Claflin University will commemorate the 50th anniversary of public school desegregation in South Carolina with a public symposium on September 4, 2013. “From Brown (1954) to Brown (1963) and Beyond: The Challenges of Advancing Educational Equity in SC” will feature several panels about the legal history of desegregation, the lived experiences of desegregation pioneers, and the future of educational equity in our state. SC Humanities supported this program with a Mini Grant in June 2013.
In 1963, eleven black students in Charleston were the first to serve as school desegregation pioneers in South Carolina. The “From Brown (1954) to Brown (1963) and Beyond: The Challenges of Advancing Educational Equity in SC” symposium is scheduled for the exact day, fifty years later, of the state’s first attempt to end legal segregation in public education.
Four main panels are planned for the symposium:
In the first panel, Professor Derek Black from the University of South Carolina School of Law and Minerva King the original plaintiff in the Charleston case will talk about the legal and historical processes used to bring South Carolina into compliance with Brown v. Board of Education.
The second panel will feature “first children,” the pioneers who first entered previously all-white schools, to share their experiences with desegregation across the state.
The third panel will feature education advocate Montez Martin, former Charleston School Superintendent Dr. Ron McWhirt, former Sumter school board member and former State Department of Education administrator James Solomon, and President of Burke High School Foundation Dr. Barbara D. Dilligard discussing the successful and failed efforts made to dismantle “Jim Crow” schooling for blacks in the state since 1963.
Finally, the fourth panel will include a carefully guided discussion with educational leaders and policy makers laying out the current strategies and discussing new approaches for addressing South Carolina’s lingering problems with educational inequity and re-segregation.
The “From Brown (1954) to Brown (1963) and Beyond: The Challenges of Advancing Educational Equity in SC” will be offered on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC. In addition to being open to the public, the symposium will also be viewed by viewing audiences across the region, including Savannah State, South Carolina State University, Voorhees College, Clemson University, and the College of Charleston.
For more information about the symposium and other viewing sites please contact Dr. Millicent Brown at 803-535-5688.
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