Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Calendar honors historic contributions of S.C. leaders

Staff Report //November 23, 2020//

Calendar honors historic contributions of S.C. leaders

Staff Report //November 23, 2020//

Listen to this article

The 2021 South Carolina African American History Calendar features a dozen individual honorees and also pays tribute to Charleston‰ŰŞs Jenkins Institute. (Photo/Provided)

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.

Calendars may also be ordered online at

The 2021 honorees include:

  • 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.