Resistance, Reform, and Reasoning: The Orangeburg Massacre

South Carolina State University will present programming in February and March 2018 intended to establish inter-generational dialogue regarding the changing meaning and significance of the term “Civil Rights” and commemorate and re-contextualize the Orangeburg Massacre. A variety of events are planned, including two art exhibitions, film screenings, and a community colloquium. SC Humanities supported this programming with a Major Grant in September 2017.

The goal of “Resistance, Reform, and Reasoning: The Orangeburg Massacre” is to bring the processes of the human capacity for reasoning to understanding this complicated moment in South Carolina’s history in a new context. Using the tools of photography, visual culture, and social media, the I.P. Stanback Museum at South Carolina State University will undertake to engender a critical conversation around the important role of civic engagement by students and young people in shaping the society in which we live.

Planned events include:

February 8, 2018 – Cecil Williams  book signing and photographic exhibition, pertaining to The Aftermath of the Orangeburg Massacre. 

February 8, 2018 – An Exhibition of Artworks: The Orangeburg Massacre 50 Years Later~ Tragedy and  Legacy – Artists Responses to this difficult, historic cultural event from our past

February 15, 2018 – Film Screening: Black Panthers  Vanguard of the Revolution, film by Stanley Nelson, at the IP Stanback Museum & Planetarium.

February 22, 2018, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. – Community Colloquium; Dr. Leo Twiggs & Mr.  Cecil Williams will discuss the creative documentation of loss, injustice, and social turmoil.

March 1, 2018 – Film Screening: Free Angela Davis and All Political Prisoners at the I. P. Stanback Museum & Planetarium

March 22, 2018 – Film viewing and Colloquium: Talking Black in America with a discourse on the film’s content presented by Dr. Tracey Weldon, Associate Dean & Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of South Carolina; The I. P. Stanback Museum & Planetarium

March 29, 2018, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. – Colloquium on “Who Sits at the Table and Why? Gender, Inclusion, and Equity” at The I. P. Stanback Museum & Planetarium. The panelists for Thursday evening are: Vivian Glover, NBC News journalist and producer from Orangeburg, South Carolina; Dr. Alison McLetchie, SC State alumna, anthropologist, sociologist and Claflin University faculty member and Michaela Pilar Brown, conceptual artist, curator and social activist from Columbia, South Carolina.

For more information about this programming, please contact the I.P. Stanback Museum & Planetarium at 803-536-7174.

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 20-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.


Cecil Williams
Leonard Glover Demonstrates Against Segregation, Columbia, SC
Leonard Glover was a participant in a lunch counter sit-in demonstration at Woolworth’s Department Store in Columbia when he was stabbed by an unknown Caucasian assailant.  After his wound healed, Glover adroitly returned to the picket lines to fight against racially motivated acts of terrorism, including demonstrating at the Kress Store in Orangeburg.
c. 1960s
IPSM 94.01.37
Images enlarged and digitally enhanced by Giordano Angeletti