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The Orangeburg Massacre Feb 8 1968

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By the late evening of February 8th, army tanks and over 100 heavily armed law enforcement officers had cordoned off the campus; 450 more had been stationed downtown. About 200 students milled around a bonfire on S.C. State’s campus; a fire truck with armed escort was sent in. Without warning the crackle of shotgun fire shattered the cold night air. It lasted less than ten seconds. When it was over, twenty-eight students lay on State’s campus with multiple buckshot wounds; three others had been killed. Almost all were shot in the back or side. Students and police vividly describe what they experienced that night.
You've heard of the Kent State Massacre and maybe the Jackson State massacre. But have you heard of the Orangeburg massacre? On Feb. 8, 1968, eight seconds of police gunfire left three young men dying and at least 27 wounded on the campus of SC State College. All of the students were African-American— most shot in the back when the state police fired without warning following a protest against segregation at the local bowling alley. An activist with minimal involvement in the protest, Cleveland Sellers, was arrested for inciting a riot and sentenced to a year in prison. Now president of Voorhees College, he was the only person from either side to do time.
Image: The three young men who were murdered: Samuel Hammond, Henry Smith, both SCSU students, and Delano Middleton, a student at Wilkinson High School.
While most people know that students were killed at Kent State in 1970, very few know about the murder of students at Jackson State and even less about South Carolina State College in Orangeburg. In Orangeburg, two years before the Kent State murders, 28 students were injured and three were killed — most shot in the back by the state police while involved in a peaceful protest. One of the by-standers, Cleveland Sellers, was arrested for inciting a riot and sentenced to a year of in prison. Now president of Voorhees College, he was the only person to do time. Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968 is an excellent documentary which brings to light this untold story of the Civil Rights Movement including candid interviews with many of those involved in the event: students, journalists, officers on the scene, and the then-Governor. The film also provides students with a good understanding of the concept of Black Power in the context of the Civil Rights Movement. For more info, see the powerful documentary film Scarred Justice (California Newsreel) and read more here: http://bit.ly/KvakVD

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