Claudia Smith Brinson
Claudia Smith Brinson worked as a journalist for 33 years in Florida, Greece, and Columbia, SC, where she was a national columnist and writing coach for Knight-Ridder when the chain owned The State. Her reporting at The State won more than three dozen state and regional awards. The first person to win Knight Ridder’s Award of Excellence twice, she was a member of the team whose Hurricane Hugo coverage was a Pulitzer finalist. She also served as an associate editor on The State editorial board. Her short fiction awards include the O. Henry. She was named an SC Woman of Achievement by the SC Commission on Women and an SC Journalist of the Year by the SC Press Association. From 2006-2016, Brinson held the Harriet Gray Blackwell Endowed Professorship at Columbia College, where she led the Writing for Print and Digital Media program. Her papers are included in the Archiving SC Women Project, Dr. Mary Baskin Waters Collection, at SC Political Collections, USC. “Stories of Struggle: The Clash Over Civil Rights in South Carolina,” published by USC Press, is Brinson’s decades-long investigation into and collection of the personal stories of Black civil rights activists. Brinson interviewed more than 150 activists to tell true stories of white supremacy and civil rights in South Carolina from 1940-1969.