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Visit to South Carolina

By Jean Mavrelis - 07.25.2011

Tom and I were in Charleston last week and we went on a Black History Tour.  We were the only white folks on the tour.

As always, the Black folks welcomed us, and the tour guide made mention of white folks who helped the cause over the years, starting with the abolitionists.

We asked our tour guide if racial attitudes had changed, and he said yes, mostly because of all the northerners who had moved to the area. At least that was his opinion.

When I asked if there were many Latinos in the area, he said no, but that there was an area at the hotel we stayed at where eastern European women stayed who were brought over on work permits by a contractor to do domestic work at the hotel.

We took a ride out to Sullivan’s Island – where Africans were held in quarantine before being sold into slavery.

Gullah low country is where the Stono Rebellion took place and where  Denmark Vesey’s story unfolded.

White folks were afraid of the lowlands because of the danger of malaria. Before Africans came to what’s now South Carolina, rice was unknown. Our guide explained that Africans also brought peanuts to America.

He also sadly shared that the average life span of a male slave in South Carolina was 32.  It was cheaper to work a man to death than take care of him. Read more »