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Stories of Struggle: The Clash Over Civil Rights in South Carolina

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In this pioneering study of the long and arduous struggle for civil rights in South Carolina, longtime journalist Claudia Smith Brinson details the lynchings, beatings, bombings, cross burnings, death threats, arson, and venomous hatred that black South Carolinians endured--as well as the astonishing courage, devotion, dignity, and compassion of those who risked their live In this pioneering study of the long and arduous struggle for civil rights in South Carolina, longtime journalist Claudia Smith Brinson details the lynchings, beatings, bombings, cross burnings, death threats, arson, and venomous hatred that black South Carolinians endured--as well as the astonishing courage, devotion, dignity, and compassion of those who risked their lives for equality. Through extensive research and interviews with more than one hundred fifty civil rights activists, many of whom had never shared their stories with anyone, Brinson chronicles twenty pivotal years of petitioning, preaching, picketing, boycotting, marching, and holding sit-ins. Participants' use of nonviolent direct action altered the landscape of civil rights in South Carolina and reverberated throughout the South. These firsthand accounts include the unsung petitioners who risked their lives by supporting Summerton's Briggs v. Elliot, a lawsuit that led to the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision; the thousands of students who were arrested and jailed in 1960 for protests in Rock Hill, Orangeburg, Denmark, Columbia, and Sumter; and the black female employees and leaders who defied a governor and his armed troops during the 1969 hospital strike in Charleston. Brinson also highlights contributions made by remarkable but lesser-known activists, including James M. Hinton Sr., president of the South Carolina Conference of Branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Thomas W. Gaither, Congress of Racial Equality field secretary and scout for the Freedom Rides; Charles F. McDew, a South Carolina State College student and co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; and Mary Moultrie, grassroots leader of the 1969 hospital workers' strike. These intimate stories of courage and conviction, both heartbreaking and inspiring, shine a light on the progress achieved by nonviolent civil rights activists while also revealing white South Carolinians' often violent resistance to change. Although significant racial disparities remain, the sacrifices of these brave men and women produced real progress--and hope for the future.


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In this pioneering study of the long and arduous struggle for civil rights in South Carolina, longtime journalist Claudia Smith Brinson details the lynchings, beatings, bombings, cross burnings, death threats, arson, and venomous hatred that black South Carolinians endured--as well as the astonishing courage, devotion, dignity, and compassion of those who risked their live In this pioneering study of the long and arduous struggle for civil rights in South Carolina, longtime journalist Claudia Smith Brinson details the lynchings, beatings, bombings, cross burnings, death threats, arson, and venomous hatred that black South Carolinians endured--as well as the astonishing courage, devotion, dignity, and compassion of those who risked their lives for equality. Through extensive research and interviews with more than one hundred fifty civil rights activists, many of whom had never shared their stories with anyone, Brinson chronicles twenty pivotal years of petitioning, preaching, picketing, boycotting, marching, and holding sit-ins. Participants' use of nonviolent direct action altered the landscape of civil rights in South Carolina and reverberated throughout the South. These firsthand accounts include the unsung petitioners who risked their lives by supporting Summerton's Briggs v. Elliot, a lawsuit that led to the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision; the thousands of students who were arrested and jailed in 1960 for protests in Rock Hill, Orangeburg, Denmark, Columbia, and Sumter; and the black female employees and leaders who defied a governor and his armed troops during the 1969 hospital strike in Charleston. Brinson also highlights contributions made by remarkable but lesser-known activists, including James M. Hinton Sr., president of the South Carolina Conference of Branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Thomas W. Gaither, Congress of Racial Equality field secretary and scout for the Freedom Rides; Charles F. McDew, a South Carolina State College student and co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; and Mary Moultrie, grassroots leader of the 1969 hospital workers' strike. These intimate stories of courage and conviction, both heartbreaking and inspiring, shine a light on the progress achieved by nonviolent civil rights activists while also revealing white South Carolinians' often violent resistance to change. Although significant racial disparities remain, the sacrifices of these brave men and women produced real progress--and hope for the future.

