The Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston invites students, faculty, staff, and members of the community to attend a public conversation about repatriation of artifacts, archives, race, and justice. The conversation will feature the story of Tamara Lanier, whose fight against Harvard University for images of her enslaved ancestors Renty and Delia has been covered by numerous national and international media outlets including the New York Times, Boston Globe, Guardian, and Democracy Now! The event is free and open to the public.
Tamara Lanier gives voice to her enslaved ancestors whose naked or partially clothed photographs were forcibly taken in 1850 outside Columbia, SC for a Harvard scientist, Louis Agassiz, who supported racist theories of polygenesis. Lanier’s case foregrounds the need for legislation that protects the cultural property of descendants of chattel slavery in the United States. All are invited to witness Lanier’s inspiring story about the importance of her family’s history and its relevance to national discussions about slavery and reconciliation.
If you have questions about the lecture, please contact Mary Jo Fairchild at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join us for a conversation with Dr. Maxine Smith on her book The Midnight Mayor of Charleston (The Henry Smith Story). Like the book and told in six chapters, this discussion series will take place at six different branches with each location mirroring a different chapter and featuring appearances from leaders and members of the community. Space will be limited. Call your branch to register for this event today!
CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH TIYA MILES’S AWARD-WINNING BOOK AND RELIVE HER SESSION AT CHARLESTON LITERARY FESTIVAL 2021
In 1850s Charleston, Rose, an enslaved woman, was facing an impossible situation. Her nine-year-old daughter Ashley was to be separated from her through forcible sale in South Carolina’s slave market. In a gesture of motherly love, she packed a small sack containing basic provisions for Ashley to carry with her.
Harvard historian Tiya Miles’s National Book Award-winning work, All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, A Black Family Keepsakeevokes the story behind this sack and its legacy. This artifact is not just a story of forced separation, loss, and generational love; it also tells us about enslaved black women’s methods of survival.
In conversation with Kameelah Martin at the Charleston Literary Festival 2021, Tiya Miles says, “Ashley’s sack shows us that black women’s history is real, it is rich, and we can access it if only we listen to black women’s stories.”
This Black History Month, you can view this powerful conversation between Tiya Miles and Kameelah Martin, Dean of the Graduate School at the College of Charleston on YouTube, HERE.
In October 2021, Charleston Area Branch of ASALH members Julia-Ellen Davis and Vicki Davis Williams visited London, England, to commemorate the blue English Heritage plaque for William and Ellen Craft. During this visit, they were able to for the first time meet face-to-face their British cousins and this meeting is depicted in the image above. All of the individuals are the great, great grandchildren of Ellen and William Craft.
While in London, CBS News-CBS Saturday Morning and British Sky News interviewed Julia-Ellen and Vicki regarding their ancestors, Ellen and William Craft. The CBS Saturday Morning segment aired in the United States on October 23rd. The interview with Julia-Ellen and her British cousin discussed the importance of London’s historic Blue plaque, which commemorated the work of William and Ellen as abolitionists in the 1800s in Great Britain.
London’s famous blue plaques link the people of the past with the buildings of the present. Now run by English Heritage, the London blue plaques was started in 1866 and is thought to be the oldest of its kind in the world.
You can find out more about the history of the Craft’s at the College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, where the family has an archival collection and/or view a selection of items digitally on the Lowcountry Digital Library (LCDL) . Additionally, you can read their autobiography, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom, online here.
Join the archival staff at the College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture for a discussion on the role of archivists and archives in preserving family histories
When: Saturday, February 13, 2021 via Zoom
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST
Sponsored by the Charleston Area Branch of ASALH and the Charleston Freedom School
Event is free and open to the public
Please use the form below to register for the event or click the link here
PROGRAM 1: PRESS CONFERENCE ANNOUNCING 2020 BLACK HISTORY MONTH THEME; “THE BLACK FAMILY”
DATE: February 1, 2021 (Zoom), Registration will be available in January 2021
TIME: 12:00 p.m.
SPEAKER: Julie Monroe, President of Charleston Area Branch of ASALH
SPONSOR: Charleston Area Branch of ASALH
DESCRIPTION: This event is designed to promote the celebration of Black History Month and the year-long activity of the branch focused on theme “The Black Family.”
PROGRAM 2: “THE BLACK FAMILY: FINDING AND TELLING YOUR FAMILY STORY”
DATE: February 13, 2021 (Zoom), Registration will be available in January 2021
Time: 1:00 p.m.
SPONSORS: Charleston Area Branch of ASALH, The Avery Research Center, Charleston Freedom School
DESCRIPTION: This event is the first in a year-long series of activities to encourage and promote the research, preservation, and sharing of the histories of Black families. The Avery Research Center will present approaches that we can use to construct historical narratives that reveal the identity and diversity of our families. Participants will also learn how to utilize the resources of the Avery Research Center in researching and preserving their family stories.