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True Stories of Black South Carolina
Author: Damon L. Fordham
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
ISBN: 1614234620
Pages: 168
Year: 2008-03-07
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From the Upstate to the Lowcountry, African Americans have had a gigantic impact on the Palmetto State. Unfortunately, their stories are often overshadowed. Collected here for the first time, this selection of essays by historian Damon L. Fordham brings these stories to light. Rediscover the tales of Samuel Smalls, the James Island beggar who inspired DuBose Heyward's Porgy, and Denmark Vesey, the architect of the great would-be slave rebellion of 1822. Learn about the blacks who lived and worked at what is now Mepkin Abbey, the Spartanburg woman who took part in a sit-in at the age of eleven and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s visit to Charleston in 1967. These articles are well-researched and provide an enlightening glimpse at the overlooked contributors to South Carolina's past.
Voices of Black South Carolina
Author: Damon L. Fordham
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
ISBN: 1625842996
Pages: 160
Year: 2009-02-01
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Did you know that eighty-eight years before Rosa Parks’s historic protest, a courageous black woman in Charleston kept her seat on a segregated streetcar? What about Robert Smalls, who steered a Confederate warship into Union waters, freeing himself and some of his family, and later served in the South Carolina state legislature? In this inspiring collection, historian Damon L. Fordham relates story after story of notable black South Carolinians, many of whose contributions to the state’s history have not been brought to light until now. From the letters of black soldiers during the Civil War to the impassioned pleas by students of “Munro’s School” for their right to an education, these are the voices of protest and dissent, the voices of hope and encouragement and the voices of progress.
South Carolina Civilians in Sherman's Path
Author: Karen Stokes
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
ISBN: 1614235538
Pages: 128
Year: 2012-06-19
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During the fateful winter and spring of 1865, thousands of civilians in South Carolina, young and old, black and white, felt the impact of what General William T. Sherman called "the hard hand of war." This book tells their stories, many of which were corroborated by the testimony of Sherman's own soldiers and officers, and other eyewitnesses. These historical narratives are taken from letters and diaries of the time, as well as newspaper accounts and memoirs. The author has drawn on the superb resources of the South Carolina Historical Society's collection of manuscripts and publications to present these true, compelling stories of South Carolinians.
Peninsula of Lies
Author: Edward Ball
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451603711
Pages: 288
Year: 2010-06-15
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Peninsula of Lies is a nonfiction mystery, set in haunting locales and peopled with fascinating characters, that unwraps the enigma of a woman named Dawn Langley Simmons, a British writer who lived in Charleston, South Carolina, during the 1960s and became the focus of one of the most unusual sexual scandals of the last century. Born in England sometime before World War II, Dawn Langley Simmons began life as a boy named Gordon Langley Hall. Gordon was the son of servants at Sissinghurst Castle, the estate of Vita Sackville-West, where as a child he met Vita's lover Virginia Woolf. In his twenties, Gordon made his way to New York, where he became an author of society biographies and befriended such grandes dames as the actress Margaret Rutherford and the artist and heiress Isabel Whitney, who left him a small fortune. The money allowed Gordon to buy a mansion in Charleston and fill it with period furniture, providing a stage for him to entertain more great ladies and to climb the social ladder of the Southern gentry to its heights. However, Gordon's world changed instantly in 1968, when at The Johns Hopkins Hospital he underwent one of the first sex-reassignment surgeries, returning to Southern society and scandalizing Charleston as the new Dawn Langley Hall. Dawn Hall furthermore announced that her surgery had been corrective, because she'd actually been misidentified as a boy at birth. Three months later, Dawn raised the stakes in still-segregated Charleston when she arranged her very public marriage to a young black mechanic, John-Paul Simmons. In due course, Dawn appeared around town pregnant; finally, she could be seen pushing a baby carriage with a child -- her daughter, Natasha. National Book Award-winning author Edward Ball (Slaves in the Family) has written a detective story that deciphers the riddle of Dawn Simmons, a once rich and infamous changeling who died in 2000, her sexual identity never determined. Peninsula of Lies is an engrossing narrative of a person who tested every taboo, as well as the confidence of observers in their own eyes.
