This past Black History Month, the International African American Museum and Google Arts & Culture launched their first collaborative digital experience, which offers audience members a chance to take a closer look at Sol Legare Island, an 860-acre island, located on the coast of South Carolina on James Island.
Named after antebellum plantation owner, Solomon Legare, the historic Sol Legare community is a rare, surviving example of a largely African American community in the South Carolina Sea Islands, where most community members are descendants of its African American Freedmen founders.
Google Arts & Culture lists Sol Legare as one of many locations essential to Black History in the United States. Through their online, interactive platform, audience members can view high-resolution images, videos of artwork, and cultural artifacts from partner cultural organizations around the world.
The Seashore Farmer’s Lodge No. 767, once a members-only meeting place and mutual-aid cooperative is highlighted in a digital exhibit entitled “The Seashore Farmers Lodge: Preserving the Past to Educate the Future.” The Lodge united a thriving agricultural farming community and inspired the creation of similar lodges and community-led organizations in the Lowcountry.
The digital experience features over 60 pieces of media, curated by the Museum. This includes images related to Sol Legare and its residents, as well as documents and artifacts illustrating historic Civil War battles and cultural events which took place near the Lodge.
In addition to providing information about the Lodge’s importance in the Sol Legare community, the exhibit also highlights historic Mosquito Beach, which was a gathering place for African Americans all over the Lowcountry, excluded from other beaches during the Jim Crow era.
“We are delighted to partner with Google Arts & Culture to showcase an important piece of Lowcountry history,” said Elijah Heyward III, the Museum’s chief operating officer. “Google’s platform enables us to share rich in-depth stories about African American history and culture, and highlight it in a way that both engages and excites members of our community. We look forward to continuing to partner with Google Arts & Culture to bring these educational experiences to future visitors of the museum.”
Interested audience members and future Museum visitors can view this exhibit here.
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