“Negro picnic at Beaufort, South Carolina, July 1939.” NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY DIGITAL COLLECTIONS

Beaufort County School District (BCSD), University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB), Technical College of the Lowcountry (TCL) and Penn Center have collaborated to host “Untold Stories,” an African-American history education conference Feb. 18-20 at various venues in the county.

The event will focus on Beaufort County’s rich and diverse history. The conference is open to anyone desiring an immersive learning experience about African American history specific to Beaufort County.

“I started my career as a social studies teacher, so I certainly have an appreciation for history,” said Superintendent Frank Rodriguez. “I’m glad to be partnering with USCB, TCL, and Penn Center on this important initiative that will provide significant insight about where we live.”

The conference promises a robust series of activities and educational sessions for attendees. The three-day immersive experience includes live music and dance, art, cuisine, and in-depth presentations and panel discussions from local and nationally renowned artists, authors, educators, clergy, living legends and historians, as well as student-produced documentary videos and performances.

The conference kicks off Feb. 18 at Technical College of the Lowcountry’s Beaufort Campus, with keynote speaker Victoria Smalls, executive director of the Gullah Geechee Corridor Commission. Jonathan Green, internationally acclaimed artist known for his depictions of Gullah life, will present The Gullah Spirit: The Art of Jonathan Green.” Aunt Pearlie Sue will speak on the rich history of Beaufort.

On Feb. 19, the conference moves to the historic campus of  the University of South Carolina Beaufort, where Assistant Professor Dr. Najmah Thomas will be the keynote speaker. Break-out sessions include presentations by Dr. Emory Campbell, historian; Dr. Louise Cohen, founder of the nonprofit Gullah Museum of Hilton Head; Roland Gardner, executive director of Beaufort/Jasper Comprehensive Health; and a tour of historical landmarks with Aunt Pearlie Sue.

The conference closes Feb. 20 with a tour of the Penn Center campus. The keynote speaker for the day will be Nikki Finley, an author, professor, and poet.

“I can’t think of a better line up of speakers, facilitators, and presenters,” said conference organizer Dr. N’kia Campbell, BCSD officer of academic initiatives. “Attendees are going to experience something that they will never forget.”

For an overview of daily events, break-out sessions, and a complete list of presenters, visit bit.ly/AAHEC22.

Cost is $75 for Friday or Saturday, $50 for Sunday, or $200 for the entire conference, which includes food and tours. Pre-register for the conference at bit.ly/AAHEC2022.

For more information,  email AAHEC@beaufort.k12.sc.us.