5 ways to honor Black history in Columbia

Discover more about Columbia’s African American history.


Ija Charles mural on the 1600 block of Main Street. | Photo via COLAtoday Team

We’ve rounded up some local ways you can learn more about Columbia’s Black history by virtually exploring or visiting these locations.

🎨 The Ija Charles mural on Main Street tells the story of Columbia’s Black Wall Street — the area of Washington Street from Assembly to Gadsden streets that once featured hundreds of locally-owned businesses that supplied goods and services to the community through the 1970s.

🎓 Columbia is home to two of South Carolina’s eight HBCUs, or Historically Black Colleges and Universities, that both carry rich histories. Take a look back at our deep dive into the history of Allen University and Benedict College and learn more about their most distinguished alumni.

💻 Explore Columbia’s African American Heritage sites from the comfort of your own computer or mobile device, thanks to Historic Columbia’s online walking tours. The tours take you through neighborhoods and districts central to Columbia’s African American history.

🎵 The Columbia Museum of Art (CMA) is offering a variety of programming celebrating Black History Month, including art talks, films, and a celebration of soul music through its “More Than Rhythm: A Black Music Series.”

🚗 Hit the road and explore 300+ historic African American landmarks across the state thanks to a resource called The Green Book of SC. Created by the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission (SCAAHC), this was the first mobile travel guide for Black cultural sites across the state.

To learn more about local African American history, visit Historic Columbia and discover information about four centuries of Columbia’s Black community.

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