“Justice for All” Traveling Exhibit in Columbia

The Center for Civil Rights History and Research at the University of South Carolina has created a traveling exhibit based on the archival exhibit “Justice for All: South Carolina and the American Civil Rights Movement” that was on display at the Hollings Special Collections Library from February – August 2019.  The exhibit will be on display in Columbia at Martin Luther King Jr. Park through August 21, 2022. SC Humanities supported this project with a Major Grant.

The “Justice for All” traveling exhibit highlights some of South Carolina’s largely overlooked chapters in the national Civil Rights Movement, such as when Sarah Mae Fleming was ejected from a bus in downtown Columbia in 1954 for sitting in the whites’ only section and the Citizenship School opened by Esau Jenkins, Septima Clark, and Bernice Robinson on Johns Island in 1957. The exhibit shares about the roots of the movement, education, public demonstrations, public segregation, voting rights, economic rights, and the legacy of the movement.

“Students and visitors to the exhibit will learn about individuals and institutions who struggled for and demanded racial justice in South Carolina and across the country,” said Dr. Bobby Donaldson, professor of history and the Executive Director of the Center for Civil Rights History and Research. “The materials cover a broad time span, from Reconstruction through the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and will allow visitors to see firsthand the struggles of those who pushed for equal rights and the efforts of those who worked to curtail them.”

Comprised of interpretive panels; video, audio, and interactive elements; reproductions and images of items in University collections; and artifacts, the “Justice for All” traveling exhibit will allow more South Carolinians to learn about the Civil Rights history of our state and to make specific and local connections to those stories. Additionally, the traveling exhibition was designed with groups and students in mind. Traveling trunks with materials and lesson plans for students are available. Groups may request a guided tour or a traveling trunk by emailing the Center, sccivilrights@sc.edu. In addition to funding from SC Humanities, this exhibit received support from the Central Carolina Community Foundation and the Williams Company.

“Justice for All: South Carolina and the American Civil Rights Movement” will be on display at Martin Luther King Jr. Park from May 16 – August 21, 2022. Located at 2300 Greene Street in Columbia, the exhibit is viewable in the rec center on Mondays – Thursdays (7:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.), Fridays (7:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.), Saturdays (10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.), and Sundays (2:00 – 7:00 p.m.).

The “Justice for All” traveling exhibit will be available to travel to other cultural organizations and public venues in South Carolina in 2022 and 2023. For more information about this opportunity, contact the Center for Civil Rights History and Research at the University of South Carolina at 803-777-2220 or sccivilrights@sc.edu.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 21-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.

Image courtesy of WIS Collection in the Moving Image Research Collection