As a lifelong native, I am a proud South Carolinian. Sure, there are some downsides—although having the highest number of trailer parks per capita in the country is not something to be ashamed of—but there’s many a gem to be found in the palmetto state.
Everyone knows Pat Conroy, SC native and world renowned author, and Aziz Ansari, SC Governor’s School alumni, but here are a few more artists and authors to check out if you feel like reppin’ for our state.
Shovels and Rope
The rock/folk duo, “Shovels and Rope”, hails from Charleston and is definitely worthy of your time. Their breakout single, “Birmingham”, is an epic ode to life on the road and their debut album “O’ Be Joyful” is full of southern folk jams. Their fusion of rock, folk and blues blends to create a unique sound that elicits images of Spanish moss and the Battery—quintessentially Charleston. Members Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent met in Charleston and still live there. Their newest album “Little Seeds” will be available October 7th, but check out the two singles from the album, “St. Anne’s Parade” and “I Know”, or their duet with fellow South Carolina-natives Needtobreathe: “GREAT NIGHT”.
What? South Carolina has its very own superhero? Why yes, we do. The titular hero for Netflix’s latest Marvel installment is played by Mike Colter, a native of Columbia and a Gamecock. The Benedict College and U of SC alumnus has appeared in multiple film and television roles but is most famous for his work as Luke Cage, the man with impenetrable skin. He now has his very own Netflix show, but also catch Colter as Luke Cage in season one of “Jessica Jones”, another of Marvel’s Netflix series. Eventually, Colter will appear with the other Netflix superheroes in the series “The Defenders”, which is basically a grittier, more realistic version of the Avengers. Colter has also appeared in “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Million Dollar Baby”, so, yeah, he’s a badass.
The Hub City Writers Project
The Hub City Writers Project is based in Spartanburg (Sparkle City, for out-of-staters) and is focused on helping local writers hone their craft and publish their works. They provide workshops and scholarships, but their piece-de-resistance has to be the 66 books they have published in the last 19 years, all supporting authors from in and around SC. You probably don’t want to make a road trip to Spartanburg to visit their bookshop, but their website has all of their works listed. They publish novels, non-fiction and poetry, so there’s something for everyone—even those of us who still prefer picture books.