Orangeburg Massacre to George Floyd: How Change Came to SC Protests for Racial JusticeBreaking News
tags: racism, 1968, South Carolina, Protest
After white state troopers on the S.C. State campus in Orangeburg shot to death three unarmed black students in 1968 and wounded 27 more, protest marches took place afterwards but soon died off.
Those protests were by black students from African-American colleges. Few, if any, whites joined in. Except for a brief flurry of initial stories, the national news media hardly covered what is now known as the “Orangeburg Massacre.”
“They couldn’t generate any support because the governor (Robert McNair) was saying this is something that is going to pass,” Cleveland Sellers, 75, who at the time was a civil rights activist helping to organize students at S.C. State and was wounded in the shooting, told The State last week.
The contrast between protests over the Orangeburg killings of unarmed African Americans in 1968 — a watershed year of upheaval just as 2020 is — and today’s protests over the violent death of a lone black man in police custody in some ways could not be more different.
For one thing, instead of being largely ignored, the May 25 killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, 46, by a white police officer has caused hundreds of thousands — maybe millions of Americans — to hit the nation’s streets in protest. Demonstrations have erupted around the world in places like Australia, Paris, London and small S.C. towns like Boiling Springs as well as in the state’s major cities of Columbia, Charleston and Greenville.
Widespread attention on Floyd’s death has been driven by technology. At the time of his death, Floyd was handcuffed on the ground, the heavy knee of a Minneapolis police officer on his neck, suffocating him to death. It took nearly nine minutes for him to die. A bystander’s cell phone camera captured the event, and social media — not available in 1968 — spread the video, which in turn has led to massive turnouts of people in a short period of time, said Bobby Donaldson, director of the University of South Carolina’s Center on Civil Rights History and Research.
comments powered by Disqus
- Josh Hawley Earns F in Early American History
- Does Germany's Holocaust Education Give Cover to Nativism?
- "Car Brain" Has Long Normalized Carnage on the Roads
- Hawley's Use of Fake Patrick Henry Quote a Revealing Error
- Health Researchers Show Segregation 100 Years Ago Harmed Black Health, and Effects Continue Today
- Nelson Lichtenstein on a Half Century of Labor History
- Can America Handle a 250th Anniversary?
- New Research Shows British Industrialization Drew Ironworking Methods from Colonized and Enslaved Jamaicans
- The American Revolution Remains a Hotly Contested Symbolic Field
- Untangling Fact and Fiction in the Story of a Nazi-Era Brothel