Jannie Harriot, daughter of the late James and Marvell Bradley Harriot, was born in Wilmington, NC and grew up in Hartsville, SC. She graduated from Butler High School in Hartsville, attended Talledega College in Talledega, Alabama and received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, NC. She continued her studies at University of South Carolina and Montclair State College, Montclair, NJ
Ms. Harriot taught in the public schools of North and South Carolina and community colleges in New Jersey before returning to Hartsville, SC in 1990. Since returning, she has served as executive director of several community-based organizations and retired in 2005 as Executive Director of the Allendale County First Steps for School Readiness.
Ms. Harriot served on the board of many community organizations and currently serves as chairperson of the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission and executive director of the South Carolina African American Heritage Foundation.
As the founding chairperson of the Butler Heritage Foundation she was instrumental in getting the Darlington County Board of Education to deed the Butler High School to the Foundation for restoration and preservation.
In 1993 she was appointed as a charter member of the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission by Governor Carroll Campbell. She served as the chairperson for nine years, six years as vicechair person, three years as secretary and currently serves as chairperson. During her tenure as chair, the SCAAHC has published yearly “African American Historic Places in South Carolina” published a “Teachers’ Guide to African American Historic Places in South Carolina and its “Arts Integration Supplement”, a survey of African American schools in South Carolina, “How Did We Get to Now?” and “The Business of Rural Heritage, Culture and Art”, an introductory resource guide for entrepreneurs.
She was a 2009 Purpose Prize Fellow, and in 2010 was selected as one of South Carolina’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence. In 2014 the South Carolina African American Heritage Foundation awarded her the “Herbert A. DeCosta, Jr. Trailblazer’ award for her dedication to the preservation of African American history and culture in South Carolina. In 2018, the South Carolina Conference of NAACP awarded her the Presidential Citation in Education and Advocacy. She is the month of May in the 2019 AT&T African American History Calendar and selected for the first class to be inducted into the first class of the Ernest A. Finney Hall of Fame and awarded “The order of the Palmetto” the highest civilian award for the State of South Carolina.
She is a member of the Household of Faith Church #3 in Hartsville and “Aunt Jannie” to 172
nieces, nephews, grand and great nieces, and nephews.