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First-ever mobile travel guide for African American cultural sites in S.C. launches

The first-ever mobile travel guide to S.C. African American cultural sites, the Green Book of South Carolina, has been launched by the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission, offering residents and visitors from around the world a user-friendly guide to discovering and celebrating enriching cultural experiences across the state at http://www.GreenBookofSC.com.

Research indicates that a majority of African Americans in the United States have ancestral connections to South Carolina, and the Green Book of S.C. provides a tool through which these roots can be appreciated and celebrated by diverse audiences across the nation and the world, offering access and exposure to the rich depth of the state’s African American heritage.

Designed with the mobile user in mind, this new international tourism tool has the fresh, user-friendly web interface of a travel app and features more than 300 heritage sites and cultural attractions across all 46 counties in South Carolina. The guide is designed with the mobile smartphone or tablet user in mind, but it is easy to find and utilize for laptop and desktop users, too.

 

The Green Book of S.C. showcases points of interest for a diverse audience, allowing travelers to plan their ultimate, customized itineraries across South Carolina. Each entry includes a narrative defining the historic significance of the site, images and a link to directions and more. Users can browse destination listings via A to Z directory, on a “zoomable” map, or by using categories, including Historic Markers, Historic Churches (incl. brush arbors & praise houses), Historic Schools and HBCUs, Historic Districts & Sites, Historic Cemeteries, and Cultural Attractions. In order to be included in the Green Book of S.C., sites must be on the National Register or have a State Historic Marker.

 

“With the Green Book of South Carolina mobile travel guide, the S.C African American Heritage Commission is introducing a game changer for cultural tourism to South Carolina,” says S.C. Senator Vincent Sheheen, who championed the project. “This is one of the first statewide mobile travel guides to African American heritage and cultural destinations to be produced by a state anywhere in the U.S., and it is positioned to increase even further the $2.4 billion annual economic impact of African American tourism in our state.”

The Green Book of S.C. is a contemporary travel-planning tool that pays homage to the original Green Book, first published in 1936 by New York City postman Victor Green as an African American travel guide to safe harbors and welcoming establishments across the United States. This contemporary homage features tourism destinations that impart a new Southern travel experience for all audiences, sharing the compelling story of African Americans in the Palmetto State. 

“The development of the mobile guide perfectly aligns with our organization’s mission to identify and promote the preservation of historic sites, structures, buildings, and culture of the African American experience in South Carolina,” says Jannie Harriot, vice chairperson of the S.C. African American Heritage Commission. “There has long been a need for a travel tool like the Green Book of South Carolina.”

The South Carolina African American Heritage Commission, an affiliate of the S.C. Department of Archives and History, works to increase the social, political and economic value of South Carolina African American heritage; encourage and demonstrate respect for all heritages; document and institutionalize African American heritage as an ongoing goal of preservation, and explore all areas of South Carolina for African American contributions.

South Carolina is one of two states in the nation with an African American Heritage Commission. North Carolina is the other.

“The richness of South Carolina is related to the diversity of our citizenship, and it’s incredibly important that we acknowledge the role that the African American community has played in the development of our state,” says former S.C. Governor Jim Hodges, who established the Commission from its prior status as a council in 2001. “It’s made South Carolina a richer place in terms of our culture, and it’s made it a special place to live. The Green Book of S.C. mobile travel guide will enable visitors and residents to explore the rich history of S.C. in a convenient way.”

 

“The Green Book of South Carolina helps expand tourism’s impact in the Palmetto State, which is now a $20.2 billion industry,” notes Dawn Dawson-House, a member of the Commission, director of corporate communications at the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, and key adviser to the project. “We’re inviting travelers to venture off of highways to explore sites along their travel routes, to amplify the economic impact for all of these African American heritage sites and the municipalities in which they are located, and to provide an immersive experience of S.C. African American culture.”

The Green Book of S.C. mobile travel guide embraces the tradition of word-of-mouth recommendations and suggestions from friends and family. The guide is a particularly ideal tool for planning group outings and activities during family reunions, weddings or conventions, since event planners can use the guide’s mapping function to search for significant African American heritage and cultural sites that surround a particular city or area.

Selected Green Book of S.C. attractions and the cities and tourism districts in which they are located:

  1. Mann Simons Site, Columbia, S.C. – Capital City/Lake Murray Country
  2. Historic Brattonsville, McConnells, S.C. – Olde English District (OED)
  3. Bertha Lee Strickland Museum, Seneca, S.C. – Lake Hartwell Country
  4. Southern African American Heritage Center, Cheraw, S.C. – Olde English District (OED)
  5. Penn Center, St. Helena Island, S.C. – Lowcountry and Resort Islands
  6. Atlantic Beach, S.C. – Grand Strand
  7. Redcliffe Plantation, Beech Island, S.C. – Thoroughbred Country

View the entire Green Book of South Carolina mobile travel guide online and via mobile web browser at http://www.greenbookofsc.com. Users can add a shortcut with a branded Palmetto tree icon to their collection of apps on their mobile device home screens via the web browser “settings” interface.

“We’ve always known that the preserved and protected places in South Carolina that interpret African American history have particular appeal, especially for cultural travelers,” notes Harriot. “We’re happy that the Commission has been able to compile it all into a single source that makes it easier for people to find us, learn about us and experience us.”

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