Carolina Stories: Black History

students participating in student sit-in
We curated some of the Carolina Stories that feature African Americans who made an impact on the Palmetto state and beyond.
Carolina Stories are documentaries that highlight the rich cultural and historical landscape that is South Carolina. From the Upstate to the Lowcountry, the stories are as geographically diverse as their subject matter and they are all produced by SCETV.

How to Watch

Click the links or players below to watch the documentaries or look for 2023 airdates on SCETV channels. For more Black history content, check out the Black History Month page. 


Gullah Roots

Gullah Roots dives deep into South Carolina’s ties with West Africa, educating viewers about Gullah heritage, including spiritual, musical and artistic traditions.

How to Watch

  • Thursday, February 23, 9:00 pm on ETVHD
  • Watch online at Gullah Roots.

A True Likeness

"A True Likeness" tells the story of a little-known African-American photographer from South Carolina whose posthumous discovery transcended stereotypes and brought to light a significant legacy. Richard Samuel Roberts is heralded as one of the south's most accomplished photographers of the 1920's and 1930's.

How to Watch

Beyond Barbados: The Carolina Connection

Sometimes the history of a place begins elsewhere and the colony of South Carolina actually began somewhere else, almost two thousand miles across the sea. The settlement of Charles Towne that would grow into the colony of South Carolina owes its origins and success to a tiny island in the West Indies that most of us know nothing about.

How to Watch

Born to Rebel, Driven to Excel

In this film biography of South Carolinian Dr. Benjamin Mays, Andrew Young says it this way: “If there hadn’t been a Benjamin Mays, there wouldn’t have been a Martin Luther King, Jr.” The legacy of this South Carolina native is explored in the film, Born to Rebel, Driven to Excel from South Carolina ETV.

How to Watch

The Education of Harvey Gantt

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.

How to Watch

Charlie's Place

"Charlie’s Place," tells the story of an African American nightclub in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina that was a significant stop on the Chitlin’ Circuit in the segregated South. The owner, Charlie Fitzgerald, welcomed blacks and whites to his club. From the 1930s to the 1960s, many of the greatest black musicians played there, including Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Ruth Brown and Little Richard.

How To Watch

  • Thursday, February 16, 9:00 pm on ETVHD
  • Monday, February 20, 9:00 pm on SC Channel
  • Watch online at Charlie's Place.


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. Noted as one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time, Gillespie's complex style and compositions were difficult to copy.

How to Watch


Jail No Bail

This 30-minute long broadcast pays tribute to the 50th anniversary of the sit-in that introduced a new protest strategy and turned the tables on the establishment, while at the same time reinvigorating the Civil Rights movement nationally. The program also honors the Friendship Nine and the bold stand the men took in the face of extreme injustice.

How to Watch

  • Monday, February 13, 9:30 pm on SC Channel
  • Thursday, February 16, 9:30 pm on ETVHD
  • Watch online at Jail No Bail.