College of Charleston honors enslaved and indigenous people with new solar pavilion revealing

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The College of Charleston (CofC) will reveal a new solar shade pavilion near Rivers Green, paying tribute to indigenous and enslaved people who resided near the site throughout history.

The unveiling, titled “Uncovering History/Making History, will happen on October 15th, at 10 a.m. at the new pavilion behind 65 Coming Street near the Pi Kappa Phi Bell Tower.

The solar pavilion was influenced by the discovery of a slave tag, along with historical artifacts by CofC students and staff influenced during an archeological excavation last spring.

The pavilion, completely powered by solar energy, has shaded seating, solar-powered fans, electrical outlets, and charging stations, and is located along the campus’ tour route. In addition, the pavilion offsets about 15% of the energy needs for CofC’s Spanish-language house Casa Hispana near Bull Street.

“The new solar pavilion on campus embodies many of the themes and core values articulated in our strategic plan, Tradition & Transformation. During the construction phase, our faculty and students led an archaeological dig and uncovered a slave tag – a physical reminder of Charleston’s painful history of relying on enslaved labor for its wealth and prestige,” says Andrew Hsu, CofC President.

“The dedication ceremony of the solar pavilion allows the campus community an opportunity to recognize the enslaved people who built our city and also honor their memories and contributions. Out of that dark chapter of Charleston’s story, I am proud to say that we now bring light,” Hsu adds.

The recovered slave tag will be on display at the event in addition to pottery, animal bones, a hearth, and other artifacts from the 1700s and 1800s eras.

The Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture and the College of Charleston Libraries Special Collections will also display an arrangement of slave tags at the Addlestone Library.

Several campus community leaders will speak at the event in addition to President Hsu.

Numerous campus groups, academic departments, and campus centers will be represented at the unveiling.

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