February 2021 on KnowItAll.org

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History In A Nutshell - Episode 8: Women’s Suffrage

This two-part expose on the Women's Suffrage Movement in the U.S. outlines the early years of the movement, all the way to the passing of the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920. The fight for full suffrage, to include African Americans and minorities, would not come to pass until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Thanks to the efforts of generations of suffrage leaders, people of all races and genders can have a say in U.S. elections! 

Women’s Suffrage - Part 1
The question of women's suffrage in the U.S. had been debated long before the movement's humble beginnings at the Seneca Falls convention of 1848. Part 1 of this edition on the Women's Suffrage Movement outlines the movement's early years, with the first generation of suffragists getting their start in the abolition movement. After the Civil War, suffrage groups would become divided, due to opposing ideas on strategies, resulting in the formation of two rival groups: the American Woman Suffrage Association, and the National Woman Suffrage Association. Although progress in the western states would influence states in the east to pursue women's suffrage, results in the early years were mixed. 

Women’s Suffrage - Part 2
The second generation of suffragists came to prominence alongside the "New Woman" movement in the early 1900's. The American Woman Suffrage Association and the National Woman Suffrage Association merged in 1890 to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Alice Paul formed the National Woman's Party in 1916, however, the NWP was viewed as more vocal and radical, compared to the NAWSA. When the U.S. entered World War I in 1917, suffragists felt they could use the war as an opportunity to show that women indeed deserved the right to vote. Women's service in The Great War, along with the suffering Alice Paul and her followers suffered, changed President Woodrow Wilson's stances on women's suffrage. After numerous attempts, the 19th Amendment finally became ratified on August 18, 1920. However, the fight for full suffrage to include African Americans, who were widely excluded, raged on. It would not be until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 when all citizens, regardless of race or gender, could vote in U.S. elections. 

Between the Waters - Lesson Plans
View lesson plans related to Women’s Suffrage and other topics.  


Sisterhood: SC Suffragists – Moving Forward

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment and learn the role South Carolina women played in the national movement that eventually guaranteed more than 26 million women the right to vote. But there is more to do.

Moving Forward, Part 1 - Introduction
The roles South Carolinians played in the Women’s Suffrage Movement have often gone unheralded. This program highlights the efforts of famous South Carolina suffragists, such as the Grimke sisters, the Rollin sisters, and the Pollitzers.

The contemporary discussion, hosted by Beryl Dakers, analyzes the legacy of the passing of the 19th Amendment. Joining the discussion are:

  • Lauren Harper – Affairs Strategist and CEO of Citybright
  • Keller Barron – Veteran Activist, and former President and Board Member of the League of Women Voters
  • Ann Warner – CEO of WREN (Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network)
  • Tamika Isaac Devine – Attorney, and Columbia City Council-Woman and
  • Dr. Lilly Filler: OB/GYN, Chair of the S.C. Holocaust Commission, and President of the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina.

Moving Forward, Part 2 – The Fight for Equal Pay and Voting
The panel discusses various issues women face today, such as why it is important for women to be on the ballot, and women’s representation in our government.

Moving Forward, Part 3 – Legacy of the 19th Amendment
Host Beryl Dakers asks the panel why it took so long for women to gain equal rights in both the U.S., and in the state of South Carolina.

Moving Forward, Part 4 – Voter Suppression
The panel discusses the issues women face when it comes to voter suppression.


Sisterhood: SC Suffragists - The Grimke Sisters Through the Civil War

Part 1 – The Early Years

Sarah and Angelina Grimke worked tirelessly for both abolition, and women’s suffrage. The Grimke sisters were the first to say, in print, that women deserved to live alongside men with an equal political footing. They were the first to connect abolitionism with feminism.

Sarah and Angelina Grimke are the first South Carolina-related women to publicly and passionately embrace the cause for women’s suffrage. Their story begins in Charleston, South Carolina, where their bond was strong, even from an early age. Their father, John Faucheraud Grimke served as a colonel in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Witnessing the cruel treatment of slaves greatly disturbed Sarah and Angelina Grimke during their childhoods.

In the summer months, the Grimkes would travel to the estate in Belmont, to escape the Charleston heat. Their mother, Mary Smith Grimke was reputed to be the epitome of a cruel slave mistress. After spending time in Philadelphia, the Grimke sisters’ religious experiences would drive them towards fighting for abolition.

