CHARLESTON, SC (WCIV) — Friday was a historic day in the Holy City. For the first time ever, an African-American was sworn in as Charleston County’s Register of Deeds.A familiar face in county politics takes over the seat. Michael Miller used to be on the Charleston County School Board. Now, he’s the first African-American elected register of deeds in the 238 years the county has voted on the position.
“It has such a huge historical context to it, I am still wrapping my mind around how significant it truly is,” says Miller.
“I would like to welcome you to the swearing in ceremony for my daddy Michael Miller, our newly elected register of deeds,” Miller’s 10-year-old daughter said at the swearing-in.
The register of deeds registers property within the county.“Who do you call when you have an issue with your property? Most residents who are homeowners have no idea what the office is or its function,” said Miller.
Frustrated by the system and lack of visibility, Miller says that’s why he ran, at first not even realizing the historical impact of his political pursuit.
“It’s always empowering when you can see more diversity in your community and after 238 years, there hasn’t been a person of color ever to even file, much less get elected to it,” says Anton Gunn, a former state representative who came to the swearing-in ceremony. Grammy-nominated trumpeter Charlton Singleton played “America the Beautiful” for the occasion.
“Anytime that you can have some sort of change like this, I think it’s in the best interest of all of the citizens, not just the African-American community but everybody,” says Singleton. And maybe paving the way for the next generation.
“When I grow up I want to be the president of the United States,” Miller’s daughter said, adding her daddy has big plans to help the community.