‘Our Story Matters,' A Commemoration of Student Activism in Columbia and the fiftieth anniversary of the Edwards vs. South Carolina Supreme Court case will be held on March 3. The event is sponsored by the City of Columbia, the Historic Columbia Foundation, the University of South Carolina and the Columbia Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau. The event is part of ColumbiaSC63 which is commemorating several key civil rights events in the year 1963.
The day will begin with a Commemorative church service at 10:45 at Zion Baptist Church located at 801 Washington Street. From 3-5 p.m., there will be a reunion and roundtable discussion at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
Inspired by the “Greensboro Four,” in 1960 students at Allen University and Benedict College bucked tradition and engaged in a campaign of civil disobedience in protest of segregation by holding lunch counter sit-ins at local businesses along Main Street.
On March 2, 1961, a statewide coalition of African American high school and college students peacefully marched from Zion Baptist Church to the State House grounds, challenging segregation and racial discrimination in the state. 187 participants were arrested and charged with “disturbing the peace.”
Those arrested later filed a lawsuit, Edwards vs. South Carolina. On February 25, 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that their arrests violated their First Amendment rights. Their courageous efforts legalized non-violent protest on public grounds and sharpened the movement for social justice nationwide.
The event is free but seating is limited. Please make reservations by February 27 by registering online at NotBeMoved.eventbrite.com or calling 803-252-7742 ex. 15.
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