As a spin-off from the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World (CLAW) program’s Civil War—Global Conflict commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, “The Jubilee Project” is a collaborative academic and cultural project extending across the College and City of Charleston, the Carolina Lowcountry, and beyond. The project celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of public education in South Carolina, and commemorates other key events both of 1863 and of the Civil Rights movement in 1963. The project will be run by a coalition that will include colleges, historical sites, and city, county, and state agencies up and down the coast, from the Penn Center, through Charleston to Brookgreen Gardens, and involving educators and community leaders throughout the state.
We already have a number of important academic events scheduled here in Charleston, including the southern regional conference of the American Studies Association at the end of January, and the annual conference of the African Literature Association in late March. Around the region there are additional conferences in Atlanta in February and March, commemorating, among other things, the work of WEB Du Bois (who died in August 1963). The purpose of the collaborative project would be to extend the reach of these scholarly explorations by coordinating a host of public events, including concerts, exhibitions, and re-enactments. The project will also articulate closely with ongoing projects of the Lowcountry Digital Library, so that Jubilee will have a continued online presence for these one-time events, and will link to relevant digital projects and resources.
Significant dates in addition to January 1st, 1863 worthy of commemoration would include the Battle of Gettysburg (and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address), the attack on Fort Wagner, and, in the Civil Rights era, King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Clemson admitted its first African American student (Harvey Gantt) in Spring 1963, and both USC and Charleston County public schools followed suit in the Fall.