City of Greenville forms committee, launching new Black History Month initiative

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 10:43 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - As we kick off Black History Month, the City of Greenville is launching a new way to celebrate. You’ll be able to read, watch and become a part of the celebration all month long.

This is a new initiative for the city’s communication department and they hope to not only celebrate Black people who have contributed to Greenville’s history—but also highlight history you might not know about.

“It’s important to share Greenville’s Black history because that history matters,” said Loren Thomas, a Communications Specialist with the City of Greenville.

This year, the city is rolling out a digital Black History Month celebration.

“We came up with three tenets to honor the past, look to the future and build community,” said Thomas.

Thomas is also a part of the newly formed Black History Month Steering Committee.

“We pick people from the arts, community activists, the entrepreneurial sphere, criminal justice background, you know, so all different types of people and backgrounds come together,” she said.

For months, the 9-member committee has researched people, places and events in Greenville’s Black history to share with you.

“Black History Month can sometimes focus on Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X and Rosa Parks. they’re amazing, we love them but this is really an opportunity to share more of Greenville history” she said.

Possibly well-known stories like the Woolworth sit-ins lead by Sterling High School students, including Jesse Jackson. To landmarks you may miss just driving by.

“One of the stories that we’re working on I can tell you is the Working Benevolent Temple. And this was a building that is still standing in downtown Greenville that housed Black doctors, insurance companies, lawyers, all in this one area” Thomas explained.

Pictures, quotes and videos will be posted on all city social platforms, beginning Friday.

“This is just really a time that we can celebrate and uplift Black voices in Greenville and I think that we’ll be able to do this in a way that people will really appreciate it” Thomas said.

The city would like you to get involved too. After the program and website officially launches, you can use #BlackHistoryGVL to share your own stories.