SC State to Commemorate Orangeburg Massacre

To honor the legacy of the Orangeburg Massacre, SC State University will hold its 52nd Orangeburg Massacre Commemoration and unveiling of the newly bronzed busts of Henry Smith, Samuel Hammond and Delano Middleton on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 11 a.m. in the Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium. 

There will be a showing of the film, “ORANGEBURG: A Town, A Team, An American Tragedy” by award-winning filmmaker, Jim Fabio, on Friday, Feb. 7. The event will be held in the Barbara A. Vaughan Recital Hall at 4 p.m. Fabio and SC State championship football coach, Oliver “Buddy” Pough, survivors of the Orangeburg Massacre and more will hold a discussion after the film showing.

One of the nation’s most horrific tragedies of the Civil Rights Movement occurred 52 years ago at then-South Carolina State College. The senseless tragedy, known as the Orangeburg Massacre, took place on Feb. 8, 1968 on campus. On that fateful evening, three young men, Smith, Hammond and Middleton, were fatally wounded and 28 students were injured after South Carolina Highway patrolmen fired into a crowd of students and others.

The shooting occurred after student activists gathered in protest after three nights of escalating racial tension, during efforts to desegregate All Star Bowling Lanes, which was located in downtown Orangeburg.

A representative from the Smith, Hammond and Middleton families will serve as guest speakers during the Saturday ceremony. This year’s Smith-Hammond-Middleton Social Justice awardees are Dr. Barbara Jenkins, retired SC State historian and preservationist, and Dr. Tolulope Filani, chair of the university’s Visual and Performing Arts Department, internationally-renowned sculptor and artist.

For more information, call (803) 536-8597 or email cmikell1@scsu.edu.

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