South Carolina African American history stretches back to the 16th century when Africans arrived as slaves at Carolina Colony, now known as Charleston. By the early 1700s, they were the majority, but after the death of thousands of slaves during the American Revolution and an influx of white settlers, the demographics changed.
Enslaved Africans played a major role in the cultivation of rice and cotton in the state, working long hours in harsh conditions. West Africans were brought to South Carolina because of their knowledge of rice cultivation. Rice became a staple crop in South Carolina and dominated the economy of the Lowcountry for nearly two centuries.
About one-third of the nation’s slaves came through Charleston, SC, and were quarantined on Sullivan’s Island. Original slave houses still stand at places such as Boone Hall Plantation in Mt. Pleasant and Mansfield Plantation in Georgetown.