University of South Carolina

Cecil Williams to share S.C. Civil Rights images

By Sarah Morgan, Preston Residential College, morgans@mailbox.sc.edu

Cecil Williams, a Civil Rights–era photographer, will share some of his most striking images with the Carolina community 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19 in Sumwalt, Room 305.

The images are from “Unforgettable: All the Memories We Left Behind,” Williams’ latest book, an extraordinary collection of stories and images celebrating 50 years of South Carolina African American history, heritage and culture.

Among the most moving photographs are ones that depict the Orangeburg Fight for Freedom, the resignations of Elloree school teachers, the rise of student activism and the Clarendon County Briggs v. Elliot petition. He also will share images of the Orangeburg Massacre and the Charleston Hospital Workers' strike.

His talk is sponsored by Preston Residential College and the African American Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Bobby Donaldson, faculty principal of Preston Residential College, has known and worked with Williams for years.

“He’s a gifted historian and photographer who captured some of the most transformative moments in the past sixty years,” Donaldson said. “His brilliant images are arresting reminders of the hard fought battles for social justice and the courageous leadership of young students who demanded change.”

Donaldson and Williams are partners on Columbia SC 63, a new civil rights documentary initiative, with alumnus and Mayor Steve Benjamin and Rep. James Clyburn.

Williams has worked as a professional and freelance photographer since age 14, when he landed a job with JET magazine. He is one of the country's most accomplished visual artists, with his photographs featured in 126 books, 17 newspapers and 11 television documentaries.

If you're going:

  • Civil Rights-era photographer Cecil Williams
  • 7 p.m., Tuesday (Feb. 19)
  • Room 305, Sumwalt
  • Free and open to the public

About Preston Residential College

  • Preston Residential College is a creative and vibrant community that is open to all undergraduate students and to all academic majors on the USC-Columbia campus. With longstanding traditions, innovative programming, student initiatives, faculty mentoring and a unique dining facility, Preston Residential College fosters a dynamic living and learning environment that promotes intellectual exchange, leadership development, social interaction and creative expression beyond the traditional confines of the classroom.


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Posted: 02/07/13 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 02/14/13 @ 9:26 AM | Permalink