Orangeburg Massacre: A Conversation with Henry Smith's Sister

REPOST: February 8, 2022 is the 54th anniversary.

Ora Sue Smith Hughes shares memories about her brother, Henry Smith (1948-1968), one of the three slain victims in the Orangeburg Massacre. South Carolina State College student Henry Smith had an interest in the growing civil rights movement, admiring leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. His death continues to impact the family, even the generation who didn't have the opportunity to know him in person.

On the evening of February 8, 1968, SCSU students started a bonfire on the front of campus which is located in Orangeburg, South Carolina. As police and firefighters attempted to put out the fire, officer David Shealy was injured by a thrown object. As a result, South Carolina Highway Patrol officers fired shots at the protestors.

The Orangeburg Massacre: Remembrances and Reckoning commemorated the 50th anniversary of this tragic event, as survivors, participants and officials share their remembrances and struggle to provide some sense of reckoning and hopes for closure.