Author Talk: A Conversation with Dr. Maxine Smith-Every Thursday starting April 21 at 5:30 p.m.

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 the CHARLESTON LITERARY FESTIVAL

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 Keepsake evokes 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.

You can also purchase a copy of All That She Carried from Buxton Books or via Bookshop.

Charleston Area Branch of ASALH’s former president’s ancestors honored

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.

February 13th Branch Event: Preserving the Black Family through Records

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

Register

Please use the form below to register for the event or click the link here

Charleston Area Branch of ASALH February 2021 Events

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.