Darlington County citizens awarded for preservation efforts
The South Carolina African American Heritage Commission celebrated 25 years of “Preserving Our Places in History” on Thursday and Friday, April 4 and 5 at the South Carolina Archives and History Center in Columbia. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly as the South Carolina African American Heritage Council in 1993 and as the Commission by Executive Order in 2001 by Governor Jim Hodges, the Commission has for 25 years worked to preserve the rich history, culture and contributions of African Americans to South Carolina and the nation.
At the 12th “Preserving Our Places in History” awards luncheon on Thursday the Commission awarded the City of Hartsville African American Cemetery Committee was awarded the “Preserving Our Places in History” Organization/Group award for its efforts to preserve the Hartsville Colored Cemetery.
Founded in 1904 the cemetery served the burial needs of the community for many years. The goals of the project were to restore and preserve the cemetery with community support. Begun in 2015 with the involvement of the Chicora Foundation and the City of Hartsville, diverse groups ensured the project’s success.
Also, Representative Robert Williams, District 62, was awarded the “Preserving Our Places in History” Legislative of the Year Award for his efforts to support the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission by securing state and private funding.
At the celebration gala Hartsville native and current Chairperson of the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission, Jannie Harriot, was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian award. Harriot has served on the SCAAHC for 25 years appointed by Governor Carroll Campbell in 1993. Dedicated to the preservation of African American history and culture, Harriot is also the founding chairperson of the Butler Heritage Foundation and worked tireless to preserve the legacy of Butler High School.