Jonathan Green

Jonathan Green is an acclaimed American painter from Charleston, South Carolina whose work centers on his Gullah tradition and the nearby community of Gardens Corner, where he grew up. “You’re always reminded of being black at its worst. It seems to almost be on purpose. Imagery, where it happens, the place where it happens. So that’s what the world sees. And because that’s what the … Continue reading Jonathan Green

Lee Bennett, Jr.

Lee Bennet, Jr. grew up a few blocks away from Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and is a long-time member of the congregation. A retired Army officer, Lee spent several years as Deputy Chief of Staff of the White House Drug Control Policy Office and currently serves as a volunteer historian for his church. Mother Emanuel has weathered a long legacy of … Continue reading Lee Bennett, Jr.

Mother Emanuel

We stood in front of Mother Emanuel AME church in Charleston, one of the oldest Black churches in America. On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof walked into a Wednesday evening Bible study. He sat with the clergy and congregants as they talked about their faith and when they closed their eyes to pray, he pulled out a handgun and killed nine people. He was welcomed … Continue reading Mother Emanuel

Trudy B. Grant

Trudy Grant is the Manager of Religious Affairs and External Relations for the National Action Network. I interviewed her at Charity Mission Baptist Church in North Charleston, where she serves as the assistant choir director. She is a gospel singer, a civil rights activist, a mother and a grandmother. “I don’t think your sermon comes from what you say, your sermon comes from what you do.” … Continue reading Trudy B. Grant

Alphonso Brown

Alphonso Brown is the founder and owner of Gullah Tours, in Charleston, South Carolina. Born and raised in Rantowles, a dozen miles south of Charleston, he is a retired band director. With a deep love for his city, Alphonso started a tour company dedicated to telling the stories of the many contributions Black Charlestonians made to the area. “When you know better, you do better.” -Alphonso … Continue reading Alphonso Brown

Dr. Elijah Heyward III

Dr. Elijah Heyward III is the Chief Operating Officer for the International African American Museum being built in Charleston, South Carolina, and due to open in 2022. The museum is being built on the site of the historic Gadsen’s Wharf, where up to 40% of enslaved Africans brought to America against their will disembarked after the transatlantic journey. “There is power in learning from the … Continue reading Dr. Elijah Heyward III

Rev. DeMett Jenkins

Rev. DeMett Jenkins is the granddaughter of businessman, preacher and civil rights activist Esau Jenkins. She works as the Lilly Director of Education and Engagement for Faith-Based Communities for the International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina. “Our whole history is wrapped around discriminating against people who look different from white people. We’d have to reinvent the world. We have a long way to … Continue reading Rev. DeMett Jenkins

I remember

Some memories grow into myths. The one that visited me today feels like a dream, with hazy images drifting in and out of focus…but I know it is true. More than ten years ago, I met an older woman by chance and only briefly. Within moments she had led me into a deep and intimate conversation, revealing closely held truths in a way that is … Continue reading I remember

Joseph McGill

Joseph McGill is the founder of The Slave Dwelling Project. I interviewed him at the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina. Ten years ago, Joe started spending the night in historic slave quarters and has slept overnight at more than 150 such sites across the country. He uses the experience to talk about the importance of preserving these historic structures so that we may have full and … Continue reading Joseph McGill