South Carolina

Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

On Thursday morning, the Spartanburg County Council held a special meeting to vote on whether to ask residents and visitors to wear face coverings – not just masks – at grocery stores and pharmacies in the county. The resolution adopted 3-1 was largely symbolic, as most measures by county and local governments have been amid a stunning spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases and escalating death totals.

There will be no enforcement, in other words, if someone walks into a supermarket without a mask on.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Back in January, South Carolina Public Radio spoke to Dr. Alecia Watt, the director of Greenville Technical College’s Educational Opportunity Program, about the school’s initiative to identify and retain African-American male students who were at risk of dropping out.

The original feature is here.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Two calls to change names tied to the Confederacy occurred in Rock Hill Friday. One was the call by the Winthrop University Board of Trustees to change the name of Tillman Hall back to Main Hall – a move echoing this exact call at Clemson University last week and similar to the one at the University of South Carolina to remove the name Sims from a dorm; the other an effort to rename Confederate Park.

"B" is for Bragg, Laura [1881-1978]. Museum administrator, educator. A native of Massachusetts, Bragg earned a degree in library science. Her first professional positions were in Maine and at the New York City Library. In 1909 she was hired to be the librarian at the Charleston Museum where she soon was promoted to curator of books and public instruction. She used her position to cross both racial and class lines with her education program—the first in a southern museum.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

    "B" is for Boykin Spaniel. The Boykin spaniel was originally bred in South Carolina before the 1920s. This amiable, small, dark brown retriever is a superb hunter and loving family pet. It was bred to provide an ideal hunting dog for hunting fowl in the Wateree River swamps. A sturdy, compact dog built for boat travel and capable of retrieving on land or water was required. Lemuel Whitaker “Whit” Boykin, a planter and sportsman from the Boykin community near Camden tested many dogs to answer these needs.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

On Tuesday, Chester Police Chief Eric Williams held a press conference regarding the killing of 28-year-old Ariane McCree by a city police officer last fall.

Williams said the press conference was an effort to be fully transparent in an incident that has dogged the department since November. Hear the full press conference below.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Capt. Cheryl Cromartie knew she wanted to be a police officer when she was nine years old. She was driving with her grandmother and saw something she'd never seen before -- a black female cop.

She joined the Greenville County Sheriff's Office 27 years ago and still did not see many colleagues who looked like her. She decided to be a game-changer for African-American women who might want to consider police work.

She succeeded, all the way up to a leadership position -- the first black woman in the department to achieve every new rung on the ladder.

And now she's concerned that without some reform in the wake of so many racially charged incidents involving police officers, young black men and women will not want to enter law enforcement when the community most needs them to.

Below is a conversation with Capt. Cromartie, who describes in complex, anguished detail what it's like to be torn by two sides that always seem to be at odds with each other. 

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Marlboro County is not among South Carolina’s healthiest. Data from 2019 by the Department of Health and Environmental Control shows Marlboro to be well above state averages for every chronic health condition and risk factor it measures, well below state averages for vaccinations and physical activity, and a contender for the county with the highest percentage of families living below the poverty level in South Carolina.

Marlboro is also one of the state’s most rural counties, and it has one of the highest black populations in the state. 

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

How does a gym for a high-contact sport like mixed martial arts or boxing go about its business when there’s a virus in the air that demands we stay far apart?

The short answer: Carefully.

"J" is for Johnson, Harriet Catherine Frazier [1889-1972]. Legislator, state 4-H Club leader. After graduating from Winthrop, Johnson was hired by Spartanburg County as an extension agent. From 1922 to1944 she was the head of the state 4-H girls’ clubs headquartered at Winthrop. In February 1945 she won a special election in York County and became the first woman elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives. Her bill to provide schoolbooks for children in York County was so popular that the General Assembly amended it to apply to all high schools in the state.

Todd Greene / Unsplash

If no other metric would convey the weight Greenville County’s institutions and residents are giving the discussion of how to dismantle ingrained racism in the county, the attendance at Tuesday’s Community Matters online forum would do it.

"I" is for Izard, Ralph [1742-1804]. Diplomat, congressman, legislator, U.S. Senator. After attending Christ College, Cambridge, Izard married Alice DeLancey and the couple decided to live in England. With the coming of the Revolution, they moved to France and the Continental Congress appointed him as its representative to Tuscany. He remained in Paris until 1780 when he returned to South Carolina and was elected to the Continental Congress. After the war he and his sons-in-law-- William Loughton Smith and Gabriel Manigault—formed a powerful political faction.

  "H" is for Harby, Isaac [1788-1828]. Journalist, playwright, educator, religious reformer. After attending the College of Charleston and studying for the law, Harby opened a private school. Harby’s Academy provided him with an income while he attempted various literary pursuits. For several years he owned and edited a Charleston newspaper, the Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser. He later edited the Charleston City Gazette and was a frequent contributor to the Charleston Mercury. Harby wrote at least three plays and was a respected drama critic.

Engraving depicting the death of British Major Patrick Ferguson at the Battle of Kings Mountain during the American Revolutionary War, October 7, 1780.
Chappel, Alonzo, 1828-1887 (artist), Jeens, Charles Henry, 1827-1879 (engraver), Anne S. K. Brown Collection at Brown University

General U.S. history courses in many high schools depict the American Revolutionary War as a series of battles in the Northeast--Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, etc.--that lead inexorably to British General Charles Cornwallis's surrender of 8,000 British soldiers and seamen to a French and American force at Yorktown, Virginia, October 19, 1781.

The truth is much more complicated, of course. And a major component of the war, one that paved the way to Yorktown, was the fighting that took place in 1780 - 81 in the South.

In essence, according to Dr. Jack Warren and Dr. Walter Edgar, the war was won in the South.

"F" is for Florence County [800 square miles; population 125,761]. Created in 1888, Florence County lies between the Great Pee Dee and Lynches Rivers in the eastern part of the state. In the late antebellum period, three railroads intersected in the area and the town of Florence developed. With the creation of the county, the town became the county seat. Railroads and agriculture would be the economic mainstays of the county until well into the 20th century.

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