CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – News 2 proudly presents “Freedom Fighters,” the often-overlooked stories of African Americans who transformed the Lowcountry and this country.
During this Black History Month special, News 2’s Carolyn Murray reports from the International African American Museum at Gadsden’s Wharf – currently under construction and scheduled for completion in 2022.
The museum will eventually be filled with artifacts, exhibits, and spaces for education and exploration, introspection, and reflection.
We believe it is important – even in the unfinished space – to talk about the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of hundreds of thousands of enslaved people and their descendants.
During this special, we introduce you to the stories that are often not written in textbooks or taught in classrooms but are a part of the foundation of America.
You’ll hear about the idea behind the museum, and how it started as a thought after reading a book about the horrors of slavery. Twenty years ago, former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley vowed to build a world-class museum at the place where nearly half of all enslaved Africans were brought to this country.
The museum’s former CEO, Michael Moore, explains the stories of what happened to enslaved people becomes tangible to him when he thinks of the brave men and women who came to this country in shackles then used their skills and intellect to build America.
One of those hidden heroes is Moore’s great, great grandfather, Robert Smalls.
Plus, only a few miles from Gadsden’s Wharf sits the former Rivers High School; it was an all-white school until two Black students sued the Charleston County School District to be admitted.
We speak with one of the plaintiffs of that lawsuit – A retired college professor, Dr. Millicent Brown, explained that she had to endure verbal, mental and physical assaults to be educated in an integrated school in South Carolina.
If you would like to learn more about Dr. Brown, we recommend you read “Somebody Had to Do It”
Dr. Brown put together a compilation of stories from students who integrated schools.