SC Notable African Americans

South Carolina SC African-American History SC Notable African Americans

Notable SC African Americans

The list below features links to information about lives of many of South Carolina's most distinguished African Americans. It focuses on those who made major advancements or who broke major racial barriers.

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  • Kimberly Clarice Aiken - Columbia - Miss America 1994 - founder, president of HERO (Homeless Education and Resource Organization)

  • Marjorie Amos-Frazier - b. 1926, Manning - first woman to be elected to the Charleston County Council - first female SC Public Service Commissioner

  • Webster Anderson - b. 1933, Winnsboro - Sergeant First Class, US Army - Congressional Medal of Honor for service in Vietnam War

  • John Artemus - b. 1885, Edgefield - labor organizer

  • Charles P. Austin, Sr. - Columbia's first African-American Chief of Police

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  • Jonas Thomas Kennedy - farmer, philanthropist

  • Richard Kerns - athletics coach

  • Eartha Kitt - Born on an Orangeburg County cotton farm in 1927, Eartha Kitt became a world-famous entertainer with her own star on Hollywood Boulevard. Her 1953 recording of Santa Baby and her recurring role as Catwoman on TV's Batman are familiar examples of her work. While many of her roles epitomized the Hollywood stereotype of "sex kitten," her social consciousness often made it difficult for her to land jobs. Her refusal to perform for segregated audiences effectively relegated her to European venues in the 1940s and 50s. In the 1970s, she was blacklisted by the American entertainment industry when she spoke out against Vietnam at a White House luncheon. But Eartha Kitt's career came back, time and time again. In 1997 she returned to South Carolina to perform a benefit concert at Benedict College, which helped establish a scholarship fund for dance students.

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