The African-American Cultural Resources Committee of Rock Hill, South Carolina is engaged in a campaign to raise $20,000 for the construction of a monument that will honor Rock Hill’s historic Black Business District. Located on Trade Street, now Dave Lyle Boulevard, between West Black Street and Wilson Street, this district was full of strong and thriving businesses owned by African-Americans. In the 1970’s, the federal government’s Urban Renewal program led to much of this area being destroyed to spur new investment in downtown Rock Hill, SC.
John Ramseur, whose family has owned Robinson’s Funeral Home in Rock Hill, SC for over 100 years, remembers when the area was tore down. At the time, he stated that many business owners and their customers felt these changes were racially motivated. However, former Rock Hill mayor, Betty Jo Rhea, stated that race played no role in the city’s urban renewal agenda.
Historic African-American businesses in this area included the Afro-American Insurance Company, Gathings Drug Store, and Robinson’s Funeral Home.
The monument will feature images and text that prominently showcase the African-American businesses that were located in this district, which resided outside downtown Rock Hill’s main corridor. The monument is being designed to look like a storefront due to the fact that its primary purpose is to honor these Black Businesses and those in the business community.
For more information about Rock Hill’s Black Business District or to take part in the fundraising effort ($100.00 brick campaign) please visit the following link: African-American Cultural Resources Committee or contact the city’s preservation specialist, Janice Miller at 803-817-5129 (phone) or firstname.lastname@example.org (email).
Please visit the link below to learn more:
Group Wants Monument to Remember
Rock Hill’s Black Business District
via The Rock Hill Herald