The 32nd edition of the South Carolina African American History Calendar features the Jenkins Institute, a Charleston orphanage with a musical program that has produced performers who have played in inaugural parades for U.S. presidents and for the Queen of England, as well as a dozen honorees who have enriched the state’s history.
The calendar is produced by the S.C. Department of Education and statewide partners including AT&T, Dominion Energy, SCETV, the University of South Carolina and WIS-TV.
“This year’s calendar honorees have demonstrated lifelong commitments to improving the lives of their fellow Americans and South Carolinians,” S.C. Education Superintendent Molly Spearman said in a news release. “With each page, you will be reminded of the tremendous legacies they have left to inspire future generations.”
Calendars are distributed free of charge to schools, faith-based organizations, community centers and the public. Biographies and timelines are used in classroom instruction by S.C. educators.
Allie Brooks, a Florence native who served more than 35 years as a teacher, principal and school superintendent in the Pee Dee.
Gilda Cobb-Hunter, the first Black woman in Orangeburg County elected to the S.C. House of Representatives.
Bernard and Herbert Fielding, Charleston natives and active NAACP members. Bernard Fielding served as Charleston County’s first Black probate judge, while Herbert was elected to the S.C. House of Representatives.
Rosa Franklin, a Cordesville native and the first Black woman to service in the Washington state senate.
Sherman James, a Hartsville native and the first Black president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research.
Willis and Clara Langley, natives of Washington, N.C., who became the first Black couple to purchase a McDonald’s restaurant in Columbia.
L. Casey Manning Sr., a Dillon native and the first Black scholarship recipient to play basketball at the University of South Carolina.
Amy Surginer Northrop, a Dixiana native who was appointed as the first Black state inspector of S.C. beauty shops.
Gloria Blackwell Rackley of Rock Hill, an educator and influential NAACP member and civil rights pioneer.
Nathan Spells Sr., a Bowman native and the CEO and founder of Construction Dynamics Inc. who was named a 2020 Icon by the Columbia Regional Business Report.
A.J. Whittenberg of Fork Shoals, who served as president of the Greenville NAACP and was instrumental in the desegregation of Greenville schools.
Dorris Wright, a Greenville native and leader of the Upstate’s civil rights movement.