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Hinton, James Miles



“H” is for Hinton, James Miles [1891-1970]. Clergyman, businessman, civil rights leader.  A native North Carolinian, Hinton began his business career in Augusta with the black-owned Pilgrim Health and Life Insurance Company. In 1939, he moved to Columbia and rapidly earned a reputation as a businessman and minister. He was elected president of the Columbia branch of the NAACP. In 1941 he became president of the state conference of the NAACP, a position he held until 1958. Under his leadership black teachers gained equal salaries with whites and black voters won the right to vote in the Democratic Primary. By the 1950s he was vocally opposing the doctrine that he said was “separate but never equal.” Because he dared openly to espouse racial equality, James Miles Hinton was abducted, beaten, and left face down in the countryside.

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