The first people of African descent to live in what is now South Carolina, enslaved people living in the sixteenth century Spanish settlements of San Miguel de Gualdape and Santa Elena, arrived even before the first permanent English settlement was established in 1670. For more than 350 years South Carolina's African American population has had a significant influence on the state's cultural, economic, and political development.
101 African Americans Who Shaped South CarolinaÂ depicts the long presence and profound influence people of African descent have had on the Palmetto State. Each entry offers a brief description of an individual with ties to South Carolina who played a significant role in the history of the state, nation, and, in some cases, world. Drawing upon the landmark textÂ The South Carolina Encyclopedia, edited by Walter Edgar, the combined entries offer a concise and approachable history of the state and the African Americans who have shaped it.
A foreword is provided by Walter Edgar, Neuffer Professor of Southern Studies Emeritus and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of South Carolina.