A South Carolina Historical Legacy
An American Cultural Treasure

Tucked in the heart of the South Carolina Sea Islands surrounded by glimmering marshes and nestled beneath the silvery moss-draped limbs of massive live oaks, is Penn Center. It is the site of the former Penn School, one of the country's first schools for freed slaves.

Penn Center is one of the most significant African American historical and cultural institutions in existence today. We are located on St. Helena Island, one of the most beautiful and historically distinct of the South Carolina Sea Islands, and at the heart of Gullah culture. 


Penn Center is a multi-service 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Please consider helping to support our museum and public educational programs by making a donation or volunteering your time.