Penn Center (United States)

First School in the South for formerly Enslaved West Africans

Penn Center is one of the most significant African American historical and cultural institutions in existence today.  It is located on St. Helena Island, one of the most beautiful and historically distinct of the South Carolina Sea Islands, and at the heart of Gullah culture.

The Center was established in 1862 by a group of churches and abolitionists from Pennsylvania as a school to educate newly freed slaves.  It has championed education and civil rights for African-Americans since the Civil War. Penn Center has long been a powerful catalyst for promoting social justice and equal rights for all humans and maintains a strong dedication to the preservation of the historical legacy of the Reconstruction and Civil Rights era.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his staff frequently met at Penn Center and Septima Clark held citizenship schools at Penn.  The Center utilizes its multifaceted history and archives to foster a meaningful dialogue on national and global issues of social inequality.

Penn Center (United States)
16 Penn Center Circle-West
St. Helena Island South Carolina 29920
United States