FOCUS: A deeper look at Black History Month by a local academic

FOCUS: A deeper look at Black History Month by a local academic

From the College of Charleston |  For Kameelah L. Martin, director of African American Studies at the College of Charleston, it was the Lowcountry’s rich ties to the African-American community and heritage that drew her to join the faculty in fall 2017. Martin, who holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Georgia Southern University, a master’s in Afro-American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a doctorate in English from Florida State University, came to the College after serving on the faculty of Savannah State University where she taught in the Department of English, Language, and Cultures.

As a literary scholar, Martin, who teaches both English and African American Studies at CofC, is interested in African-American culture, feminism and spirituality – interests which are reflected in her two books, Conjuring Moments in African American Literature: Women, Spirit Work, and Other Such Hoodoo and Envisioning Black Feminist Voodoo Aesthetics: African Spirituality in American Cinema.

“I was most drawn to the history of Charleston and its importance to African-American culture,” says Martin. “My secondary area of study is folklore and the Gullah Geechee culture is a huge part of my interest. I teach about and research the region, so it was very attractive as a place to put down roots – or replant them!”

by · 02/19/2018 · 0 comments · Focus, Good news
A 2014 photo of the bowling alley that is part of the story of the Orangeburg Massacre.  Photo by Andy Brack

FOCUS: The Orangeburg Massacre, 50 years ago

By Jack Bass | On the night of Feb. 8, 1968, police gunfire left three young black men dying and twenty-seven wounded on the campus of South Carolina State College in Orangeburg. Exactly thirty-three years later, Governor Jim Hodges addressed an overflow crowd there in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium, referring directly to the “Orangeburg Massacre”—an identifying term for the event that had been controversial—and called what happened “a great tragedy for our state.”

The audience that day included eight men in their fifties—including a clergyman, a college professor, and a retired army lieutenant colonel—who had been shot that fateful night. For the first time they were included in the annual memorial service to the three students who died—Samuel Hammond, Delano Middleton, and Henry Smith. Their deaths, more than two years before the gunfire by Ohio National Guardsmen that killed four on the campus of Kent State University, marked the first such tragedy on any American college campus.

A rendering of what the museum will look like.  Source: IAAM.

FOCUS: New museum slated to start construction in summer

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  Construction is expected to begin this summer for the $100 million International African American Museum on the Charleston site where an estimated 100,000 West Africans disembarked into slavery.

“This is an unusual opportunity for the city … to create something of enormous value to our country,” former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley told members of the Rotary Club of Charleston last week   “We American’s don’t understand African American history.  It’s important for the nation to be well-grounded in itself, its people, their contributions and their history.”

Charleston was an epicenter of the international slave trade at its peak …

by · 01/29/2018 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
FOCUS: How Martin Luther King can inspire your career

FOCUS: How Martin Luther King can inspire your career

By Ben Fanning, contributing editor  |  Did you know that Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was originally titled, “Normalcy, Never Again.”?  In fact, the first drafts of his speech never included the phrase “I have a dream”?

Turns out the entire “I have a dream” part of the speech was improvised.  That’s right…improvised in front of 200,000 people when a supporter yelled out:  “Tell them about the dream, Martin!”

He was inspired in that moment and just shared with them what he’d be dreaming about for his generation and generations yet to come.  It was a beautiful demonstration of how powerful a dream can be.

by · 01/16/2018 · Comments are Disabled · Careers, Focus, Views
Enjoying the view. Photo by Islandscape Landscaping via WestOf.

FOCUS: First the snow, now the thaw

Staff reports  |  With most people across the Lowcountry homebound because of the Great Charleston Snow of 2018, we solicited photos via Facebook from people around the area and were flabbergasted to receive more than 60 photos from 40 people. 

