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    2017 Symposium

    Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin listens to filmmaker Stanley Nelson Jr.

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    2017 Symposium

    The panel discusses student activism at historic Booker T. Washington Auditorium.

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    2017 Symposium

    Billie Jean Shaw talks about reporting on the Charleston church massacre.

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    2017 Symposium

    Howard University's Sonja Williams discusses her book on a radio pioneer.

Media & Civil Rights History Symposium

The Media & Civil Rights History Symposium is held at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. The biennial event brings together civil rights and media historians to share historical knowledge on the vital relationships between civil rights and various types of public communication. We welcome scholars from various disciplines, and we invite work that approaches civil rights and media history from a range of local/national/transnational contexts, perspectives, and periods.

About the 2017 Symposium

For the 2017 Media & Civil Rights History Symposium — our fourth biennial gathering — we moved to our new building in the center of the University of South Carolina campus at 800 Sumter Street. The historic, renovated building has state-of-the-art digital presentation technology. Held March 30-April 1, the special focus of the 2017 Symposium was on the role of print and broadcast images in the African American freedom struggle and other civil rights struggles. A total of 45 scholars presented research or moderated sessions over two full days. They represented 22 universities in 17 states.

Celebrated civil rights filmmaker Stanley Nelson Jr., our 2017 keynote speaker, participated in three events over two days at the Symposium. He explored three different aspects of his documentaries in the sessions: an opening reception dialog with Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin; a keynote discussion; and a public discussion with civil rights photojournalist Cecil Williams and moderator Dr. Bobby Donaldson in the city’s historic Booker T. Washington High School Auditorium, where he previewed part of his newest documentary, “Tell Them We Are Rising,” a history of America’s historically black colleges and universities, to be released in 2018.

2017 Symposium Schedule (pdf)


Contact Us

Christopher Frear
Media & Civil Rights History Symposium
School of Journalism and Mass Communications
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208
Email: frearc@email.sc.edu