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“C” is for Civil Rights Movement

South Carolina from A to Z logo

  “C” is for Civil Rights Movement. During Reconstruction, South Carolina experimented briefly with interracial democracy. With the reestablishment of conservative rule in 1877, legislators spent the next three decades undermining the gains of Reconstruction. During the 1930s and 1940s the NAACP became an active, statewide organization. During the 1960s, segregation collapsed in the face of mass demonstrations across the state. Violence erupted in Orangeburg and Lamar. The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 dramatically changed the face of the civil rights movement in the state. As the civil rights movement shifted from protest to politics and litigation, the major changes in civil rights with an enfranchised black electorate have occurred in the legislature and the courtroom—not as dramatic as protests and demonstrations, but just as significant.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.