Claflin and South Carolina State College students participating in a freedom march on Russell Street in Orangeburg, near the parking lot of Winn-Dixie - 1960. Cecil Williams. Untitled. 1960, printed 2008. silver gelatin 16" x 16". Image courtesy of the SC Arts Commission.
Many South Carolinians participated in the struggle for equal rights, including Septima Poinsette Clark, Modjeska Monteith Simkins, and the participants in the landmark Briggs v. Elliott court case.
Civil Rights Movement in South Carolina
- Civil Rights Era Timeline
Learn more about civil rights events in Southern states, including Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
- Road Trip!
Take virtual tours of historical places in South Carolina and learn about important events from the civil rights movement.
- Orangeburg Massacre
On the night of February 8th, 1968, three students were killed by police gunfire on the South Carolina State University campus in Orangeburg. Find out more about this incident that became known as the Orangeburg Massacre.
- The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow
Read stories of people and personal narratives, explore the interactive maps, and learn about the struggles of African Americans against government-sanctioned segregation.
- The Friendship 9
Students in Rock Hill went to jail after staging a sit-in at a segregated McCrory's lunch counter in 1961.
- Road Trip! People in South Carolina
Meet the people involved in the Civil Rights Movement in South Carolina.
- Eliza Briggs
Eliza and Harry Briggs were the petitioners in the important school desegregation case, Briggs v. Elliott.
- Septima Clark
Septima Clark was an African American educator and activist for equal rights who worked with the NAACP and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Mary McLeod Bethune
Mary McLeod Bethune opened a school for poor African American children in Daytona, Florida and worked as an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Photographs and Video
- Martin Luther King speaks in Kingstree, SC May 9, 1966
Watch a video of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Kingstree speaking on voting.
- Images of a People's Movement
Scroll down the page to see images of sit-ins in Orangeburg in 1960.
- c.1948 Insurance Photos used in the Briggs v. Elliott case
See photographs of the African American school and all-white school involved in the Briggs v. Elliott case in Summerton, SC.
- Booker T. Washington painting
William H. Johnson from Florence, SC painted this folk art picture of Booker T. Washington, an influential leader and educator in the African American community from 1890-1915.
Modjeska Monteith Simkins
|Modjeska Monteith Simkins House in Columbia, SC. Image courtesy of the Historic Columbia Foundation.|
Modjeska Simkins was an African American civil rights activist who was the Secretary of the NAACP in South Carolina and helped write the court case for Briggs v. Elliott.