Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Remember the Orangeberg Massacre of Black Civil Rights Protestors

February 8, 1968 Orangeburg South Carolina


I admit that I just learned about this event. The Orangeburg Massacre, when South Carolina police opened fire upon students protesting on the campus of South Carolina State University against segregation at the local All Star Bowling Lane. Three students were killed: Samuel Hammond, Delano Middleton, and Henry Smith. 28 others were wounded from bullets, being beaten, or being trampled by those fleeing the police onslaught. In an ensuing trial all officers were acquitted of any wrongdoing, reminiscent of the recent acquittal of the police murderers of Sean Bell. One of the protesters however, SNCC member Cleveland Sellers, spent several months in jail on the totally bogus charge of inciting a riot.


Some of the articles make the important point that this massacre is largely overshadowed by the Kent State police killings of students in 1970. It is hard not to make that inference since in racist America; white life is so much more precious that Black life. 


This event deserves to be added to the arsenal of working class and radical historical memory. Let this event show: the racist nature of the U.S. capitalist class and their state,  the heroic sacrifices made on behalf of those fighting for Black Liberation, and the lengths to which the ruling class will go in order to preserve their backwards order.


Renegade Eye said...

Thank you for reminding me.

You are correct that Kent State got all the ink at the time. The issue got lost.

Nicholas said...

Yes I do think that it is strange, perhaps less than a coincidence that certain events are magnified while others are largely forgotten in the public memory.