Local initiative created to record history of COVID-19 pandemic


“This pandemic has made known cracks and faults in the state of South Carolina, relating to education and health disparities,” says Michael Allen, a board member on the S.C. African American Heritage Commission. “Things that were once hidden are in plain view.”

Black Carolinians Speak: Portraits of a Pandemic is an effort to record the experiences of African Americans in South Carolina as related to the Coronavirus pandemic. It's the brainchild of Michael Allen.

“The voices and the experiences of African Americans have shaped in the development and in the growth of South Carolina, so it’s even doubly important that we have their voices at this defining time in our state’s history,” Allen adds.

The goal of this initiative—Black Carolinians Speak: Portraits of a Pandemic—is to gather first person testimonies, letters, music, images, art and other documents that capture the experiences of African Americans in South Carolina during the global pandemic of 2020. 

Dr. Ramon Jackson, African American Heritage Coordinator of the S.C. Department of Archives and History, is working to capture and archive as many experiences in the state as possible. 

“Most important … we will actually have a documentary record of what it was like to be black during this pandemic, which is very different than the 1918 pandemic. Our stories matter and they need to be captured,” says Jackson. 

There are several ways to share and have your story captured. For more information and to share your story visit the website