Walter Edgar

What Does Freedom Mean? The Agency of Black People Before and After Emancipation

By Walter Edgar

Juneteenth Celebration, Texas 1905On June 19th, 1865, Union general Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston, Texas, that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free. The news of Emancipation had finally come to the state. Today, this day is celebrated as Juneteenth. What did it mean to these newly freed people to "be free"? What power, or "agency" did freedom bring? What agency had the enslaved managed to create before Emancipation? Dr. Heather Andrea Williams of Pennsylvania State University has spent her career putting black people at the center of the histories she has written. She joins Dr. Walter Edgar for...

"S" is for South Carolina Equal Suffrage League

By Walter Edgar

South Carolina From A to Z"S" is for South Carolina Equal Suffrage League. The South Carolina Equal Suffrage League (SCESL) was formed by the Spartanburg New Era Club and other members of the white South Carolina Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1914. Hannah Hemphill Coleman was elected the first president of the organization—which was affiliated with the National American Woman Suffrage Association. By 1917, the membership of the SCESL had grown to twenty-five clubs and some three thousand members. The organization lobbied the Democratic Party and the General Assembly to put the question of woman suffrage before the...

Outside Agitator: The Civil Rights Struggle of Cleveland Sellers Jr.

By Walter Edgar

Dr. Cleveland Sellers(Originally broadcast 10/26/18) - In 1968 state troopers gunned down black students protesting the segregation of a South Carolina bowling alley, killing three and injuring 28. The Orangeburg Massacre was one of the most violent moments of the Southern civil rights movement, and only one person served prison time in its aftermath: a young black man by the name of Cleveland Sellers Jr. Many years later, the state would recognize that Sellers was a scapegoat in that college campus tragedy and would issue a full pardon. Outside Agitator: The Civil Rights Struggle of Cleveland Sellers Jr. (2018,...

The State of Southern Cuisine

By Walter Edgar

Shrimp and grits, 21st century style.January and February gave us the State of the Union address and the State of the State address – important stuff. But, for a Southerner, there are specific, important areas of life in these United States that these addresses didn't cover – areas that we need to check on once in a while. So, in early 2019, what is the State of Southern Cuisine? Is it still making inroads in the food ways of other sections of the country? Are chain restaurants affecting what people in the South call ‘Southern Food?’ Who is innovating Southern Cuisine while staying true to traditions? To find out, Walter Edgar...

Columbia Native Brings Stories to the Big Screen

By Walter Edgar

Actor Jeremy Irvine portrays William Pitsenbarger in The Last Full Measure.The film producer, actor, and Columbia Native Julian Adams joins Walter Edgar to talk about his new film, The Last Full Measure , and to talk about his journey into the world of filmmaking. Adam’s previous features include Phantom (2013) and Amy Cook: The Spaces in Between (2009). The Last Full Measure tells the true story of William Pitsenbarger (Jeremy Irvine), an Air Force medic who saved over sixty men in one of the harshest battles of the Vietnam War. Offered the chance to escape on the last helicopter out of the combat zone, Pitsenbarger stayed behind to save and defend the lives of his...

Liberia, South Carolina: An African American Appalachian Community

By Walter Edgar

Soapstone Baptist Church sign, Liberia, S.C.In 2007, while researching mountain culture in upstate South Carolina, anthropologist John M. Coggeshall stumbled upon the small community of Liberia in the Blue Ridge foothills. There he met Mable Owens Clarke and her family, the remaining members of a small African American community still living on land obtained immediately after the Civil War. In his new book, Liberia, South Carolina: An African American Appalachian Community This intimate history tells the story of five generations of the Owens family and their friends and neighbors, chronicling their struggles through slavery,...

"G" is for Grimké, Sarah Moore and Angelina Emily Grimké

By Walter Edgar

Sarah Moore and Angelina Emily Grimké"G" is for Grimké, Sarah Moore and Angelina Emily Grimké. Although members of the upper echelon of South Carolina society, the Grimké sisters rejected a privileged lifestyle rooted in a slave economy and became nationally known abolitionists. Both were members of the Ladies Benevolent Society and visited the homes of poor whites and free blacks in the city. By 1830, both sisters had moved to Philadelphia. They joined the American Antislavery Society and became the first female antislavery agents—speaking out against racial prejudice and using their firsthand experiences in South Carolina as...

Journalist Robert Cox and the Newspaper That Published Dangerous Truths

By Walter Edgar

Robert Cox (with Maria Hinojosa, WGBH, Boston)(Originally broadcast 01/19/18) - The Buenos Aires Herald ceased publication in July of 2017, almost 141 years after its founding. The paper became famous, however, only in the latter part of the 20th century, for exposing the forced disappearances of Argentinians during the 1976-83 military dictatorship. Other newspapers in the country whitewashed this chapter of Argentina’s history. The English-language paper’s editor during this dangerous, violent period was British journalist Robert Cox. The Charleston resident joins Walter Edgar to talk about how and why he transformed his newspaper into...

Parks Tell Unheard Stories of the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution

By Walter Edgar

John Slaughter, Superintendent of US Park Service's Southern Campaign of the American Revolution Parks group.(Originally broadcast 10/13/17) - The Southern Campaign was critical in determining the outcome of the American Revolutionary War, yet the South’s importance has been downplayed in most historical accounts to date. The National Park Service has recognized the importance of the Southern Campaign with the creation of its Southern Campaign of the American Revolution Parks group. The group includes Cowpens National Battlefield, Kings Mountain National Military Park, Ninety Six National Historic Site, and Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail. Walter Edgar talks with John Slaughter,...

South Carolina State University: A Black Land-Grant College in Jim Crow America

By Walter Edgar

S.C. State University logoSince its founding in 1896, South Carolina State University has provided vocational, undergraduate, and graduate education for generations of African Americans. Now the state’s flagship historically black university, it achieved this recognition after decades of struggling against poverty, inadequate infrastructure and funding, and social and cultural isolation. In South Carolina State University: A Black Land-Grant College in Jim Crow America , William C. Hine examines South Carolina State’s complicated start, its slow and long-overdue transition to a degree-granting university, and its...

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