What’s amazing in looking through these photos is how you can see the storm and its impact through lots of different eyes.  You can find your favorite by going through the links above.  In addition to the photo above, here are five of our favorites…

PHOTOS: The Great Charleston Snow of 2018
MORE PIX of the Great Charleston Snow of 2018

by · 01/08/2018 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news, Photos
FOCUS: Lowcountry Local First makes big differences in 10th year

FOCUS: Lowcountry Local First makes big differences in 10th year

By Jamee Haley, special to Charleston Currents  |  2017 was a great year for Lowcountry Local First as we celebrated our first decade of loving our local business community. It was a year full of gratitude, and time spent listening to ensure that your input and priorities guide our work in the decade to come. We’re not slowing down!

1. We celebrated our 10 year anniversary with a community-wide art installation known as “Love a Local,” a proclamationby the Mayor of the City of Charleston, and by honoring 10 Local Luminaries who’ve supported the local business community in major ways.

2. We really listened. We put a lot of energy into gathering feedback from you to help guide the next decade of our work …

by · 01/01/2018 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
FOCUS: The 12 Days of January:  Charleston Restaurant Week returns

FOCUS: The 12 Days of January:  Charleston Restaurant Week returns

Staff reports  |  For 12 days in January – from Jan. 10 to Jan 21 – Charleston diners will be able to enjoy special food and drinks from renowned chefs at dozens of local eateries. It will be the latest installment of Charleston Restaurant Week, the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association, Inc. announced.

“What better way to kick off 2018 than with Charleston Restaurant Week?” said Greater Charleston Restaurant Association President Randall Goldman. “It’s the perfect time of year for both locals and visitors to explore Charleston’s ever-evolving culinary scene and we are so excited to be offering new restaurants and new menus for diners to experience in January.”

More than 100 restaurants participated in Charleston Restaurant Week in September . Newcomers joining the roster this January include Grace & Grit, Ink N Ivy and Pearlz Oyster Bar.

by · 12/18/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg (center) unveils the memorial outside the Dart Library with two students.  (CCPLphotos)

FOCUS: Dart Library celebrates 90th anniversary with new plaque

Staff reports  |  More than 60 people gathered Saturday to unveil a new historical marker to commemorate the formation of the Dart Hall Library 90 years ago in the northern part of Charleston.  Today, the library is located on upper King Street in a building constructed in the late 1960s.

Onlookers clapped as Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg and two students unveiled the marker, which was sponsored by the Charleston County Public Library.  The anniversary event also featured special presentations including unveiling of a portrait of the first librarian, a poetry reading by artist Fouche Sheppard and an excerpt of a documentary showcasing the evolution of Dart Hall Library and the Dart Library of today.

by · 12/11/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
Sunset at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Stadium in Charleston.

FOCUS: Magazine names RiverDogs as top Class A baseball operation

Staff reports  |  After a record-setting season at the turnstiles and a promotional calendar that continued to turn heads, the Charleston RiverDogs have been honored as the Class-A recipient of the Bob Freitas Award, which recognizes the top overall operation at each level of the minor leagues by Baseball America magazine.

“The Freitas Award is one of the most sought-after honors in all of minor league baseball (MiLB), recognizing an organization’s overall accomplishments and commitment to their community,” said. said Jeff Goldklang, president of the Goldklang Group which owns the team.  “Ownership takes tremendous pride in the first-rate operation that Dave [Echols] and his staff have built, establishing the RiverDogs as cutting-edge leaders in one of the country’s greatest markets.  We’re honored and humbled to receive this recognition from Baseball America.” 

by · 12/04/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
Fanning in Berlin.

FOCUS: 3 life lessons from trip to Berlin

By Ben Fanning, contributing columnist  |  I recently returned from a trip to Berlin, Germany, and learned several life lessons you can apply to your next trip. 

ONE:  You can do a lot in the freezing rain

We visited Berlin during the off-season to take advantage of the low rates for airfare and hotels.  Also, many of the sites were less crowded than usual.  Of course, this meant we faced freezing rain and wind every day, but we came prepared with heavy jackets and multiple layers.

I had an old band director who repeatedly said, “never wait on rain;” While freezing rain in Berlin might be a deterrent to some, it didn’t slow us down one bit. 

by · 11/27/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Careers, Focus, Good news