To mark the 150th anniversary of the of the Emancipation Proclamation (September 22, 1862), the College of Charleston’s program in the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World (CLAW) announces the launch of the Jubilee Project 2013.

In conjunction with the CLAW program’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Jubilee Project is a collaborative academic and cultural project that kicks off on December 31, 2012 and extends throughout 2013. The project celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of public education in South Carolina, and commemorates the 50th anniversary of other key events that took place in 1963.

“The coincidence of the anniversaries of these two significant events prompts us to ask what happened in the intervening century, and to what extent emancipation and equality of opportunity have been achieved up to this day,” says Simon Lewis, director of the CLAW program. “We hope the Jubilee Project will have a lasting impact on the way in which South Carolinians think about the history of emancipation and educational access.”

The Jubilee Project kicks off on New Year’s Eve, 2012, with a special City of Charleston sponsored New Year celebration, followed by an Emancipation Day Parade in downtown Charleston on January 1, 2013. The Project’s closing event will take place on November 19, 2013 (the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, in which President Lincoln spoke of “a new birth of freedom”) at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

Public commemorations and exhibitions between those two dates will address historic events such as the Battle of Gettysburg, the attack on Fort Wagner, and the first African American students at Clemson University, University of South Carolina and the Charleston County School District.

Jubilee Project exhibitions include  Civil Rights-era photography at the Gibbes Museum, an exhibition of African art at South Carolina State University, the southern regional conference of the American Studies Association, the annual conference of the African Literature Association at the College of Charleston, and a performance by the Fisk Jubilee Singers at the Avery Research Center.

The Project will be archived through the Lowcountry Digital Library, which is housed at the College of Charleston.

Partners in the year-long project include historical sites (like the Penn Center on St. Helena’s Island and Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet),as well as city, county, and state agencies up and down the coast and across the state. University partners include the College of Charleston, Claflin University, Clemson University, Furman University, South Carolina State University, and the University of South Carolina.

The Jubilee Project is still accepting suggestions and events from the public. To participate or for more information, contact Simon Lewis at 843.953.1920 or

A complete listing of Jubilee Project events and partners is available at the Jubilee Project website.