Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston

Through scholarly research and public programming, the Center for the Study of Slavery (CSSC) examines the impact of slavery and race-related issues in the City of Charleston, including the surrounding region, and at the College of Charleston from the late 18th century through the civil rights era and the continued impact and legacy of slavery in the present.

 

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CSSC builds on the work begun with the College of Charleston’s affiliation with over 40 other universities in the Universities Studying Slavery (USS) consortium, an effort organized by the University of Virginia.The College of Charleston's membership in Universities Studying Slavery will spur our university to be more intentional in disseminating  research and in collaborations within and beyond the institution. More College of Charleston initiatives will be announced in the coming months.

To learn more about CSSC, please contact our director, Dr. Bernard Powers (powersb@cofc.edu) and explore the Center's Mission, Events, News, and Resources & Exhibitions.


Upcoming Events

CSSC

Race and the Legacies of Slavery at the College of Charleston

October 20 at 3:00 PM EST - Click here to join the conversation online

Join Dr. Benard Powers, Int. CEO International African American Museum, Director for the Center for Study of Slavery in Charleston (CSSC), CofC Professor Emeritus, and national expert on black history, and Dr. Julia Eichelberger, Marybelle Higgins Howe Professor of Southern Literature, affiliate faculty member in African American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies, the director of the Southern Studies minor, and a member of the Executive Board for CSSC. The conversations begins at 3:00 PM. You many pre-register or join immediately at the time of the event at the link provided. 

Everyone is invited. This event is open to the entire campus community. 


CSSC's Commitment to Making Black Lives Matter

 

Text: The Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston (CSSC) stands in complete solidarity and allyship with the families, protestors, and community members grieving and demanding justice for the recent murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery — and our own Walter Scott and the Emmanuel 9 (to name only a few). We recognize that these acts of violence are deeply rooted in the institution of slavery which served to deny the sanctity and sovereignty of Black life. As a Center that studies the history and legacies of chattel slavery in the South, we see the recent instances of brutality occurring nationally and in Charleston as but the latest manifestations of our country’s long history of violence against Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples. We are deeply pained by these tragic events, which serve to remind us all that the history of racism and white supremacy are clearly not past: we are still living them, and they are ever-present on our campus and in our local community. Because of this, the CSSC was established in 2018 to foster a deeper public understanding of slavery and its complex legacies. A part of our mission is to raise awareness and fight to bring an end to their brutal impacts. It is in this spirit that we stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and campus activists.  We demand social justice. In March 2020, we had planned a community-wide conversation on reparations in Charleston that was interrupted by COVID-19. The combined tragedies of state violence against Black Americans and the disproportionate effects of the pandemic on the Black community highlight the urgency of this work. We call on the College of Charleston leadership to make good on its promise to combat racism and white privilege by dedicating more robust support to the CSSC. And in turn, the CSSC pledges to advance learning and research experiences for our students, staff, and faculty to further our understanding of how our history of slavery shapes the present, and to collaborate with members of the campus and Charleston community to create programming and restorative dialogue to promote social justice, racial healing, reconciliation, and transformational change. We see our work as a tangible affirmation that Black Lives Matter (and have always mattered).

CSSC News

CSSC Faculty Studying Slavery: Simon Lewis
Posted on 27 October 2020 | 1:09 pm
This post, written by Simon Lewis, is the first of a series that documents work studying slavery by faculty members of the CSSC. I joined the English Department at CofC in August 1996 as an Assistant Professor of World Literature, specializing in African literature. From the outset of my time here I was fascinated by […]
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“Critical Conversations” on CSSC and the College’s work studying slavery and its legacies
Posted on 20 October 2020 | 1:42 pm
Bernie Powers and CSSC Executive Committee members will be part of a Critical Conversations event Oct 20, 3 pm. In this informal conversation moderated by Simon Lewis, CSSC director Bernie Powers and Julia Eichelberger, co-founder of the program in Southern Studies, will discuss race and the legacies of slavery at C of C and beyond. […]
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