Blood Done Sign My Name
Author: Timothy B. Tyson
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 0307419932
Pages: 368
Year: 2007-12-18
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"Daddy and Roger and 'em shot 'em a nigger." Those words, whispered to ten-year-old Tim Tyson by one of his playmates in the late spring of 1970, heralded a firestorm that would forever transform the small tobacco market town of Oxford, North Carolina. On May 11, 1970, Henry Marrow, a 23-year-old black veteran, walked into a crossroads store owned by Robert Teel, a rough man with a criminal record and ties to the Ku Klux Klan, and came out running. Teel and two of his sons chased Marrow, beat him unmercifully, and killed him in public as he pleaded for his life. In the words of a local prosecutor: "They shot him like you or I would kill a snake." Like many small Southern towns, Oxford had barely been touched by the civil rights movement. But in the wake of the killing, young African Americans took to the streets, led by 22-year-old Ben Chavis, a future president of the NAACP. As mass protests crowded the town square, a cluster of returning Vietnam veterans organized what one termed "a military operation." While lawyers battled in the courthouse that summer in a drama that one termed "a Perry Mason kind of thing," the Ku Klux Klan raged in the shadows and black veterans torched the town's tobacco warehouses. With large sections of the town in flames, Tyson's father, the pastor of Oxford's all-white Methodist church, pressed his congregation to widen their vision of humanity and pushed the town to come to terms with its bloody racial history. In the end, however, the Tyson family was forced to move away. Years later, historian Tim Tyson returned to Oxford to ask Robert Teel why he and his sons had killed Henry Marrow. "That nigger committed suicide, coming in here wanting to four-letter-word my daughter-in-law," Teel explained. The black radicals who burned much of Oxford also told Tim their stories. "It was like we had a cash register up there at the pool hall, just ringing up how much money we done cost these white people," one of them explained. "We knew if we cost 'em enough goddamn money they was gonna start changing some things." In the tradition of To Kill a Mockingbird, Blood Done Sign My Name is a classic work of conscience, a defining portrait of a time and place that we will never forget. Tim Tyson's riveting narrative of that fiery summer and one family's struggle to build bridges in a time of destruction brings gritty blues truth, soaring gospel vision, and down-home humor to our complex history, where violence and faith, courage and evil, despair and hope all mingle to illuminate America's enduring chasm of race. From the Hardcover edition.
Hallelujah! in Hollywood
Author: Shaytee Gadson
Publisher: Hallelujah Ministries of Hollywood Incorporated
ISBN: 0615588093
Pages: 300
Year: 2012-08-01
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It's hard to believe that one family can endure so much and still survive. But, that's exactly what the Gadson family did amidst their life in Hollywood. It's not the Hollywood one might think but it certainly has all the same characteristics - plots, drugs, politics, sex, characters and yes, even the press and attention. Welcome to Hollywood, South Carolina, a far-from-quaint little town with a larger than life name. Shaytee Gadson vividly and honestly tells his family's life story - sharing intimate details about his alcoholic father who rises from the ashes of poverty to become mayor of his hometown. Gadson opens up about a life surrounded by constant fire and brimstone, scandal and prayer. His mother, the First Lady of Hollywood, prays her way through life while using every ounce of faith to try and save her husband and those in need around her. Gadson's recollection of his younger days captures your heart as he paints an uncomfortable picture of a young boy's quest to understand the adulterous relationships, politics and sin that surround him. Even though selfish addiction demons penetrate this Hollywood family, somehow Gadson manages to make a better life for himself and his daughters. His father ends up being banned from his own hometown. His mother cheats the face of death more than once and Gadson himself shares what it feels like to have loved and lost - all while the power of his mother's prayer saves him and his family.
