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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

https://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/commentary/commentary-honoring-charleston-s-ancestors/article_d0bf5854-6c48-11e9-a4a6-cf9ed406c0c3.html

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:

https://www.postandcourier.com/multimedia/local-african-americans-receive-dna-test-results-as-part-of/collection_a368138e-3afa-11e9-97ab-231d3bf15811.html

 

 

https://www.postandcourier.com/news/the-dead-have-been-woke-plans-shaping-up-to-reinter/article_9972ea00-3912-11e9-9cc8-f3cef799f75e.html

 

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.
https://www.postandcourier.com/news/what-sort-of-monument-would-best-honor-african-americans-buried/article_c6a2ff54-f70b-11e8-a587-bf4780d4f3ac.html

 

Dr. Grant Gilmore, chair of the Historic Preservation and Community Planning program, and Dr. Julia Eichelberger, director of the Southern Studies program, represented the College at the Fall 2018 meeting of the consortium Universities Studying Slavery, held at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi. They participated in 2.5 days of discussion at Tougalou College with representatives from dozens of universities. They also toured the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Medgar Evers House.

Dr. Grant Gilmore at the Medgar Evers House with Minnie Watson

Grant Gilmore in the carport of the Medgar Evers House discussing Evers’s murder with Minnie Watson, a docent at the house who knew the Evers family.

 

CSSC Board member and director of the program in Historic Preservation and Commuity Planning, Dr. Grant Gilmore, worked with the African American Historic Settlement Community Historic Association and Mt. Pleasant officials to begin work on the relocation and preservation of Long Point Schoolhouse.

Long Point Schoolhouse – Photo via The Chronicle

Now, the College of Charleston has announced it will go even further in confronting its past and examining the impacts of history by establishing the Center for the Study of Slavery. Bernard Powers will serve as the center’s first director, a part-time position he expects to hold during the start-up phase.

READ MORE at https://www.postandcourier.com/features/new-center-for-study-of-slavery-to-examine-troubled-charleston/article_c460061c-c74d-11e8-b33e-6fd328f05ac3.html.

slave auction marker

Credit: Post & Courier, Matthew Fortner

CofC opens the Center for the Study of Slavery

By Academic Affairs
Posted on 9 June 2018 | 2:46 pm — 

We are excited to announce that yet another South Carolina school has embarked on a process of confronting its own difficult past. The Universities Studying Slavery movement continues to grow. Please welcome the College of Charleston.

College of Charleston students and faculty are researching slavery and its legacies in departments and programs across campus, including History, English, African American Studies, Art and Architectural History, Historic Preservation and Community Planning, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Teacher Education, Southern Studies, Religious Studies, Music, Political Science, Archaeology, Anthropology, Sociology, Jewish Studies, the Charleston Jazz Initiative, the First-Year Experience, and the Sustainability Literacy Institute. Dozens of historic buildings on the school’s campus, containing a wealth of historical material, are inspiring students and faculty to research the individuals who constructed them, including enslaved laborers. Avery Research Center, a highly significant archive and community leader housed in another historic structure, works to “collect, preserve, and promote the unique history and culture of the African diaspora, with emphasis on Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry.” The College’s Addlestone Library houses the school’s Special Collections and the South Carolina Historical Society, both containing extensive archival material documenting the history of slavery in the region. Addlestone’s Lowcountry Digital Library is continuously digitizing more archival materials and creating ambitious open-access online exhibits, such as African Passages, Lowcountry Adaptations.

For two decades the Program in the Carolina Lowcoutry and Atlantic World (CLAW) has promoted scholarship and public events related to the history of slavery. Recent international conferences include Transforming Public History: From Charleston to the Atlantic World (2017) and Freedoms Gained and Lost: Reinterpreting Reconstruction in the Atlantic World (2018).

The College of Charleston says that its membership in Universities Studying Slavery will spur the school to be more intentional in disseminating  research and in collaborations within and beyond the institution. More College of Charleston initiatives will be announced in the coming months. The school looks forward to a mutually beneficial relationship with USS as they continue to develop an in-depth and honest account of its own past.

We look forward to the College of Charleston collaborating with nearly forty other schools in the coming months.

Read more at http://slavery.virginia.edu/the-college-of-charleston-joins-universities-studying-slavery/. 

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