THE ORANGEBURG MASSACRE: 1968-2010

It happened two years before Jackson State and Kent State.

It has been relegated to oblivion for many years, but, the shooting deaths of three unarmed Black students at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina during the Civil Rights Movement, was one of the bloodiest campus uprisings during that turbulent time in this country’s history. It was also the beginning of the many clashes between students and law enforcement that would occur on many campuses across America in the years to come.

It was forty-two years ago on February 8, 1968, when a crowd of black students gathered on the campus of South Carolina State University to protest segregation at Orangeburg’s only bowling alley. Dozens of police arrived on the scene, and the students lit a bonfire on a street in front of the campus. Tensions escalated, and police officers opened fire into the crowd. When the shooting stopped, three students were dead and twenty-seven were wounded.

The Orangeburg massacre was never given the national news write-up that Kent State later received, but, the protest of the Black students against segregation in their town was a valiant and rallying fight against a system that suffocated their inalienable rights and liberty as citizens of this country.

The students of the Orangeburg Massacre deserve to be remembered and not forgotten for standing up for their rights. They took a stand to prevail against Jane Crow segregation and they paid the highest price to end the regime of race hatred with their lives.

Lest we forget.

Killed:

  • Samuel Hammond Jr., 18
  • Delano Herman Middleton, 17
  • Henry Ezekial Smith, 19
  • unborn child of Louise Kelly Cawley – Louise’s beating by police while trying to help those injured get to the hospital caused her to miscarry

 

Wounded:

  • Patrolman David Shealy – his being injured is what led the police to start firing
  • Herman Boller Jr., 19
  • Johnny Bookhart, 19
  • Thompson Braddy, 20
  • Bobby K. Burton, 22
  • Ernest Raymond Carson, 17
  • Robert Lee Davis Jr., 19
  • Albert Dawson, 18
  • Bobby Eaddy, 17
  • Herbert Gadson, 19
  • Samuel Grant, 19
  • Samuel Grate, 19
  • Joseph Hampton, 21
  • Charles W. Hildebrand, 19
  • Nathaniel Jenkins, 21
  • Thomas Kennerly, 21
  • Joseph Lambright, 21
  • Richard McPherson, 19
  • Harvey Lee Miller, 15
  • Harold Riley, 20
  • Cleveland Sellers, 23
  • Ernest Shuler, 16
  • Jordan Simmons III, 21
  • Ronald Smith, 19
  • Frankie Thomas, 18
  • Robert Watson, 19
  • Robert Lee Williams, 19
  • Savannah Williams, 19
  • John Carson – was beaten by highway patrol after he started questioning their involvement.
  • Louise Kelly Cawley, 27 – was beaten and sprayed in the face with a chemical by policemen while trying to take the injured to the hospital. The beating was so severe that she had a miscarriage a week later.
  • John H. Elliot – was added to the list of those injured in the shooting on the 40th anniversary. Elliot said he was shot in the stomach the night of the massacre but did not go to the hospital for treatment.

 

ORANGEBURG MASSACRE 42ND COMMEMORATION CEREMONY

 

ORANGEBURG 1968: FORTY YEARS LATER

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