University of South Carolina Exhibit Documents Early Black History on Campus

South CarolinaFifty years ago in 1963, the first Black students of the 20th century enrolled on the campus of the University of South Carolina in Columbia. The university has kicked-off a year-long commemoration of the desegregation of the student body.

One of the events is a new exhibit at the library on campus. The exhibit which runs through December 20, is entitled “1801-1963: The Long Road to Desegregation at the University of Carolina.”

Included in the exhibit are documents that show how slaves were used on campus during the antebellum period. The accompanying photograph shows a group of Black students who were on campus during the Reconstruction period. Blacks also served as faculty and administrators during Reconstruction. After racial segregation returned with the end of Reconstruction, African Americans continued to work on campus is various capacities. The exhibit also documents the university’s attempts during the early 20th century to maintain racial segregation.

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