Suggestions for day trips to learn about African American history

by | May 31, 2018 2:32 pm

Vacations in South Carolina are always thrilling and exciting, and the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission (SCAAHC) has come up with some recommendations to make them enriching as well.

The SCAAHC pulled together eight suggested *day-trips that visitors can take from just about any region in South Carolina, to see history and heritage attractions that tell compelling stories about the African American experience. The sites are listed in the Commission’s award-winning website www.GreenBookofSC.com, a travel guide of more than 300 African American sites in South Carolina. The guide pays homage to the original Negro Motorist’s Green Books that were published during the Jim Crow era and outlined safe places for African Americans to visit when they traveled. Published from 1936 to 1966, the original Green Book is considered the first travel guide in the nation for African Americans.

The day trips developed by the SCAAHC span the breadth of African American heritage — from Sullivans Island and Gadsden Wharf in Charleston where West Africans were brought and sold into slavery, to Springfield Baptist Church in Greenville, an iconic place of worship and an important Civil Rights meeting site.

The itineraries are suitable for groups of two to 10 people. Travelers can get the most out of their experience if they follow standard practices for trip planning:

  • Call each attraction on an itinerary, where applicable, before finalizing plans. This helps manage details such as parking for large groups, changes in operating hours for an attraction, admission fees and other visitation requirements. This is especially important for churches and universities that might be hosting special events.
  • Take note of the sites denoted with *MARKER*. These sites are not staffed buildings. They are roadside markers that narrate a defining moment at that site. They are usually great photo opportunities for tourists.
  • Each day-trip idea ends with a link to a route mapped out in Mapquest.com.
  • Use a local tour guide or company if available. Local guides know how to navigate traffic and know the nuances of their communities.
  • Allow plenty of time for members of the party who are impaired.
  • If you take photos of your trip and post them on social media, use the hashtag #GreenBookofSC.
  • Itineraries are suggestions only. It’s always best to build your own itinerary that meet your specific interests and pace. Visit GreenBookofSC.com to see additional sites.

If you need more information about a trip, contact the SCAAHC at scaaheritagefound@gmail.com. Please have happy and safe travels!

*These trips are suggestions. Travelers will tour at their own risk. The SCAAHC does not assume responsibility for injuries or damages that incur on the trip.

Historic Charleston Region

Hilton Head Island and Historic Downtown Beaufort

The Rice Culture of Historic Georgetown

Civil Rights Tour Through Orangeburg and Clarendon Counties

Capital City Tour — Columbia

The Piedmont (including Rock Hill and  York County)

The Savannah Valley Region

Mountain Country

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