African American History

Robert Smalls

Robert Smalls

In 1862, Robert Smalls, an enslaved crew-member of the CSS Planter, steals the boat, sails it past the heavily armed defenses of Charleston Harbor in South Carolina and delivers it into the hands of the Union forces further out. The bold act makes Smalls a hero in the North, an outlaw throughout the Confederacy and a powerful symbol of hope and freedom to the enslaved people of the South.

Ronald Erwin McNair

Ronald Erwin McNair

Inducted into the South Carolina Hall Of Fame, Ronald McNair was the second African-American to go into space, and was part of the STS-51L crew that died when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after lift-off in 1986.

February 6, 1968 - All Star Bowling Lanes Protest Turns Violent

By Beryl Dakers

Dr. Emma McCain

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ordered all public places and schools to desegregate and serve blacks and whites equally. For four years, from 1964 to 1968, Orangeburg's All Star Bowling Lanes refused to obey the Act and continued to turn away African Americans

On February 6, 1968, 300 students from South Carolina State and Claflin College demonstrated in the parking lot of All Star Bowling Lanes. They were met by 100 law enforcement officers who beat them with sticks and drove them away. 

Orangeburg Massacre: A Conversation with Henry Smith's Sister

By Beryl Dakers

Ora Sue Smith Hughes

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.

Orangeburg Massacre: South Carolina and National Response to Tragedy

By Beryl Dakers

Police officers with guns

Representative James E. Clyburn sits down with South Carolina ETV to talk about the country and South Carolina's response to the Orangeburg Massacre.

Clyburn also compares how the Kent State shooting of 1970, which occurred two years after the Orangeburg Massacre, received far more attention and outcry from the public.

David Drake aka “Dave the Potter”

Dave the Potter

David Drake was an enslaved African American in Edgefield, South Carolina during the first three quarters of the nineteenth century.  He’s known today for the magnificent quality of the pots he made, the size of the pots, and he wrote poems on some of his pots—during an era when it was a crime for slaves to know how to read and write.

The Orangeburg Massacre: Alumni Discuss Lifelong Effects and the FBI Investigation

By Ty Moody

Fifty years later,  SC State University Alumni gather for a conversation about the lifelong effects of the Orangeburg Massacre a

Fifty years later, South Carolina State University (SCSU) Alumni gather for a conversation about the lifelong effects of the Orangeburg Massacre and the final FBI investigation report.

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 50 Years Later: Remembrances

By Ty Moody

SC State University Alumni gather for a conversation about the tragic event that occurred on February 8, 1968.

South Carolina State University (SCSU) Alumni gather for a conversation about the tragic event that occurred on February 8, 1968.

Fifty years ago, 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. Three young men were killed and many students were injured.

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