Making the Orangeburg Massacre a Part of South Carolina History Lessons

On February 8, 1968 three black students at South Carolina State University were shot and killed by state police during a civil rights demonstration against racial segregation at a local bowling alley. Twenty-seven other students were injured in the resulting panic. Nine white patrolmen were tried for excessive use of force in the incident. All were acquitted.  

Cleveland Sellers, an organizer with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, was charged with inciting a riot and spent a year in prison. A quarter-century later in 1993, Sellers, currently a professor of history at the University of South Carolina, was pardoned for his role in the protest.

Now the state of South Carolina is taking steps to educate its youth about the Orangeburg Massacre. It has purchased 500 copies of The Orangeburg Massacre, authored by newspaper reporters Jack Bass and Jack Nelson. The book will be distributed to libraries at middle schools and high schools throughout the state.


Copyright © 2006. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.