The Commission was formed in 2001 by executive order of Gov. Jim Hodges, replacing an earlier entity created in 1993 by joint resolution of the General Assembly. Its purpose is to identify and promote the historic sites and intangible culture associated with African Americans in South Carolina, in close association with the Department of Archives and History. The Commission has 15 members, as well as a number of ex officio members representing universities and other agencies in the state. Individuals can help further its mission by joining the SC African American Heritage Foundation.
I first became aware of the Commission's good work as a graduate student at the University of South Carolina, when my historic preservation classmates and I were awarded the Commission's 2007 Project Award for the Camden African-American Heritage Project (2006), a landmark study of black history in the state's oldest inland colonial city with recommendations for preservation and interpretation. I have been a supporter and follower of the Commission ever since, and I'm happy that this appointment will give me the chance to give back more directly!