Washing Our Hands in the Clouds
Author: Bo Petersen
Publisher: Univ of South Carolina Press
ISBN: 1611175526
Pages: 168
Year: 2015-08-11
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In Washing Our Hands in the Clouds, Bo Petersen masterfully crafts a reflection on the Civil War, emancipation, Jim Crow, and the civil rights movement in the personal story of how it affected one man’s life in a specific South Carolina locale. Petersen’s accomplishment is that, in studying the Pee Dee region of Dillon and Marion Counties, he illuminates those issues throughout the Deep South. Through conversations with Joe Williams, his family, and acquaintances, white and black, Petersen merges the Williams family history back to Joe’s great-great-grandfather, Scipio Williams, with the lives and fortunes of four generations of South Carolinians—black and white. Scipio, the family progenitor, was a man free in spirit and action before the Civil War destroyed chattel slavery. Scipio was a free black farmer who worked land that he owned in the Pee Dee before and after the war and during the worst days of Jim Crow white supremacy. Petersen uses the Williams family genealogy, neighborhood, and, most important, their farmlands to understand Pee Dee and South Carolina history from the 1860s to the present. In his research he discovers historical currents that run deeper than events—currents of agriculture, land ownership, and allegiance to native soil—and transcend the march of time and carry the Williams family through slavery, war, Jim Crow, and economic dislocation to today’s stories of Joe Williams. In gathering what Petersen describes as a collection of front porch stories, he also writes a history of what matters most to this family and this locale. The resulting narrative is surprising, unconventional, and true for all families in all places. In Dillon County, tobacco production followed cotton farming. Old-time logging coexisted with textile factories. Jim Crow gave way to uncertain prospects of racial harmony. Those were monumental changes of circumstance, but they did not change human character. Washing Our Hands in the Clouds is a history of human character, of life that endures outside of the restraints of time. To understand this phenomenon is to realize that both Scipio and Joe and the generations between them wash their hands in the timeless clouds of South Carolina’s sky.
South Carolina Myths and Legends
Author: Rachel Haynie
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1493015915
Pages: 200
Year: 2016-01-01
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Part of our ever-popular Legends of America series, South Carolina Myths and Legends explores unusual phenomena, strange events, and mysteries in South Carolina's history. Each episode included in the book is a story unto itself, and the tone and style of the book is lively and easy to read for a general audience interested in South Carolina history.
Carolina Skeletons
Author: David Stout
ISBN: 1468308548
Pages: 284
Year: 2014
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As a fourteen-year-old black boy living in 1940s South Carolina, Linus Bragg should know better than to follow the two bicycling white girls. But something about Sue Ellen and Cindy Lou compels him. Maybe it’s the way Cindy Lou speaks to him, or how Sue Ellen sits on her bike. Whatever the reason, he follows the girls into the woods. It’s the worst mistake he ever makes. When he comes into the clearing, both girls are dead and young Linus is the natural suspect. Forty years later, a nephew of Linus’s returns to South Carolina, curious about this dark moment in his family’s past. To find the fourth person who visited the clearing that day means reopening a sinister chapter of the small town’s history, which certain evil men had thought closed forever.
The Situation in South Carolina
Author: Michael Harriot
ISBN: 1432722727
Pages: 248
Year: 2008-04
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The Situation in South Carolina Heartstown South Carolina is a small, quaint segregated town filled faithful, god-fearing obedient families. When the Black community in this small city becomes fed up with years of police brutality and second-class treatment, they join together in an epic fight that exposes the inequality and corruption to the entire country. As the story unfolds, the entire nation becomes mesmerized by the incredibly complex story of murder, revenge and the faith of an entire community. Thousands of people from across the nation race to join this battle, not as a fight for the independence of a community, but as a symbol of every struggle for dignity and equality in the world. Soon, every eye in America becomes focused on the situation in South Carolina.
Hey, Charleston!
