Institution: Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture

Walter Pantovic Slavery and African American History Collection

The Walter Pantovic Slavery and African American History Collection contains documents and images that reflect African American history primarily in the United States. Walter Pantovic was a Yugoslavian immigrant with an interest in Black history, in particular the history of Slavery and the Civil War. Highlights from this collection include slave bills of sale, glass …


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Mamie E. Garvin Fields Papers, 1894 – 1987

Mamie Elizabeth Garvin (1888-1987) was born to Rebecca Mary Logan Bellinger and George Washington Garvin, in Charleston, South Carolina. Garvin became one of the first African American teachers hired to teach in the county’s public schools. In addition to teaching children, Fields was a pioneer in concept of children’s daycare facilities, adult education, organizing classes …


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James E. Campbell Papers, 1930-2009

The digitized portion of the James E. Campbell papers consists of 107 posters that were collected by Campbell throughout his life. Campbell (1925-2021) was a native of Charleston, South Carolina and went on to become a revolutionary organizer, activist and educator.  He worked alongside notable figures such as Amiri Baraka, Jack O’Dell, and Malcolm X, …


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Helen Evangeline Banks Harrison Papers, Circa 1850-1985

Helen Evangeline Banks Harrison was born in Hampton, Virginia in 1898 and is the daughter of Issiah and Anna DeCosta Banks, came to Charleston, South Carolina as a child and spent most of her life there. She attended city schools, Avery Normal Institute, and Howard University. In 1935, she began working as a clerk in …


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Ethelyn Murray Parker Papers

Ethelyn Murray was a native of Charleston SC and attended Simonton School and the Avery Normal Institute, graduating in 1914. She taught in several counties in South Carolina before enrolling at Voorhees Institute in 1918, studying religious and elementary education. In 1920, she relocated to Mobile, AL, teaching for five years. She received a Rosenwald …


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Avery Normal Institute

Founded in 1865, the Avery Normal Institute provided education and advocacy for the growing Charleston African American community and trained blacks for professional careers and leadership roles. Although the Institute closed its doors in 1954, it graduates preserved the legacy of their alma mater by establishing the Avery Institute of Afro-American History and Culture. This …


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Somebody Had To Do It

The “Somebody Had to Do It” project is a multidisciplinary research project documenting the experience of the first African American children to attend formerly all-White schools through video oral histories. The Project takes its name from the often-stated response of the no longer young activists who stepped forward, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, …


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J. Arthur Brown Papers, 1937 – 1988

J. Arthur Brown was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1914. After graduating from the Avery Institute in 1932 he continued his education at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg, SC graduating in 1937. While at SCSC, Brown met his future wife MaeDe Esperanza Myers (1918-2012), marrying in 1940. The couple had three daughters: MaeDe …


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Charleston Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Papers, 1920-1995

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was started on February 12, 1909, partly in response to the prevalence of lynching of African-Americans in America and the 1908 race riot that occurred in Springfield, Illinois. The Charleston Branch of the NAACP was founded in February 1917 by Edwin Harleston. The branch was …


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Eugene C. Hunt Papers, 1834 – 1994

Eugene C. Hunt graduated from the Avery Normal School and went on to Talladega College, where he received a Degree in English in 1940. He earned a Masters Degree in Theater from Northwestern University in 1954 and continued with postgraduate study in Speech and Education. Mr. Hunt taught English and Speech at Burke High School …


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