Part 2 – Activism in Action #1

The Grimke sisters ran afoul of the Quakers as they embraced abolition and engaged in anti-slavery activities without permission. Angelina Grimke wrote a letter to abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, encouraging him to never surrender the cause for anti-slavery. Garrison appreciated Angelina’s letter so much, he had it published in his newspaper, The Liberator. The printing of The Liberator newspaper, with its messages of abolition and anti-slavery, was viewed as radical, and terrified many slave owners in the south. The letter spurned outrage in the Quaker community; Sarah Grimke asked her sister Angelina to withdraw the letter, but Angelina refused. In 1836, Angelina wrote an appeal to the Christian Women of the South, urging Southern women to end slavery by petitioning state legislatures, and their churches.

Back in South Carolina, Angelina Grimke’s name was reviled, so much so that Charleston’s mayor told her mother, Mary Grimke, that Angelina would be arrested and imprisoned if Angelina attempted to visit. In the fall of 1836, the Grimke sisters went to New York, to be trained as anti-slavery lecturers. At first, the Grimkes’ speaking events were small, but gradually moved up to larger, more public venues. The Grimke sisters continued to defy gender norms by fighting for anti-slavery and women’s rights, despite growing opposition. As more of the Grimkes’ letters became published in newspapers and books, their popularity in the abolition and women’s rights movements skyrocketed.

Part 3 - Activism in Action #2

The pastoral letters, meant to crack down on the Grimke sisters’ activities, had the opposite effect. The Grimkes continued to grow in popularity, and their letters on women’s rights were among the first to ever be published in the world. In February, 1838, Angelina was invited to Boston to address the Massachusetts legislature; the first time a woman would ever address a legislative body in the country. Fearing the backlash against the anti-slavery cause as the issue of women’s rights gained popularity, Theodore Weld wrote to Angelina, saying she should focus exclusively on anti-slavery. The differences of opinion held by Angelina and Theodore would put a strain on their romantic relationship, but in May, 1848, they were married.

The women abolitionists give a talk at Pennsylvania Hall, in downtown Philadelphia. In the middle of Angelina’s talk, an angry mob breaks out, and the next night, Pennsylvania Hall is set ablaze.

Part 4 – The Final Chapter

After the burning of Pennsylvania Hall, in Philadelphia, the Welds, along with Sarah Grimke, retreated to a farm in Belleville, New Jersey, where in 1839, the three produced a compendium on American slavery. This compendium had such a tremendous impact for the abolition movement. After the publishing of the compendium, both Angelina and Theodore retired from public life, and raised a family. Theodore established two schools, where he and the Grimke sisters both taught. At the Eagleswood school in Massachusetts, students of all races and sexes were welcome to attend. Suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her husband held a close personal relationship with the Grimke-Weld family, and Sarah Grimke was a mentor to Stanton. Inexplicably, when Elizabeth Stanton wrote a history of the women’s rights movement, she failed to acknowledge the contributions of the Grimkes. In 1848, Stanton invited the Grimke sisters to the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, but the Grimkes did not attend. African Americans, with the exception of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, were not invited to attend, either.

The groundwork laid by the Grimke sisters paved the way for other southern women to pursue activism for both abolition and women’s rights. The Grimke family continued to prosper in the years following the Civil War.


Equity in Education

CEEAAS Series Overview - Dr. Gloria Boutte
Dr. Gloria Boutte discusses the resources educators can expect to find in the Center for the Education and Equity of African American Students (CEEAAS).

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) - Venus Evans Winters
Venus Evans Winters offers suggestions to help educators who may be struggling with the mental challenges of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES). Winters also talks about how schools can become safer spaces for teachers as well as students. 

African Diaspora Literacy and Epistomology - Dr. Gloria Boutte
Dr. Gloria Boutte defines African Diaspora Literacy, and African epistemology.

Black Girls and Fighting - Venus Evans Winters
Venus Evans Winters is presently working on a scholarship on Black girls and fighting. Winters shares what she has learned through her research.

Critical Research on Black Boys Play and Education - Dr. Nathaniel Bryan
Dr. Nathaniel Bryan discusses his research on perceptions of Black boys' play within the context of schools. Dr. Bryan also discusses the implications of denying students recess as a disciplinary measure.

Equitable Teaching Strategies - Venus Evans Winters
Venus Evans Winters offers easily-implementable high impact strategies for creating more equitable learning environments.

