Saturday, September 26, 2015
"Destiny's People": the controversial history of the Palmetto State
“Destiny’s People: Stories from South Carolina” by Don Koonce (30 min.) plays at the State Museum in Columbia, S.C., and presents a view of colonial history as itself part of a Civil War. The film does not diminish the fact that the demand for luxury clothing based on hand-spun cotton increased the demand for the crop even in the 1700s and helped promote slavery, even to brutal extremes.
The film then does cover the role of Fort Sumter, and the hardships of reconstruction (and the economic abuses of sharecropping), before S.C. turned itself into a manufacturing hub, especially for textiles, during and right after World War II. Manufacturing would decline with the globalization in the 1980s.
The film is narrated by a bearded man (Koonce?) talking to children, as if teaching a history class.
The Museum also offers a 10 minute short “History of the Columbia Mill”, which is the story of the renovated building that the Museum is now in. The Confederate Relic Room is now housed there, and the official Confederate flag (removed from the Capitol recently) is not yet displayed because of political issues. The section also has some material from Fort Jackson regarding the Vietnam War, and that is welcome since civilian visitors are currently not allowed on the post to see the Post museums without military escort during the heightened alert status. The SC Military Museum near the USC campus and stadium also has some Ft. Jachson material.