South Carolina ETV


"The Education of Harvey Gantt" Documents the Tardy yet Peaceful History of the Desegregation of Clemson

For Immediate Release
January 17, 2013

High resolution images are below

SCETV explores the struggle to desegregate Clemson in the documentary The Education of Harvey Gantt, scheduled to premiere on Thursday, February 7 at 8:00 p.m. on ETV.

In 1960, a talented African-American student from Charleston, Harvey Gantt, graduated from high school and decided to become an architect. Clemson College was the only school in South Carolina that offered a degree in his chosen field. Under a “separate but equal” plan called State Aid, South Carolina paid black students who could not find the program they desired at one of South Carolina’s black colleges to attend college out of state, so Harvey Gantt went to the University of Iowa.

But Iowa was cold and far from home, and Gantt applied to transfer to Clemson. His application was turned down 3 times and in July, 1962 Gantt sued the college with the help of NAACP lawyer Matthew J. Perry. Fearing the kind of violent demonstrations that had taken place during the desegregation of other southern schools, South Carolina Governor Ernest F. Hollings and Clemson President Robert C. Edwards planned for Gantt’s peaceful admission to Clemson, even as they fought him in the courts.

In January of 1963 Gantt won his lawsuit and was admitted to Clemson, making him the first African-American student to attend a formerly all-white school in South Carolina.  Even with over 200 reporters at the scene, his arrival at the Clemson campus was non-violent.  The following fall Clemson admitted its first African-American woman, Lucinda Brawley, and she and Gantt were married in 1964.

Gantt graduated with honors from Clemson in 1965 with a bachelor of architecture degree.  He and Lucinda moved to Charlotte, NC, where he co-founded Gantt-Huberman Architects, served on the Charlotte City council and was the mayor pro-tem until 1983, when he was elected Charlotte’s first black mayor.  He won re-election in 1985 and served until 1987. Gantt was nominated twice for the U.S. Senate.

ETV’s award winning producer Betsy Newman directed the documentary. “I feel privileged to be able to tell this pivotal story of civil rights in South Carolina. It’s just one chapter in a much bigger tale of decades of hard work on the part of many people. I hope it can inspire students today to persevere and hold onto their dreams.”

The program is narrated by Tony Award-winning actress and singer Phylicia Rashād and features historic civil rights photographs by Cecil Williams.

 

South Carolina ETV (presenting station) is the state's public educational broadcasting network.  Using television, radio and the web, SCETV's mission is to enrich lives by educating children, informing and connecting citizens, celebrating our culture and environment and instilling the joy of learning.  South Carolina ETV currently presents A Chef’s Life, Expeditions, and For Your Home on public television in addition to national radio productions Song Travels, Piano Jazz, Spoleto Festival USA, and World of Opera.

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Photos may be downloaded for the sole purpose of publicizing this program. To download an image, click on the picture below. A new Web page will open containing the hi-res version. Right click on the hi-res image, and select "Save As" or "Save Picture As."
“The Education of Harvey Gantt” Documents the Tardy yet Peaceful History of Clemson Desegregation
Gantt and reporters upon his entrance to Clemson Jan. 28, 1963.Photo Credit: Cecil Williams
“The Education of Harvey Gantt” Documents the Tardy yet Peaceful History of Clemson Desegregation
Gantt w parents Christopher and Wilhelmina Gantt in front of U.S. District Court.Photo Credit: Cecil Williams

“The Education of Harvey Gantt” Documents the Tardy yet Peaceful History of Clemson Desegregation
GanttSmile Taken on Jan. 23, 1968.Photo Credit Cecil Williams
“The Education of Harvey Gantt” Documents the Tardy yet Peaceful History of Clemson Desegregation
H. Gantt as a Clemson Student.Photo Credit:Cecil Williams


Photos may be downloaded for the sole purpose of publicizing this program. To download an image, click on the picture below. A new Web page will open containing the hi-res version. Right click on the hi-res image, and select "Save As" or "Save Picture As."
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