The People of Clarendon County

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs will present the historic play “The People of Clarendon County” on Sunday, February 19, 2012 as part of the Southeast Regional Black Male Summit in Columbia, SC. The play tells how the black citizens of Clarendon County fought for equal educational rights for their children in the 1940s and 1950s. SC Humanities supported this project with a Mini Grant in January 2012.

“The People of Clarendon County” was written by the late actor Ossie Davis in 1955 and was performed once by Davis, Ruby Dee, and Sidney Poitier in New York before fading into obscurity. The play was unearthed by Alice Bernstein in 2004 and has since been performed several times in South Carolina and across the country. The play’s plot is based on the real conflict over equal educational rights in Summerton, SC that resulted in Briggs v. Elliott, the first of the five cases that were combined into the landmark Brown v. Board of Education suit.

“The People of Clarendon County” will be performed by scholar Alice Bernstein and several other professional actors on February 19, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, 2011 Bush River Road, Columbia, SC 29210. The program will also feature the Benedict College Theatre Ensemble with musical accompaniment by the Allen University Choir. The event is free and open to the public; however, reservations are recommended. More information about the Southeast Regional Black Male Summit can be found on the website of the SC Commission for Minority Affairs: To register, call toll-free at 888-262-5310 or register online at:

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. SC Humanities programs and initiatives are balanced, reflecting sensitivity to the diversity of ideas, encourage open dialogue, demonstrate integrity, and are ethical in operations.