29 review for Stories of Struggle: The Clash Over Civil Rights in South Carolina

  1. 4 out of 5

    Morgan R

    Would make for a great college textbook. Essential Civil Rights leaders from SC that are rarely talked about and known by only hardcore historians. Check out my full review here: https://www.richlandlibrary.com/blog/... Would make for a great college textbook. Essential Civil Rights leaders from SC that are rarely talked about and known by only hardcore historians. Check out my full review here: https://www.richlandlibrary.com/blog/...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Wonderfully written tales of bravery battling injustice. This book tells the stories of everyday heroes that helped to get society where we are today. The author has finally given them the recognition they deserve in their efforts to pave the way for this generation. It's important to learn from the past to make a better future, there is still a lot to learn and a lot of work to be done. Wonderfully written tales of bravery battling injustice. This book tells the stories of everyday heroes that helped to get society where we are today. The author has finally given them the recognition they deserve in their efforts to pave the way for this generation. It's important to learn from the past to make a better future, there is still a lot to learn and a lot of work to be done.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Stories of Struggle shows us the great courage, determination, patience, and resolution of the people involved in the Civil Rights movement in South Carolina (and dispells the false notion that SC was somehow more "moderate" and "civilized" in its response). From the heroic actions of JE Hinton in attaining voting rights for Black citizens to the historic Briggs v Elliot case, this brings history to poignant life. Stories of Struggle shows us the great courage, determination, patience, and resolution of the people involved in the Civil Rights movement in South Carolina (and dispells the false notion that SC was somehow more "moderate" and "civilized" in its response). From the heroic actions of JE Hinton in attaining voting rights for Black citizens to the historic Briggs v Elliot case, this brings history to poignant life.

  4. 4 out of 5

    ELLEN BAGBY

    This is a must read for our country!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Andrea McAtee

    Fascinating stories that make you shake your head that you haven't heard them before. I think this should be required reading for all South Carolinians. It is well written with a very light editorial hand, letting the compelling actions of brave people largely speak for themselves. It really makes you appreciate the great sacrifices by so many people, some who chose to be leaders and some who were just everyday folk trying to make a living or make a better life for their children, and the extrao Fascinating stories that make you shake your head that you haven't heard them before. I think this should be required reading for all South Carolinians. It is well written with a very light editorial hand, letting the compelling actions of brave people largely speak for themselves. It really makes you appreciate the great sacrifices by so many people, some who chose to be leaders and some who were just everyday folk trying to make a living or make a better life for their children, and the extraordinary resistance they faced trying to secure the most basic of rights and public services we take for granted now. The chapters on schooling and the hospital strike are especially compelling.

  6. 5 out of 5

    LAMONT D

    A FORMER CO-WORKER OF MINE FROM THE STATE NEWSPAPER. I EXPECTED THE BEST AND SHE DELIVERED LIKE SHE ALWAYS HAD IN THE PAST FOR THE NEWSPAPER. TREMENDOUS RESEARCH AND DETAIL. I SOMETIMES GOT LOST WITH ALL THE NAMES THAT WERE INCLUDED IN EACH CHAPTER BUT I LEARNED ALOT ABOUT THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT AND THE PLACE THAT AN AMAZING GROUP OF SOUTH CAROLINIANS PLAYED ADVANCING THE CAUSE OF EQUAL RIGHTS.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Adair

    Very thorough read if you are interested in SC segregation struggles. A little long winded but it covers several landscape changing crusades in SC in the 20th century and the people who made them occur.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jane E Julian

  9. 5 out of 5

    Helen Schell

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jan Kathleen

  11. 5 out of 5

    Frank Heflin

  12. 5 out of 5

    katy pownall

  13. 4 out of 5

    Steve Walker

  14. 5 out of 5

    J.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Hogmire

  16. 4 out of 5

    Claire

  17. 4 out of 5

    SecondGlantz

  18. 5 out of 5

    Martha

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Kowalk

  20. 4 out of 5

    Yolanda Pender

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Chapman

  22. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Kelly

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Bond

  25. 5 out of 5

    Beverlee

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jim

  27. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Dillon

  28. 5 out of 5

    Holly

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jena Sallenger

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