MLK50: Where Do We Go From Here?

The South Carolina African American Heritage Foundation will partner with People to People of Hartsville to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday on January 14 and 15, 2018 through programs in Darlington County. 2018 will also mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination. SC Humanities supported this project with a Mini Grant in December 2017.

On January 14, the partnering organizations will conduct an oral history project led by Dr. Bobby Donaldson of the University of South Carolina and Dr. Jennifer Heusel of Coker College. Drs. Donaldson and Heusel will interview citizens who lived in Darlington County during the civil rights era as well as current high school and college students to determine their thoughts about what has improved or not and what next steps should be taken by individuals, local communities, states, and the nation. Anyone interested in participating in the oral history project is encouraged to contact Jannie Harriot, Executive Director at the SC African American Heritage Foundation, at 843-332-3589.

On Monday, January 15, Dr. Donaldson will be the keynote speaker for a community commemoration program. His presentation will address civil rights activities in South Carolina and the role that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. played. The event will occur at the Jerusalem Baptist Church in Hartsville, SC from 12 – 1:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

The mission of the South Carolina African American Heritage Foundation is to identify and promote the preservation of historic sites, structures, buildings, and culture of the African American experience in South Carolina, and to assist and enhance the efforts of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. For more information, visit the website at

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.

Image: By Unknown? [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons