Campus News

Book tells story behind first school for former slaves

Penn Center: A History Preserved
Orville Vernon Burton and Wilbur Cross
UGA Press

The Gullah people of St. Helena Island still say that their people wanted to “catch the learning” after Northern abolitionists founded Penn School in 1862, less than six months after the Union army captured the South Carolina sea islands.

In Penn Center: A History Preserved, Orville Vernon Burton and Wilbur Cross tell a broad story that ranges across the past 150 years to reacquaint readers with the far-reaching impact of a place where many daring and innovative social justice endeavors had their beginnings.

Here is all of Penn Center’s rich past and present, as told through the experiences of its longtime Gullah inhabitants and countless visitors.