Hartsville Museum hosts SC Civil Rights exhibit

Dignitaries, civil rights activists and concerned citizens gathered at the Hartsville Museum on Friday, March 3, 2023, to view and discuss the “Justice for All” exhibit, on display through March 31. Pictured here (left to right): Emory L. Waters (author of “Hartsville: The City We Knew But Everybody Forgot”), Dr. Bobby Donaldson (Exec. Director of USC’s Center for Civil Rights History and Research), and Dr. Alvin Heatley (Civil Rights Activist and Darlington County native). PHOTO BY STEPHAN DREW

The Hartsville Museum, located at 222 N. 5th  Street in Hartsville, is hosting, “Justice for All”, a traveling exhibition which tells the story of South Carolina’s essential role in the American Civil Rights Movement. The exhibit will be on display until March 31, 2023. The display contains photographs, letters, newspaper reports and other documents depicting the struggle of African-Americans in South Carolina against racism and the fight for Civil Rights across the state. There are specific items related to the Lamar Bus Attacks of 1970 and the Orangeburg Massacre of 1968. While at the museum, you may also purchase books relating to black history, including “The City we knew but everyone forgot: Hartsville – the African American Experience” by Hartsville native Emory L. Waters.

“Justice for All” is based on the 2019 archival exhibition created by the University of South Carolina’s Center for Civil Rights History and Research. The Center worked collaboratively with South Carolina Humanities, University of South Carolina Libraries and the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Students and visitors to the exhibit will learn about individuals and institutions who struggled for and demanded racial justice in South Carolina and across the country,” said Dr. Bobby Donaldson, professor of history and the Executive Director of the Center for Civil Rights History and Research.

In addition to the exhibit, Donaldson helped coordinate the program “Eyewitnesses: Memories of the South Carolina Civil Rights Movement”, held at Jerusalem Baptist Church on Friday, March 3, 2023. “We seek to expand the public’s understanding of the Civil Rights Movement in South Carolina by providing venues and platforms for eyewitnesses who shaped the movement to share their experiences and memories,” Donaldson said.

The traveling version of the exhibit is supported by funding from the Williams Company as part of a $1.5 million gift, and by South Carolina Humanities and Central Carolina Community Foundation. After March 31, the exhibit will be on display at other sites throughout South Carolina through December 2023.

Author: Stephan Drew

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