This February, please join me in celebrating some amazing true stories from Charleston’s past. In honor of Black History Month, I’ll turn the spotlight on several individuals who stood strong in the face of adversity and helped bring about positive changes. I’m also partnering with the Daniel Island Library this month (even though they’re technically in Berkeley County), as part of their new local history series. At the end of the month, we’ll resume our series on “Opera in Charleston” and look at late-nineteenth century production at the Academy of Music on King Street, and O’Neill’s Opera House on Meeting Street. If you can’t join us in person, then stay tuned for upcoming radio and podcast versions of these programs in the coming months.
In my first program, we’ll trace the amazing journeys of Boston King and John Kizell, two African men who escaped slavery in eighteenth-century South Carolina and pioneered the trail for other ex-slaves to return to Africa. If you haven’t heard of these men, then come on over to Daniel Island for the inside scoop.
From Charleston Slavery to African Freedom: Two Amazing True Stories
Monday, February 6th at 1:30 p.m., Daniel Island Library, 2301 Daniel Island Dr., 29492
Next, I’ll be talking about some forgotten Civil Rights activity that took place in our community in the aftermath of the Civil War, when a few brave folks took deliberate steps to test new federal legislation that promised equal rights for all. All are welcome, and we plan to have a crowd of 8th graders from Haut Gap Middle School present.
First Steps Towards Civil Rights Equality in Charleston, 1866-1870
Tuesday, February 14th at 10:15 a.m., Johns Island Regional Library, 3531 Maybank Hwy., 29455
And finally, I’ll return to my series on local opera history with a program looking at operatic performances in Charleston in the decades after the Civil War. By then, opera was well established in the United States, but the rise of Vaudeville gave opera a healthy run for the money.
Opera in Charleston, Part 4: The Academy of Music
Tuesday, February 28th at 6 p.m., Main Library Auditorium, 68 Calhoun Street, 29401.