Black History Month: Celebrating Those Who Came Before Us
James Whitt (1946 - 2021)
James Whitt was dedicated to motivating, inspiring and uplifting the Columbia community. He served on the Columbia Public Schools Board of Education from 2010 to 2018. During his tenure, he championed diverse hiring practices and worked on several projects to push for equity for students.
His passion for the community led him to work with the Sharp End Heritage Committee, of which he became chairman in 2016. The committee was named for Columbia's iconic Black business district, The Sharp End, which was destroyed by urban renewal in the 1960s. Mr. Whitt worked tirelessly to help establish the African American Heritage Trail. The trail has 22 historical makers that memorialize the history of the Black community in Columbia, including the Sharp End. The trail is part of the learning experience for Columbia Public School scholars. Scholars have the opportunity to walk the two-mile trail while learning about the influential people and institutions that existed in Columbia.