Posted By Bill Payer on Apr 26, 2021 | 0 comments

Congressman James Clyburn thinks it’s time for proper recognition of the role Clarendon County played in the Civil Rights struggle.

James Clyburn

According to Brian Hicks of the Post & Courier…

“Clyburn asked a subcommittee of Congress’ Natural Resources Committee to add two Clarendon County schools to the National Park System. Those schools — Scotts Branch and Summerton High — are where the fight to end school segregation began in the 1940s. What happened there led directly to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education.

This would, Clyburn said, “provide a more robust, inclusive appreciation of the remarkable bravery that was led by those who integrated public schools.”

He’s absolutely right. Without the people of Clarendon County, there is no Brown v. Board — easily the most important Supreme Court ruling of the 20th century.”

To read the entire P&C article CLICK HERE

The website TurningPointSouthCarolina says “In the late 1940s, Thurgood Marshall and other NAACP Legal Defense Fund lawyers agreed to represent Harry and Eliza Briggs and 19 other courageous parents from Clarendon County in challenging poor conditions and limited opportunities in schools for local African-American children. Their case, Briggs v. Elliott, named for the lead plaintiffs and the local school superintendent, was one of five cases before the U.S. Supreme Court as part of Brown v. Board of Education. READ MORE HERE

Another great source is the Civil Rights Digital Library. CLICK HERE  

And there’s a fascinating 2016 story from Columbia’s The State newspaper how the pioneering efforts of the Briggs family got short shrift in history. CLICK HERE

In this 2002 photo, Harry Briggs Jr. points to his father in a 1949 group photo of those who signed the petition that led to desegregation of public school. Lou Krasky File photo/AP

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