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Archives For November 30, 1999

CSSC Director Bernard Powers was interviewed on SC Public Radio this week, talking about the work of the Center.

Dr. Bernard Powers in front of Randolph Hall

Dr. Bernard Powers in front of C of C’s Randolph Hall

On February 1, Dr. Powers also represented the Center at “History Makers and Trailblazers,” a symposium on the “history of access, equity, and inclusivity” at the College. This event was part of the College’s 250th anniversary observances, which began last week. Dr. Powers moderated a panel entitled “Breaking the Color Barrier,” with C of C alums Otto German and Linda Dingle, Mayor Joe Riley, Dr. Andrew Lewis, and the Honorable Lucille Whipper, who had just received a Founders’ Day medal from the College (see photo below). Representative Whipper, who worked at C of C under President Ted Stern, was a memorable presence on the panel. As a student at Avery, she had applied to the College in 1944 and was rejected because of her race. The College finally desegregated in 1967.

This new SC Historic Marker notes that the College went private in 1949 to avoid integration.

At last week’s event, Rep. Whipper reminisced with Dr. Powers about her successful efforts in the 1980s to preserve the Avery Institute building and transform it into a part of the College, the Avery Research Center.

C of C President with Founders Day medal recipients

The Honorable Lucille Simmons Whipper, third from left, with President Andrew Hsu and other Founders Day medal recipients: Nigel Redden for Spoleto USA, Judge Richard Gergel on behalf of Judge Julius Waties Waring, Class of 1900.

More people question weddings at plantation sites

By Julia Eichelberger
Posted on 14 December 2019 | 2:25 pm — 

Bernard Powers, CSSC director, was on his way to do field research in the Caribbean when he was contacted by a BuzzFeed news reporter. “This is an article on the recent debate over weddings at plantation sites,” Dr. Powers notes. “Early this a.m., I was responding to the reporter on my phone on a small ferry plying the choppy waters between St. Kitts and Nevis.”

Here’s an excerpt from BuzzFeed News:

Dr. Bernard Powers, the director of the College of Charleston’s Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston, told BuzzFeed News that the inherent beauty of plantations must be contextualized.

“If these places looked the same and had a different history, no one would object and they would simply be recognized for their beauty. And they are beautiful today because in part due to the knowledge of slave gardeners who tended [to] them,” he said. “Recognize the people who did the work and contrast the beauty with the brutality. Both occurred and must be recognized and reconciled.”

This country, Walcott-Wilson added, was built by slaves. Finding a wedding venue anywhere that hasn’t been touched by slavery would be difficult.




On November 12 at 6 pm, in Room 227 of Addlestone Library, Dr. Alexis Wells-Oghoghomeh will deliver a lecture entitled “‘The Issue of Females’: Abortion, Infanticide, and Ethics in Southern Slavery.” Dr. Wells-Oghoghomeh is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Vanderbilt University. The Conseula Francis Emerging Scholar Lecture honors the memory and legacy of Conseula Francis, a greatly beloved C of C English professor and director of the program in African American Studies.

Nov 12 Lecture flyer

Three Lectures on Race, Memory, and Slavery

By Julia Eichelberger
Posted on 2 November 2019 | 4:51 pm — 


David Blight lecture: Race & Memory in Charleston, Fri Nov 8, 1:30 PM, The Citadel

CLAW lectures on “Ancestries of Enslavement:” Elizabeth West, “Black Kinship Lineage and the Cistrunks of Noxabee County,” Wed Nov 20, 5:30 pm, Rita Hollings Cntr; Terri Snyder, “Claiming Freedom and Black Antislavery Work in the American South,” Thurs Nov 21,  5 PM, Addlestone 227.


CSSC at the Reburial

By Julia Eichelberger
Posted on 15 August 2019 | 4:33 am — 

The Social Justice Committee of CSSC hosted the start of the May 9 Gullah Society procession on the C of C campus, in Barnet Courtyard.

