Local author pens book about Hartsville Civil Rights work

“Hartsville: The City We Knew But Everybody Forgot” is on sale at the Hartsville Museum. Written by Darlington County native Emory L. Waters, it is a history of racism and the Civil Rights Movement in Hartsville, SC. PHOTO BY STEPHAN DREW

In his book, “Hartsville: The City We Knew But Everybody Forgot/The African-American Experience”, Author and Darlington County native Emory L. Waters attempts to recall and highlight some of the many factors that contributed to the greatness of the African-Americans who grew up, lived and worked in Hartsville, South Carolina.

Although not dwelled on, but subtly mentioned is the systemic racism, which is quite pervasive and presently endures.

The memories of growing up and witnessing life in Hartsville proves to be both educational and rewarding. According to reviews, Someone’s mere existence forced them to get  as much experience and education to navigate and negotiate the life which was presented to you as a result of the culture of the deep south. Hartsivlle, on the survace, presented many opportunities for the African-American citizens but also placed them in a box that would only allow them to advance to a recognizable point.

Butler High School provided an outstanding educational base, allowing its students to pursue higher education and a better way of life for the future. The goal of the teachers is constantly mentioned in the book and their preparation of the student to be twice as good and better than the rest is emphasized.

The African-American churches provided a solid spiritual conscience and base which grounded its parishioners and encouraged the community to always keep God first and treat others as you want to be treated.

Throughout the years, the African-American in Hartsville has built a legacy of worth, respect and a sense of pride which continues to guide the steps of those who are involved in the struggle for complete equality and justice.

Author: Stephan Drew

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