time period

Modern Day

Today’s Charleston retains its beauty – and its complexities: historic and current. Since 2010, it has consistently been voted the No. 1 travel destination in the U.S. and Canada based on its historic sites and landmarks, culture and arts, restaurants and food, people, friendliness, and shopping. The roots of much of Charleston’s unique built environment, food, music, arts, and culture are found in the African American community – and the generations of enslaved Africans on whose backs an economic empire was built.

From fine art, craft, social justice, gospel music, and jazz to architecture, ironwork, poetry, cuisine, education, law, and medicine, the African American community enriches and influences every part of Charleston culture. We invite you to explore Charleston’s historic sites, exhibits, artifacts, archives, places, and people – to deepen your understanding and experience of this incomparable city.

1982
Reuben Greenberg, an African American, is appointed city of Charleston police chief.
1999
On July 3, a 6-foot historical marker is placed on Sullivan’s Island near Fort Moultrie to honor those enslaved Africans who died in transit or arrived in bondage via Charleston Harbor. Annual commemoration tributes continue as a part of ‘Juneteenth’ celebrations.
2014
A statue in honor of Denmark Vesey, whose planned insurrection resulted in the building of the Citadel, is erected in Hampton Park, away from the main visitor district, but ironically adjacent to the current Citadel campus.
2015
In April of 2015, Walter Scott, an unarmed African-American, was fatally shot by Michael Slager, a white North Charleston police officer, after fleeing from a traffic stop. Slager was charged with murder after video surfaced showing him shooting Scott in the back while Scott was running away from him. The video contradicted Slager’s official police report, leading many to believe the shooting was racially motivated. Slager’s state trial for murder ended in a hung jury; he was then tried on several federal charges and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
2015
In June of 2015, nine African-Americans were murdered by 21 year old white supremacist Dylan Roof during bible study at historic Emanuel AME Church. Roof was captured the next day and stated that his intent was to start a race war. He was convicted on federal hate crime and murder charges and sentenced to death. Roof’s use of the Confederate flag in his racist internet postings led the SC General Assembly to order its removal from the grounds of the state capitol.
2018
On June 19 Charleston City Council passes a resolution apologizing for the city's historical role in slavery and the slave trade.
2019
On July 1 the City of Charleston establishes the Office of Diversity, Racial Reconciliation, and Tolerance to ensure the city embraces diversity.

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