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S.C. Department of Education, SCETV, and UofSC Provide African American History Resources to Classrooms



Press Release

On Friday, The South Carolina Department of Education, South Carolina ETV (SCETV), and the University of South Carolina’s Cventer for Civil Rights History and Research announced the release of standards based African American history content to classrooms across the state.

“These lessons and resources are not just reserved for the celebration of Black History Month, but should be used by educators throughout the year to highlight the important contributions of African Americans in our state and nation,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman.

For the past 32 years, the South Carolina African American History Calendar has highlighted and brought national attention to notable African American achievers with ties to South Carolina. This year, Calendar has been bolstered with accompanying lesson plans developed by South Carolina teachers as well as videos and documentaries produced by SCETV. All content is aligned with South Carolina College and Career Ready standards. The University of South Carolina supports the creation of content with research and connecting developers with primary sources.

“As South Carolina’s public media network, SCETV is proud to serve as the state’s primary storyteller — a role that gives us opportunities to work on projects like the African American History Calendar,” said SCETV President and CEO Anthony Padgett. “We are honored to once again be involved in such an important community and educational initiative, shining a spotlight on individuals who have made a real, lasting impact on their communities and the state.”

The 2021 lesson plans, activities, and videos encourage teachers to engage their students in a deep dive discussion of the honorees. Each month’s activity coincides with the month’s honoree and focuses on the historical impacts they have made on society and to South Carolina. The lesson activities support students meeting the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate through inquiry based learning as well as assists school districts in ensuring African American history and the culture and experiences of African Americans, is integrated into the existing K-12 social studies curriculum.

The 2021 African American History Calendar features the Jenkins Institute, located in Charleston, on its cover. The Jenkins Institute, founded in 1891, was formerly known as the “Jenkins Orphanage.” What started as a simple act of kindness from a husband and wife taking in four orphans would eventually turn into a musical empire that has inspired some of the country’s most famous African American talents.

The honorees featured in the 2021 calendar are:

Allie Brooks, a native of Florence, South Carolina, served more than 35 years as a teacher, principal, and superintendent of schools in the Pee Dee.

Gilda Cobb-Hunter, a native of Gifford, Florida, became the first African American woman in Orangeburg County elected to be a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives.

Bernard and Herbert Fielding, natives of Charleston, South Carolina, were active members of the NAACP. Bernard served as Charleston County’s first African American Probate Judge. Herbert became one of the first African American legislators to the South Carolina House of Representatives since Reconstruction.

Rosa Franklin, a native of Cordesville, South Carolina, was the first African American woman to serve in the Washington State Senate.

Sherman James, a native of Hartsville, South Carolina, was the first African American to be elected president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research, the largest professional society of epidemiologists in North America.

Willis and Clara Langley, natives of Washington, North Carolina, were the first African American couple to purchase a McDonald’s restaurant in the city of Columbia.

L. Casey Manning, Sr., a native of Dillon, South Carolina, was the first African American scholarship recipient to play basketball at the University of South Carolina.

Amy Surginer Northrop, a native of Dixiana, South Carolina, was appointed as the first African American state inspector of beauty shops in South Carolina.

Gloria Blackwell Rackley, a native of Little Rock, South Carolina, was an educator and influential member of the NAACP and Civil Rights Movement in Orangeburg. Rackley won several significant civil rights lawsuits.

Nathan Spells, Sr., a native of Bowman, South Carolina, is the CEO and founder of Construction Dynamics, Inc., one of the Southeast’s leading minority-owned and operated General Contracting and Construction Management firms.

A.J. Whittenberg, a native of Fork Shoals, South Carolina, served as president of the Greenville NAACP and was instrumental in the desegregation of schools in Greenville. An elementary school was named in his honor in 2001.

Dorris Wright, a native of Greenville, South Carolina, played an integral role in the Upstate’s Civil Rights Movement, and led Greenville’s first sit-ins at lunch counters.

Click here to view the 2021 calendar and lesson activities.

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