Churches and other religious institutions have been a source of community strength and support for many Black Charlestonians. Sometimes, Black residents were able to carve out spaces for themselves within white churches; at other times, they formed institutions of their own. These sites not only provided space for worship, but they also served as facilitators of community cohesion and even social activism. The history of Black religious sites in Charleston is diverse, and these sites reveal many of these social and cultural complexities.
This tour was developed in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston. In Spring 2020, graduate students in Dr. Rachel Donaldson’s History 590 crafted 5 thematic tours focusing on the history of slavery and its enduring legacies in the city of Charleston. Using the College of Charleston as the center, the tours move outward from the campus in a radius of eight blocks or less to the north, south, east, and west to sites that reveal stories of community endurance, resistance, fellowship, and agency. While we emphasized sites and structures that remain visible in the built environment, we also uncovered the stories of sites that have been lost over time. Our work, as we see it, is part of current efforts to uncover, document, and interpret the history and legacy of slavery on the cultural landscape.
Locations for Tour
Tour PostscriptThis project would not be possible without the support of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston, Special Collections, Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, the Marketing and Communications Department at the College of Charleston and the research efforts of the graduate students in the History Department
250th Anniversary Hist Doc Committee (Harlan, Julia, Ron)
Website Curator: Grayson Harris