Author: Anne Rockwell
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
ISBN: 1467737836
Pages: 32
Year: 2013-11-01
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What happened when a former slave took beat-up old instruments and gave them to a bunch of orphans? Thousands of futures got a little brighter and a great American art form was born. In 1891, Reverend Daniel Joseph Jenkins opened his orphanage in Charleston, South Carolina. He soon had hundreds of children and needed a way to support them. Jenkins asked townspeople to donate old band instruments—some of which had last played in the hands of Confederate soldiers in the Civil War. He found teachers to show the kids how to play. Soon the orphanage had a band. And what a band it was. The Jenkins Orphanage Band caused a sensation on the streets of Charleston. People called the band's style of music "rag"—a rhythm inspired by the African American people who lived on the South Carolina and Georgia coast. The children performed as far away as Paris and London, and they earned enough money to support the orphanage that still exists today. They also helped launch the music we now know as jazz. Hey, Charleston! is the story of the kind man who gave America "some rag" and so much more.
Confederate South Carolina
Author: Karen Stokes
Publisher: History Press Library Editions
ISBN: 1540212661
Pages: 146
Year: 2015-01-19
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The Civil War never left South Carolina, from its beginning at Fort Sumter in 1861 through the destructive, harrowing days of Sherman s march through the state in 1865. Included here are the stories of Confederate civilians and soldiers who remained true to their cause throughout the perilous struggle. An English aristocrat risked his life to run the blockade and become one of the defenders of Charleston. The Haskells of Abbeville sent seven sons into Confederate service. Many South Carolina women made heart-rending sacrifices, including a disabled woman from Laurens County whose heroic efforts preserved Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, from wartime ravages. Author Karen Stokes details the lives of men and women whose destinies intertwined with a tragic era in Palmetto State history."
Black Blue Bloods. Legacy of an African- American Plantation Owner
Author: Christopher Emil Williams
ISBN: 162890657X
Pages: 206
Year: 2014-01
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The history of Mack and Caroline Saxon, freed slaves who became plantation owners in upstate South Carolina in the 1870s, and their descendants.
Be Free Or Die
Author: Cate Lineberry
ISBN: 1250101867
Pages: 288
Year: 2017-06-20
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"A stunning tale of a little-known figure in history. Robert Smalls' astounding heroism during the Civil War helped convince Lincoln and the country that African Americans were extraordinarily capable of fighting for their freedom. Lineberry has produced a triumph in this heroic story that illuminates our country's ongoing struggles with race." —Henry Louis Gates, Jr, Professor in American History Harvard University and Executive Producer of Finding Your Roots “Be Free or Die makes you want to stand up and cheer. Cate Lineberry has done us all a great service by telling this incredibly moving, thrilling, and important story about an American hero who deserves to be remembered, and admired.” —Candice Millard, author of Hero of the Empire Facing death rather than enslavement—a story of one man's triumphant choice and ultimate rise to national hero It was a mild May morning in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1862, the second year of the Civil War, when a twenty-three-year-old slave named Robert Smalls did the unthinkable and boldly seized a Confederate steamer. With his wife and two young children hidden on board, Smalls and a small crew ran a gauntlet of heavily armed fortifications in Charleston Harbor and delivered the valuable vessel and the massive guns it carried to nearby Union forces. To be unsuccessful was a death sentence for all. Smalls’ courageous and ingenious act freed him and his family from slavery and immediately made him a Union hero while simultaneously challenging much of the country’s view of what African Americans were willing to do to gain their freedom. After his escape, Smalls served in numerous naval campaigns off Charleston as a civilian boat pilot and eventually became the first black captain of an Army ship. In a particularly poignant moment Smalls even bought the home that he and his mother had once served in as house slaves. Be Free or Die is a compelling narrative that illuminates Robert Smalls’ amazing journey from slave to Union hero and ultimately United States Congressman. This captivating tale of a valuable figure in American history gives fascinating insight into the country's first efforts to help newly freed slaves while also illustrating the many struggles and achievements of African Americans during the Civil War.
The Life of Francis Marion
Author: William Gilmore Simms
Pages: 347
Year: 1811
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