Celebrate Black History Month in the Carolinas

The Latest From Carolina Traveler

Tomorrow is February, and we're kicking off our weekly newsletter with features honoring Black History Month in the Carolinas!

From the African American Music Trails of Eastern NC to exploring the best of St. Helena Island, Charleston, and other cities along the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, we have enough activities to stuff your February calendar full of enlightening and informative events.

Plus — we're giving our last call to get discounted rates for two fun events taking place during Black History Month and beyond — just another advantage of being a Carolina Traveler subscriber!

To stay up to date with the latest events and Black History Month itineraries in SC and NC, follow us on Facebook, where we regularly offer free tickets and other giveaways, and make sure to become a 2024 subscriber to Carolina Traveler magazine!

Celebrate Black History Month along the African American Music Trails in NC

Follow the African American Music Trail through North Carolina.

Celebrate SC & NC Black History Month at these Destinations

Fill your February calendar up with day trips to these illuminating sites:

African American Museum of History & Culture at Loray Mill, Gastonia, NC: One of the newest museums dedicated to celebrating Black culture in the South, the African American Museum of History & Culture is not even five years hold. The museum regularly holds events throughout the year to educate and entertain the Gastonia public on Black contributions to society. Tickets to the 5th Anniversary Gala — which includes live music, a cash bar, and silent auction, are on sale for $100/person. The event takes place during Black History Month on February 17, 2024 from 6-9 PM at Gastonian Halls on 124 S. South Street.

African American Music Trails, Eastern NC: Can you name the birthplace of funk in NC? The African American Music Trails exist to celebrate the contributions that Black artists — like Maceo and Melvin Parker and Dick Knight — have made to music in NC and beyond. Discover diverse Eastern NC locations with rich connections to funk, R&B, and soul, celebrating the legacy of Black musicians in NC.

U.S. Army Airborne & Special Operations Museum, Fayetteville, NC: Hear the stories of how the 2nd Rangers — the sole African American Ranger unit in U.S. history — engaged in intense combat activities against the Communist Chinese and Korean forces during the Korean War.

Charlotte Hawkins Brown State Historic Site, Gibsonville, NC: The daughter of enslaved parents, Henderson, NC-born Charlotte Hawkins Brown founded the Alice Freeman Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, an African American boarding school that matriculated more than 1,000 preparatory school students in Brown's 50-year tenure.

Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park, Hilton Head Island, SC: Visit the first self-governed town of formerly enslaved people in the United States. The annual Freedom Day Celebration takes place this weekend from 11 AM to 1 PM and will occur in conjunction with the 28th annual Gullah Celebration, another well-attended Black History Month event.

Benjamin E. Mays House Museum, Greenwood, SC: Explore the early life of Benjamin E. Mays, a mentor of MLK who is credited with laying the strategic framework of the American Civil Rights movement and served as President of the historically Black Morehouse College for 30+ years.

Philip Simmons wrought-iron gate at 45 Meeting Street

Original wrought-iron gate crafted by Philip Simmons, 45 Meeting Street

Follow the Wrought Iron Road

Philip Simmons is one of the most talented artists to emerge from Charleston, SC. Our 3-day itinerary uses his wrought iron masterpiece creations as markers to explore the South of Broad neighborhood of downtown Charleston in a new light.

Celebrate Black History Month in Charleston by enjoying authentic Lowcountry cuisine, embarking on a self-guided tour to McLeod Plantation, and trying your hand at crabbing along the shores of the Brittlebank River.

Runners starting a race in Georgetown

Ready, set, go!

Last Chance Discount Offer! Georgetown Bridge2Bridge Run

January 31 is the last opportunity for Carolina Traveler subscribers/followers to get 5% off Historic Georgetown Bridge2Bridge registration until February 1 with code GtownB2B24. Choose from 5K, 12K, and half-marathon races suitable for all runners. Prices rise as the April 27, 2024, race approaches, so register early for the best rates and embrace the theme of self-care during Black History Month.

Chapel of Ease in St. Helena SC

Ruins of the Chapel of Ease, St. Helena Island, SC

Meet Me In St. Helena: Exploring the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor

The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage technically spans four U.S. states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Most of the best landmarks are sprinkled along the SC and Georgia coast. Our Gullah Geechee itinerary features the following cities and destinations — visit during Black History Month or any time of the year!

  • Murrells Inlet, SC: Brookgreen Gardens and Big Mike's Soul Food
  • Charleston, SC: International African American Museum (IAAM), McLeod Plantation, Bertha's Kitchen
  • St. Helena Island, SC: the Penn Center, the Gullah Grub

Win passes to Beech Mountain in Banner Elk, NC

Last Chance to Win! Get Family Passes to the Beech Mountain Ski Resort

February 2 is the last day for Carolina Traveler readers/subscribers to enter to win free family passes to Beech Mountain Ski Resort in Banner Elk, NC — the jewel of the High Country!

Enter daily to maximize your chances of winning and make sure to follow our Carolina Traveler Facebook page to see the winner announcement!

Oh, I don't ski…

No worries! There are plenty of other fun snow sports to try when you visit Banner Elk, including snowboarding, ice skating, and snow tubing. The riveting Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster requires no effort, whatsoever! Close to beloved family-friendly destinations like Grandfather Mountain State Park, Banner Elk shines extra bright in the mid-winter.

Black History Month connections are apparent in this small mountain town. According to research from Lees-McRae College, free and enslaved Black Americans both free and enslaved, have lived in the area that is now Avery County for as long as white Americans have. 1860 U.S. Census records indicate a total Black population of nearly 8,300 in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which included over 1,000 free people. Inadequate education, illiteracy, and economic challenges made it difficult for all races to break out of a cycle of poverty in the 1900s, but especially so for Black Americans.

Sir Walter Wally groundhog

Thanks to Sir Walter Wally, who retired in 2023 after many years of service.

Gearing up for Groundhog Day: Six More Weeks of Winter or Spring?

Join us in Chimney Rock, NC from 10-11 AM for our one of the best events of the year — Groundhog Day! New groundhogs Potato and Yam are poised to make their first-even Groundhog Day predictions. Word on the street is that they have picked Super Bowl winners, as well!

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