South Carolina HBCU Students

Civil rights and student activists

Students from South Carolina’s HBCUs were important to the state’s Civil Rights Movement. Starting in early 1960, students from Allen University and Benedict College (Columbia), Claflin and South Carolina State (Orangeburg), Friendship College (Rock Hill), Morris (Sumter) and Voorhees (Denmark, SC) held sit-ins at local stores and led mass marches to protest segregation. Student protestors met different types of resistance across the state; some were attacked with firehoses, some were arrested, while others were sent to prison work camps. In February 1968, students from Claflin and South Carolina State universities in Orangeburg protested at a still-segregated local bowling alley. When the Orangeburg Massacre erupted on February 8, 1968, three students were killed and multiple others were wounded by law enforcement.

Image courtesy of The State Newspaper Photograph Archive, Richland Library

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