Cards were inscribed with messages that were then buried with the ancestors.

C of C faculty in academic regalia joined city officials, Gullah society members, schoolchildren, and other community members in a procession down George Street to the Gaillard Complex.

Gullah Society President and founder Ade Ofunniyin, walking with the Mayor of Charleston, escorted the coffins to their final resting place. Dr. Ofuniyyin teaches African and African American studies at the College of Charleston.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenberg and CofC’s Dr. Ade Ofunniyin escorting the coffins

The program was designed by Ms. Joanna Gilmore, a Gullah Society staff member who also teaches at C of C. It included an essay by C of C professor of architectural history Dr. Nathaniel Walker and another essay by CSSC director and emeritus history professor Dr. Bernard Powers. Among the speakers during the ceremony was Dr. Kameelah Martin, chair of C of C’s African American Studies department and a member of CSSC’s Executive Board.

More coverage from the Post & Courier.


Op-Ed: Honoring Charleston’s Ancestors

By Julia Eichelberger
Posted on 15 August 2019 | 4:32 am — 

This op-ed reflects on the significance of the May 9 event honoring those ancestors whose labor contributed so much to Charleston. Written by Julia Eichelberger, CSSC Executive Board member and director of the Program in Southern Studies.

Read op-ed on Southern Studies program blog, Studying the South

Read on Post and Courier website

handwritten message to the ancestors from Julia Eichelberger

Charleston residents have been invited to write messages to be buried with the ancestors on May 4.

Screenshot of Post & Courier op-ed May 3 2019

The Enslaved Laborers who Built Randolph Hall

By Julia Eichelberger
Posted on 15 August 2019 | 4:31 am — 


The Office of Institutional Diversity and other C of C faculty and students are working to produce a documentary exploring the lives of enslaved people who built Randolph Hall. Dr. Bernard Powers, CSSC director and Emeritus Professor of History, appears in this trailer for the film, which the filmmakers hope to complete in 2020.

Documentary Explores Use of Enslaved Labor

“Rise Up” Event Reveals DNA Results

By Julia Eichelberger
Posted on 14 August 2019 | 5:30 pm — 

On Feb. 27, 2019, CSSC took part in the Gullah Society’s “Rise Up” event at the Cannon Street Art Center, where numerous Charleston residents received the results of the analysis of their DNA conducted by the same research team that has been analyzing the remains of African and African-descended people in a burial ground discovered under the Gaillard Auditorium complex. 

Community members were thrilled to receive their DNA test results suggesting who their ancestors were and what parts of the world they came from.


Additional coverage from The Post & Courier:


In February, CSSC Director and Emeritus Professor of History, Dr. Bernard Powers, delivered a lecture entitled “Denmark Vesey, South Carolina and Haiti: Borne, Bound, and Battered by the Common Wind.” This was the keynote address for the first evening of the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World’s academic conference, “The Vesey Conspiracy at 200: Black Antislavery in the Atlantic World.”

Find a copy of the conference’s program here.

The Ancestors’ Remains

By Julia Eichelberger
Posted on 14 August 2019 | 5:23 pm — 

After the remains of 36 African and African-descended people were discovered near the Gaillard Auditorium during renovations in 2013, The Gullah Society worked with city officials to study the remains and decide how they should be honorably reinterred. 

DNA and isotope analysis established that these individuals were all of African descent. This research, conducted with scientists from the University of Pennsylvania and C of C student Yemi Udowole, was supported by a National Geographic Society grant. 

Students in Nathaniel Walker’s Architecture of Memory course imagined designs for a memorial honoring the individuals in this burial ground.

The Center for the Study of Slavery was honored to support and participate in events in which research was discussed with community members and the students’ proposed designs were displayed.  One event, “Rise Up,” was held on campus in Randolph Hall on November 7, 2018.

Read the story in The College Today

Student Exhibit Explores Proposed Memorials to Honor Remains

More from The Post & Courier.


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