Equity in Education Conference - Jennifer Clyburn Reed
Jennifer Clyburn Reed discusses why the Center for the Education and Equity of African American Students (CEEAAS) created the Equity in Education Conference. Clyburn also talks about other categories, which should be considered in conversations on equity in education. 

Race, Gender and Education: Menstruation - Venus Evans Winters
Venus Evans Winters talks about how menstruation impacts girls' education in the U.S., along with the mental and emotional nuances of menstruation.

Resilience – Venus Evans Winters
Venus Evans Winters discusses her early work on resilience in students, and shares what she has learned throughout her research. 

School Climate – Venus Evans Winters
Venus Evans Winters' work specializes in racialized and gendered experiences in schools. Winters discusses equity and school climate, and talks about the impact of surveillance in schools. 

Unpacking PlayCrit and Counterplay Spaces - Dr. Nathaniel Bryan
Dr. Nathaniel Bryan defines Black PlayCrit, and counterplay spaces. Dr. Bryan also discusses the impacts of stereotypes on perceptions of play, and how teachers can create these spaces.

World Languages and the African Diaspora – Dr. Gloria Boutte
Dr. Gloria Boutte discusses why African languages are important, and how educators can implement them in their teachings. Dr. Boutte also discusses African American vernacular, and Ebonics. 



SC African American History Calendar:
February Honoree – Gilda Cobb-Hunter

Gilda Cobb-Hunter is a native of Gifford, F.L., attending Florida A&M University for a bachelor’s in African-American History and Florida State University for a master’s in American History. She received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from the Medical University of South Carolina, the College of Charleston, and Francis Marion University. She received the David Wilkins Legislative Leadership Award from the Riley Institute at Furman University.

She became the first African American woman in Orangeburg County elected to be a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. Cobb-Hunter went on to be the first freshman appointed to and is the ranking member, 1st Vice Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. She also is a member of the Joint Bond Review Committee.

Cobb-Hunter became the first person of color, male or female, to lead a legislative caucus when elected House Minority Leader. She is the longest serving Representative in the South Carolina House of Representatives. Widely respected on both sides of the aisle, Cobb-Hunter has been dubbed, “the conscience of the House.”

As the Vice-Chair of the African American History Monument Commission, Cobb-Hunter led the historic effort to build the first monument to African Americans on the grounds of any state capitol. She currently serves as President of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators and a member of the National Conference of State Legislatures Executive Committee. For twenty years, she represented South Carolina as the National Committeewoman to the Democratic National Committee, a member of the Executive Committee and as Chair of the Southern Regional Caucus, the first woman of color elected to that position.

As a licensed Master Social Worker, Cobb-Hunter is the Chief Executive Officer of CASA/Family Systems, a family violence agency serving Orangeburg, Bamberg, and Calhoun counties.

She is married to Dr. Terry K. Hunter, Executive Director of the Fine Arts Cultural Enrichment Teaching Studios.

Presented through a partnership between the South Carolina Department of Education and South Carolina ETV

View the website on Knowitall.org here.

View the videos on Gilda Cobb-Hunter here: Part 1 and Part 2 

Download the SC African American History Calendar here




Feb. 2   National Job Shadow Day

Take a peek at our Career Explorations Collection!


Feb. 3    World Read Aloud Day

Visit our Libraries, Literature and Learning Collection and get excited about reading!


Feb. 11   International Day of Women and Girls in Science

View our Women in Leadership Collection, which includes these topics:


Feb. 20   World Day of Social Justice


Feb. 27  National Polar Bear Day


Explore these timely Collections now!



Historian Carter G. Woodson hoped to raise awareness of African American's contributions to civilization by establishing Negro History Week. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that included both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass' birthdays. The week was later expanded to a month in 1976 during the United States bicentennial.

You’ll be amazed at the variety of resources found in the Collection! Take a look!

Resources Include:

A True Likeness | Carolina Stories
The story of Richard Samuel Roberts, a little-known African American photographer from South Carolina whose posthumous discovery transcended stereotypes and brought to light a significant legacy. Heralded as one of the south’s most accomplished photographers of the 1920's and 1930's, Roberts was a self-taught artist who was determined to become a master portrait maker, with every image a true likeness of the subject. But for more than 40 years after his death, his work remained lost to all but his family and friends.

