Victoria Hansen

International African American Museum President Finds Strength in the Past

By Victoria Hansen

CEO and president Michael Moore (center) and the IAAM team

For as long as he can remember, Michael Boulware Moore has known the story of Robert Smalls;  a slave who not only gained his freedom by commandeering a Confederate ship and turning it over to Union forces, but later served in the South Carolina State Legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Moore didn’t read about Smalls in school. Such bravery by slaves during the Civil War wasn’t always taught.  Instead, he grew up hearing personal stories from relatives like his grandmother.  Robert Smalls was his great-great grandfather.

Sisters Born during Vietnam War Find Each Other while Searching for American Fathers

By Victoria Hansen

Ann and Lisa (left to right) at the beach in Charleston

 

 

 

Ann Marie Luc was just a year old when her mother gave her away in Vietnam.   She was born to a Vietnamese woman and an American father serving in the Army during the Vietnam War.  She had been passed between several families and had four different names by the time she was 17 years-old.   That’s when she moved to the United States with a birth certificate she says was not her own.

“A lot them buy and sell us,” she says of the adoptive families.  “A lot them just use us to come here."

The Fight Intensifies Against Offshore Drilling along our Coast

By Victoria Hansen

Beach at Sullivan's Island just outside of Charleston

It’s a campaign promise made during an ad last fall as he treaded water in the Atlantic Ocean.  Now Congressman Joe Cunningham is swimming hard against the powerful currents of Washington, as he tries to make good and protect the South Carolina coast from offshore drilling.

The first time politician announced Tuesday he will introduce the, "Coastal Economies Protection Act", as soon as he gets back to Washington, to prevent opening the Atlantic and Gulf Coast to drilling and seismic air gun blasting. 

Wynton Marsalis Jazzes Up the Holidays

By Victoria Hansen

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performs holiday classics with a jazz twist

Ask Wynton Marsalis to name his favorite holiday song and he might tell you, “The Christmas Song” by Mel Torme.  Then he’ll likely explain it’s personal.  When Marsalis first moved to New York, he played in a show with Torme.  He was 18 years-old.

“The contractor thought I was only a classical trumpet player,” Marsalis recalled.  “He said this boy can’t play.  I don’t know why he’s playing this gig, and Mel heard me play and said, this boy can play.  Leave him alone.”

Charleston School Helps Women Sail the Seas of Life

By Victoria Hansen

Families welcome home Ashley Hall students in Charleston who have been at sea a week.

 

 

 

Just leaving their cell phones behind for a week might seem tough enough, but 17 teenagers from Ashley Hall in Charleston, a private school for girls, spent a week at sea hoisting sails and navigating by stars aboard the tall ship, “Liberty Clipper”. Most had never sailed before. The trip is part of the school’s annual Offshore Leadership Program.

 

This is the 11th year students have sailed. Anne Weston, the school’s assistant head, has been on the voyage twice. 

The Citadel Encourages Diversity through Listening

By Victoria Hansen

Citadel faculty and members of the media take part in the school's first CitListen session.

It’s been a little more a than year since the Citadel started  its Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center.  One of the goals is to help the once all-male military college in Charleston acknowledge its history in perpetrating racism and continue to evolve into a more inclusive community.  The school is now holding what it calls CitListen sessions to encourage change through conversation. “They’re designed to get people to interact with each other through personal story telling, deep intentional listening and connections across differences through our common humanity,” says Dr. J.

Georgetown Braces for Florence's Final Stop

By Victoria Hansen

Bob Ballew and his wife Penny evacuated their Conway home and are staying at a local shelter

The city of Georgetown may get a bit of a reprieve as Hurricane’s Florence’s flood waters make a final push before heading out to sea.  Georgetown County officials now say an updated flood anticipation map from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources shows a much improved forecast and is encouraging people who have evacuated to take a look and decide if it’s safe to return.

Conway Neighborhood Visited by President Advised to Evacuate by Weekend

By Victoria Hansen

Former Horry County councilwoman Liz Gilland stops to talk to Doug and Sissy Owen about flooding on their property

The day before President Trump visited Conway, Doug and Sissy Owen got a knock on their door.  It was the National Guard advising them to seek higher ground in 48 hours, well before the weekend when the Waccamaw River is  expected to crest.

“Thank God that we had notice and time to move everything out,” said Doug Owen.  “I can’t imagine

how these other people are who didn’t have any time.”

Conway Homeowners Evacuate with More Flooding Still to Come

By Victoria Hansen

Doug and Sissy Owen's home quickly flooding.  They just moved here six months ago.

The Waccamaw River has yet to crest and people who fled Conway before Hurricane Florence and returned are now evacuating, either on their own or being forced to go.

Debbie Long helped her mother-in-law move out of a neighborhood east of town near Crabtree Swamp just days before the National Guard moved in, pulling people from their homes.  So how high was the water?

“I don’t know,” she said.  “The fire ants are doing their thing where they float and if you get close to them they will swim to you.  I’ve already been bitten.”

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