“Lately, an effort has been made by scholars, journalists and veterans of the civil rights movement to draw attention to South Carolina’s often underappreciated contributions to the advancement of freedom and democracy in the United States.
The protests of the 1960s generally invoke references to the Alabama cities of Birmingham and Montgomery, or to the 1964 effort to register Black Mississippians to vote. The civil rights movement, in the popular imagination, was about an Atlanta-raised preacher named Martin Luther King Jr. who led marches and gave compelling speeches about nonviolence and America’s two-tiered society.
Some maybe conjure ideas about Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael and the Black Panthers — a more militant strain of the movement that gained traction in the second half of the 1960s and early 1970s.
But for Bobby Donaldson, director of the University of South Carolina’s Center for Civil Rights History and Research, all that is but the tip of a very large iceberg.
For Donaldson, the civil rights movement really began with the first slave revolt, and it continues today in the form of the Black Lives Matter movement, and confrontations with forms of white supremacy. South Carolina, he points out, is no bit player. It has played a leading role.
The National Park Service agrees, and to bolster Donaldson’s efforts it has pledged $3.4 million over five years to expand the center’s research and programming. The money will help pay for exhibits and education at a variety of historic sites throughout the state, sites that are part of the National Park Service’s expanding African American Civil Rights Network. The grant also will fund oral history projects and archival work, teacher training and staffing.” To read the rest of this important Post & Courier article CLICK HERE. Note: non-subscribers will encounter a paywall.