be an advocate for community members to preserve their own materials for their personal empowerment and history; the archive and the archivist would be seen as a resource and advisor in this process.

Thus, from this small part of my application one can see that I fully believe in the fact that communities have to be in control of telling their own stories and histories because otherwise what is remembered can be the product of other people’s imaginations. I will be expanding on what I mean about this in my upcoming blog posts, so if you are interested and want to learn more, please come back!

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