The Mann-Simons Site was settled by Celia Mann and Ben Delane – freed slaves from Charleston and subsequently, the property expanded from a hybrid domestic-work place into the spiritual and community center of the neighborhood – former free slave settlements, turned predominantly African American – from 1843 until the late 1970s. Since 1978, the Mann-Simons Site has served as a center for culture and education in the African American community with a multifaceted mission to:
1. Create opportunities for individuals to learn and explore the history of Columbia and diverse experiences of African Americans in Columbia,
2. Use experiences of the Mann-Simons family as a lens into what it means to be an American, and explore how the histories and experiences of individuals are shaped and informed by larger political- economic, gender, race and class considerations.