African American History Month | Periscope
This collection honors our history and the African Americans who made strides in the advancement of African Americans.

Blythewood History
These films tell the story of Blythewood’s African American history,  as told by six women representing families that have lived in Blythewood for generations. The stories are inspiring, disturbing and empowering. We hear of families and their neighbors, building a better future from the days following emancipation, sharecropping, working together to create the first black high school in the area, encouraging friends and neighbors to register to vote, despite occasional fierce and frightening opposition, and more. Through the lens of Blythewood, we see the story of the south in America.

Born to Rebel, Driven to Excel – Dr. Benjamin Mays| Carolina Stories
Benjamin Mays, from Epworth, South Carolina, saw the racism and forced segregation of life around him and decided to challenge it with education and religion. Against the advice of his father, Mays pursued a formal education and rose to the top of his class, becoming Dean of Religion at Howard University, and later earned a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Chicago. He would become president of Morehouse College in 1940, and his influence on civil rights and education for the next three decades would reach far and wide. 

Civil Rights Youth Media Summit
Student journalists interviewed Cecil Williams, Justice Ernest Finney, Frank Washington, Cong. James Clyburn, Oveta Glover, Titus Duren and Victoria Eslinger about Civil Rights in S.C.

Civil Rights Movement | S.C. Hall of Fame
South Carolinians who fought for equality during the Civil Rights Movement.

Congressman Jim Clyburn
James E. Clyburn: a civil rights leader from South Carolina, who rose to become one of the most powerful men in Congress. History was made in January 2007, when Jim Clyburn became House Majority Whip, the first South Carolinian to reach such a high position in Congress. His passion for politics drove him through defeats and victories, to reach the third most powerful political position in the U.S.

Dizzy Gillespie | Profile
This episode of Profile spotlights famous jazz musician John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie; Cheraw, South Carolina’s claim to fame. Jazz immortal Dizzy Gillespie filled many musical roles, as trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and singer. Gillespie is also known for being at the forefront of the new music genre known as “bebop.” The impacts he left on both Cheraw, and his contributions to the music world still strongly resonate today. 

Dizzy Gillespie: From the Be to the Bop | Carolina Stories
Much of America's blues and jazz influences are deeply rooted in the rhythms and melodies of the rural South. One artist who has greatly contributed to these genres' continued popularity is South Carolina's own John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie. Together with Charlie Parker, he was a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz. 

Education of Harvey Gantt | Carolina Stories
In 1960, a talented African-American student from Charleston, Harvey Gantt, graduated from high school and decided to become an architect. Clemson College was the only school in South Carolina that offered a degree in his chosen field. In January of 1963, with the help of NAACP lawyer Matthew J. Perry, Gantt won a lawsuit against Clemson and was peacefully admitted to the college, making him the first African-American student to attend a formerly all-white school in South Carolina. 

Family Across the Sea
This special explores the connections between the Gullah of the South Carolina/Georgia Sea Islands and the people of West Africa, particularly those of Sierra Leone.

Introduces Gullah culture, language and music to children. The website has three sections: Gullah CultureGullah Music and Gullah Tales, told in Gullah and English.

Homecoming: Art of Jonathan Green and Leo Twiggs | Carolina Stories
This program explores the works of two outstanding artists who are sons of the South Carolina Lowcountry. Twiggs and Green share an indelible bond, reflected in their works.

Jail, No Bail | Carolina Stories
Documentary that pays tribute to the “Friendship Nine,” a group of college students who were arrested for a lunch counter sit-in in Rock Hill, SC in 1961. Instead of paying bail (as was the norm with all previous sit-ins), they served 30 days of hard labor, making the city pay to house, feed & clothe them, thus turning the tables & drying up a dubious revenue stream. This movement caught on nationally, changing the entire sit-in strategy. The program was the centerpiece of 50th anniversary events, and still has legs today. It included extensive television, educational and community outreach initiatives.

Mary McLeod Bethune | Idella Bodie’s S.C. Women
One woman’s struggle to gain equality for herself and her students. Mary McLeod Bethune grew up in rural South Carolina and became a teacher. She started with nothing and ended up being an advisor to a president! 

Matthew Perry | Profile
Matthew Perry is known as one of the leading figures in the fight for equal rights for African Americans in South Carolina. At the time this episode aired, Perry had been appointed judge to the U.S. Court of Military Appeals, in Washington, D.C. Judge Perry discusses on his career, involvement with the Civil Rights Movement in S.C., and his appointment to the U.S. Court of Military Appeals. 

