SC State University Commemorates 43rd Orangeburg Massacre Ceremony

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Each year, SC State University and the Orangeburg community join together to commemorate the lives and sacrifices made by individuals during the Orangeburg Massacre of Feb. 8, 1968.  SC State University students, Henry Smith and Samuel Hammond, and 19-year-old Delano Middleton, were slain during this incident, while countless other students were wounded physically, mentally and emotionally.

The Orangeburg Massacre story has been told many times through print mediums to include books and newspaper articles, but has recently been portrayed through other forms of media. On Feb. 8, 2009, the world premiere of “Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968,” was viewed by hundreds of supporters. Produced by Boston, Mass. documentary production company Northern Lights, “Scarred Justice” highlights the historical events captured more than four decades ago. The following year on Feb. 8, 2010, the opening of the stage play, “Taking a Stand,” was performed by SC State University’s Henderson-Davis Players.  This marked the first live re-enactment of the events that took place during this horrific event. Both events drew packed crowds of family members, friends, alumni, students and faculty and staff as they remembered the day SC Governor Robert E. McNair called “one of the saddest days in the history of South Carolina.” This year, the University will commemorate the event with activities including the traditional silent march and candle lighting ceremony.

“It is important for us to reflect upon the lives that were taken during the Orangeburg Massacre and to memorialize those who stood for a great cause in this community,” says President George E. Cooper. “We take pride in uniting for such an occasion as this.” 

The 43rd Orangeburg Massacre week of activities includes the following:

Monday, Feb. 7, 2011
“Taking a Stand” Stage Play: Re-enactment of the Orangeburg Massacre
Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Ticket prices: students with w/id: $5 in advance and $7 at the door; General Admission, $10 in advance and $15 at the door. For more information, call Calhoun Cornwell, playwright and director, at (803) 497-1715.

Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011 Orangeburg Massacre Commemoration Ceremony
Where: SC State University Memorial Plaza
Time: 3 p.m.

For more information, contact Erica S. Taylor, director of University Relations & Marketing, at (803) 533-3617.