The World of Cecil

The life of renowned Civil Rights photographer, Cecil J. Williams

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About the Documentary

The World of Cecil is a two-hour documentary about the life of renowned Civil Rights photographer, Cecil J. Williams of Orangeburg. Using Williams' photographs as the impetus, the programs explore many of the less heralded South Carolina events, which Williams believes to be not only significant, but pivotal, to the national civil rights movement. Along the way, we learn much about this multi-talented man of many interests and pursuits.

The World of Cecil: Part One

The journey of acclaimed photographer Cecil J. Williams unfolds, beginning with insights into his early life and influences, and progressing through his documentation of pivotal civil rights moments in South Carolina. Williams captured events such as Thurgood Marshall's arrival for Briggs v. Elliott, marking the start of his remarkable journey. This program uses Williams' photos to uncover overlooked South Carolina civil rights events: the pre-Montgomery Orangeburg Freedom Movement, student protests, Clemson University's integration and the Edwards v. South Carolina case. Williams emerges not only as a photographer but also as a multifaceted innovator, historian, artist, inventor, architect and solar energy pioneer.

Explore the life of acclaimed civil rights photographer, Cecil J. Williams. With his photographs as benchmarks, learn more about some of the most significant South Carolina events and understand their importance to the national civil rights movement. Innovative and creative, Cecil Williams is revealed to be a man of many talents and pursuits.

The World of Cecil: Part Two

Continues the exploration of South Carolina's Civil Rights history, guided by the lens and dedication of acclaimed photographer Cecil J. Williams. Beginning with the 1969 Charleston Hospital Strike, the final major civil rights protest of the 20th century in the U.S., learn how Williams captured his impactful photos. Some of Williams' diverse pursuits are unveiled— from early ventures into solar technology to a brief stint in politics. Amidst interviews with colleagues and friends, Williams shares his aspirations and the driving force behind his ambitious project—the Cecil J. Williams South Carolina Civil Rights Museum.

The story of Cecil J. Williams continues the examination of the life of acclaimed Civil Rights Photographer, Cecil J. Williams. From the Charleston Hospital Strike of 1969, and the mass firing of the Elloree Teachers, this program continues to revisit civil rights events through the lens provided by Cecil Williams. Participants, (including former Ambassador and SCLC leader Andrew Young) along with friends and colleagues share personal insights into Williams’ myriad of ventures and experiences.