Modjeska Simkins | Idella Bodie’s S.C. Women
Modjeska Simkins came from relative wealth and married into wealth, but dedicated her life to helping the disadvantaged to be treated equally in South Carolina. 

Penn Center: A Legacy of Change | Carolina Stories
This program tells the story of the Penn Center’s inception in 1862 as a school for freed slaves to its involvement in the Gullah community today. Today the center collects, documents, preserves, and disseminates information related to cultural heritage of the Sea Island and Lowcountry African-American culture.

Reflections of Columbia | Carolina Stories
Take a historical journey from the founding of Columbia, South Carolina, through the Civil War, the Depression, World War II, civil rights, up to the present. Reflections of Columbia, Part 7 – The 50s and 60s looks back on Columbia’s civil rights history.

Road Trip! Through South Carolina Civil Rights History
Designed to help teachers and students to learn about our history, people and events, and the importance of the civil rights movement in South Carolina from the 1940s to the early 1970s. 

Saving Sandy Island | Carolina Stories
Documentary about the struggle to save an exceptional South Carolina island and its Gullah community from development. The program tells the story of the unique coalition of conservationists, state agencies, businessmen and community residents that came together to save this extraordinary place and preserve a historic culture. 

SC Confederate Flag
Chronology of stories from Palmetto Scene beginning June 18, 2015, culminating in the removal of the Confederate Flag from the grounds of the S.C. State House on Friday, July 10, 2015.

SC African American History Calendar
A 12-month calendar that profiles individuals from across the state who have had a positive, compelling impact on South Carolina and, often, across the country.

Tuskegee Airmen
In 1941, an all African American flying squadron was established in Tuskegee, Alabama to train African Americans to fly and maintain combat aircraft. The Tuskegee Airmen paved the way for full integration of African Americans into the U.S. military.

Topics Available in the Collection Include:

In this blog, we are highlighting for the first time our collection of Noted African Americans. Please be sure to go through each of the topics listed below to discover resources that are timely for African American History Month. You may be surprised at the resources you’ll find!

Briggs v. Elliott
The Briggs v. Elliott case began as a simple request to provide bus transportation. In addition to having separate and very inferior facilities, black children had to walk to school, sometimes many miles.

Friendship Nine
The Friendship Nine consisted of a group of nine African American young men who were sent to jail after staging a sit-in at a segregated McCrory's lunch counter in Rock Hill, South Carolina in 1961.

In the past, people have described the Gullah culture as quaint and the language as unintelligible. A closer look reveals a complex history and language with direct links to West Africa that survived slavery and thrived on the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia. The Gullah experience has many variables that make it unique to each family and community. 

The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race. Meet members of the NAACP who were instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement in South Carolina.

Noted African Americans
Learn about noted African Americans, many born in South Carolina, with local and national accomplishments.

Photos, videos and podcasts are available. In the list below, we are highlighting only the videos:

Orangeburg Massacre
Approximately 150 protesters had demonstrated against racial segregation at the All-Star Bowling Alley on several occasions prior to the Orangeburg Massacre. On the evening of February 8, 1968, South Carolina State University (SCSU) students started a bonfire on the front of campus, which is located in Orangeburg, South Carolina. As police and firefighters attempted to put out the fire, officer David Shealy was injured by a thrown object. South Carolina Highway Patrol officers fired shots at the protestors.

Three of the protestors, African American males, were killed and twenty-eight other protesters were injured. The three men killed included two SCSU students Samuel Hammond (18), Henry Smith (18), and Delano Middleton (17), a student at the local Wilkinson High School. 

At a press conference the following day, Governor Robert E. McNair said the event was "...one of the saddest days in the history of South Carolina."

Penn Center
Several generations of the St. Helena community attended the historic Penn School, established as one of the first schools for freed slaves. In the 1950s and 1960s, the site served as a safe retreat for those involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other activists used the quiet refuge to plan the March on Washington, an event that helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Penn Center now serves as a resource center for those studying and protecting Sea Island communities.

Slavery in South Carolina
Learn about the economics and hardships of slavery in South Carolina.


This Collection honors the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and relays much of the history of the Civil Rights era. The Collection includes these Series:  View the full Martin Luther King Collection – just one click away!



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