South Carolina State University
A Black Land-Grant College in Jim Crow America
A product of the state's "separate but equal" legislation, South Carolina State University was a hallmark of Jim Crow South Carolina. Black and white students were indeed provided separate colleges, but the institutions were in no way equal. When established, South Carolina State emphasized vocational and agricultural subjects as well as teacher training for black students while the University of South Carolina offered white students a broad range of higher-level academic and professional course work leading to a bachelor's degree.
Through the middle decades of the twentieth century, South Carolina State was an incubator for much of the civil rights activity in the state. The tragic Orangeburg massacre on February 8, 1968, occurred on its campus and resulted in the deaths of three students and the wounding of twenty-eight others. Using the university as a lens, Hine examines the state's history of race relations, poverty and progress, and the politics of higher education for whites and blacks from the Reconstruction era into the twenty-first century. Hine's work showcases what the institution has achieved as well as what was required for the school to achieve the parity it was once promised.
This fascinating account is replete with revealing anecdotes, more than sixty photographs and illustrations, and a cast of famous figures including Benjamin R. Tillman, Coleman Blease, Benjamin E. Mays, Marian Birnie Wilkinson, Mary McLeod Bethune, Modjeska Simkins, Strom Thurmond, Essie Mae Washington Williams, James F. Byrnes, John Foster Dulles, James E. Clyburn, and Willie Jeffries.
"William Hine has done an excellent job in producing a thoroughly researched and well-written readable account of the history of South Carolina State University. He captures in full the challenges faced by South Carolina's only state-supported historically black institution of higher education and its success in graduating many well-prepared alumni."—Jack Bass, emeritus professor of humanities and social sciences, College of Charleston
"Spanning the century from Jim Crow to the desegregation of higher education, South Carolina State University is a model history of an institution that has played a crucial role in the state's black life. The evolution of black education, politics, and civil rights struggle in South Carolina come vividly to life in this exemplary study."—Eric Foner, Columbia University
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