The South Carolina African American Heritage Commission needs your help! In May, the Commission began Portraits of a Pandemic, a documentary collection and oral history initiative to capture the experiences of African Americans in South Carolina during our ongoing public health crisis. We recognize that this has been an especially difficult period for all residents but, as reported in state and national media, African Americans have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the social and economic distress it has caused. As of this week, 41% of those who have died from the virus in our state were Black. The pandemic has also exacerbated preexisting inequalities and disparities in education, health care, and employment. Future generations will likely seek to understand how this global pandemic redefined what it meant to be Black in South Carolina and how the crisis altered the rhythms and traditions of African American life in the Palmetto State.
Our goal is to gather first person testimonies, letters, music, images, artwork and other materials that reveal how African Americans in South Carolina lived, connected, loved, found hope, and survived this experience. We humbly request that you share the link to our web portal with others in your network and community: http://www.greenbookofsc.com/speak. Additional promotional posts can also be found on our social media accounts at @SCAAHC1993 and @greenbookofsc to share on Twitter and Facebook. The Commission is also willing to collaborate with libraries and archival institutions interested in helping to collect stories and testimonies from African Americans residents in their communities. Any assistance that you can provide is greatly appreciated.
Questions and concerns can be addressed to Dr. Ramon M. Jackson, African American Heritage Coordinator, South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Feel free to email him anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.