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History Marches On

Feb 06, 2024

MTC students, faculty, staff, alumni pose for a group photo during their interactive Black History Month walking tour in downtown Columbia, SC.

In honor of Black History Month, MTC students, alumni, faculty, and staff gathered in downtown Columbia to participate in the “Columbia SC 63: Our Story Matters” interactive tour. Columbia SC 63 was established in 2012 with a mission to share the stories of the men and women who participated in South Carolina’s march toward freedom.

Chelsea Marlowe, an MTC Mathematics major, heard about the tour through one of her professors. “It was pretty interesting to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement and involvement of different people in it,” Marlowe said. “I decided to come because I love learning more about our history, and history can repeat itself; so the more we learn, the better off we are.”

Dr. Anthony (Tony) Scotti, MTC professor and history coordinator in the Humanities Department, organized the outing as part of ongoing student history events at the college. Scotti gave brief descriptions at each stop on the tour, but primarily let the group experience the tour at their pace. 

“As the students and group went through the tour, there were some small group discussions, but for the most part, I observed quiet reflection,” said Scotti. They were quiet, but not passive. My hope is they, like me, came away with a greater appreciation of the many contributions of people in our own city in the fight for freedom nationwide.”

One history major, Bryan Staples, said, “I try to always go to the history club get togethers. I didn’t know very much about the specific Civil Rights Movements within Columbia. And I’m a history student, so I love history.” 

Bryan Gaspar, an MTC alumnus, still comes to many MTC history student events, even though he has now transferred to USC. “I’m still in contact with the history department at the school. The professors there have maintained a relationship with me, so I try to make it to the events for the history club. Today was a good opportunity to take a walking tour and learn a little bit more about local history and civil rights and segregation in Columbia.” 

Jonathan Dykes, an Associate in Arts major, said, “I think people should know about this; people should come. We should have more exhibits like this that explain what happened … Hopefully learning this type of history will help make a difference, and solve problems in the world.” He added, “I’m always curious about what is going on in the world; I’m worried about the future, but I enjoy events like these and also getting knowledge.”

Columbia SC 63 is a partnership of the City of Columbia, Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, Historic Columbia Foundation, and the University of South Carolina. Learn more at

Dr. Scotti talks with the walking tour participants.
Walking tour participants read a sign along Main Street in downtown Columbia.
Black History artifacts displayed at a museum.