There is no time in Charleston and Lowcountry history that courageous and skilled Africans and their descendants were not offering leadership and expertise, even in times of great burdens and opposition based on their race, gender and/or status. The fact is, such leadership upset those who upheld the status quo negation of Black rights and privileges and challenged political and social systems to reckon with the tragedies of the past. Black initiatives were often maligned, discredited or simply ignored.
Within Black circles, determined individuals and groups directed their energies to create internal systems and methods for enduring oppressive limits placed on their communities. Many of these efforts are gaining long overdue broad public recognition. Busts, plaques, citations, museums, school curricula, historic designations and other means for expanding the fuller appreciation for ways in which African American locals have added to the quality of life for themselves and all citizens are emerging.
“Lifting as we climb” was a philosophy adopted throughout the Lowcountry as an indication of the belief that major changes were on the horizon.