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  • A project in Charleston, South Carolina, is using DNA to trace the African roots of three dozen people buried in the late 1700s. The remains were uncovered in the coastal city during construction in 2013. Since then, scientists have learned more about these people and their lives by pulling genetic material from their remains. The research showed most had ties to West Africa and most were likely born into slavery in Colonial America. It's one of a growing number of projects using ancient DNA research. In Charleston, the work has also inspired plans to build a memorial on the burial site.
  • Until recently, the story of the Charleston Work House received little recognition in the city's collective memory. That changed a little when Mayor John Tecklenburg unveiled a plaque detailing its past. The Charleston Work House, was located next to The Old Charleston Jail on Magazine street. It was a place where slave owners could pay the city to punish enslaved people. The plaque erected July 13 includes research reviewed by the Charleston Commission on History.
  • A Connecticut woman who says she's descended from slaves shown in widely-published, historical photos owned by Harvard can sue the Ivy League university for emotional distress. Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday partly vacated a lower court ruling that dismissed a complaint from Tamara Lanier over photos she says depict her enslaved ancestors. The court concluded the Norwich resident can plausibly make a case for suffering "emotional distress" from Harvard and remanded that part of the claim to the lower court. But the high court upheld the lower court's ruling that the photos are the property of the photographer and not the subject.
  • When Captain James Williams was murdered in York County on March 7, 1871, the investigation that followed included federal agents and the US Supreme Court.Williams’ life as an enslaved person at Historic Brattonsville and later as a civil rights leader during Reconstruction, has been grafted into the larger story of slavery, emancipation and pursuit of freedom that’s told through the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network.
  • The composers of the much-anticipated opera—which premiered on the opening day of the 2022 Spoleto Festival USA—describe how their choices about melody, harmony, rhythm, style, and lyrics work together to bring the story of Omar ibn Said to audiences in a new way.
  • St. Helena Island family shares the history of their Gullah culture and the contributions of African Americans during a monthly campfire supper on their farm.
  • A statue of segregationist and former U.S. Vice President John C. Calhoun that was pulled from its high perch over Charleston almost two years ago still hasn't found a new home. Charleston leaders and officials at South Carolina's State Museum announced Monday they have started talking about a deal bringing the statue to the Columbia museum. But the final agreement is far from certain. Meanwhile, descendants of Calhoun have filed a lawsuit saying the statue was illegally removed and should be put back up.
  • A Los Angeles visual arts space wants to display a South Carolina statue of former vice president and slavery advocate John C. Calhoun as part of an art exhibit. But members of a city panel have raised concerns about the political nature of such a display. The Charleston Commission on History on Wednesday voted to delay making a recommendation to city council until more information could be provided. A nonprofit wants to move the Calhoun monument to Los Angeles to create an exhibit on Confederate imagery. Walker said the statue would be a valuable addition because Calhoun had "a pivotal role in the expansion and protection of slavery in the United States."
  • Dedicated in 1841, Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim's synagogue was built by enslaved Blacks. The congregation is making an effort to formally acknowledge this painful past with a plaque recently installed outside the house of worship. The inscription on the new monument also speaks to KKBE's commitment to equality for all people.
  • A Fulbe from the Senegambia region of East Africa, Omar Ibn Said was taken into slavery in the late eighteenth century and forced across the Atlantic to the Americas. Records of his life indicate that he lived in North and South Carolina. He left behind an autobiography, written in Arabic.