Civil Rights Activists

Harry and Eliza Briggs Smiling

Eliza and Harry Briggs

Eliza and Harry Briggs were the petitioners in the important school desegregation case, Briggs v. Elliott.

James Brown singing while shadowed people stand in the background

James Brown

Born in Barnwell, SC, James Joseph Brown was a singer, songwriter, dancer, record producer, and bandleader.

Black and white photograph of Levi Byrd

Levi G. Byrd

Organized a State Conference of NAACP branches

Reverend Joseph Armstrong DeLaine wearing a cassock.

Joseph Armstrong DeLaine

Reverend Joseph Armstrong Delaine was a civil rights leader from Summerton, SC, who helped end segregation in South Carolina schools.

A black man with a receding hairline and mustache goatee.

Martin Robison Delany

Martin Robison Delany was an physician, writer, and first proponent of black nationalism.

Marian Wright Edelman in a patterned shirt.

Marian Wright Edelman

Marian Wright Edelman is an activist for the children's rights and the founder of the Children’s Defense Fund.

Black and white photograph of George Elmore

George Elmore

Civil Rights pioneer

Smiling Mamie Garvin Fields in a light dress holding light colored roses.

Mamie Garvin Fields

Mamie Garvin Fields was a teacher, civil rights and religious activist, and memoirist.

Ernest Adolphus Finney, Jr.

Ernest Adolphus Finney, Jr.

Ernest Adolphus Finney, Jr. was the first African-American Supreme Court Justice appointed to the South Carolina Supreme Court since the Reconstruction Era.

A young Sarah Mae Flemming wearing a dark dress and light pearl necklace.

Sarah Mae Flemming

Sarah Mae Flemming sued bus owners in Columbia, SC for an incident that occurred 17 months before Rosa Parks took her stand in Montgomery, Alabama.

Harvey Gantt wearing a suit and holding papers.

Harvey Gantt

Harvey Gantt was the first African American student to attend Clemson University when he began classes on February 1, 1963.

Black and white photograph of Juanita Willmon Goggins smiling

Juanita Willmon Goggins

Juanita Willmon Goggins was the first Black woman to be elected to the SC General Assembly

Angelina Grimkè wearing a frilly bonnet and dress with a light collar.

Angelina Grimkè

Angelina Grimkè Weld was an abolitionist, political activist, women's rights advocate, and supporter of the Women's Suffrage Movement. 

Archibald and Francis Grimkè as boys wearing suits for a photo.

Archibald Grimkè

Archibald Grimkè was a lawyer, journalist, community leader, and involved in the early NAACP. Sarah Grimkè and Angelina Grimkè Weld are Archibald's paternal Aunts. 

Sarah Grimkè wearing a frilly bonnet and checked dress.

Sarah Moore Grimkè

Sarah Moore Grimkè was a prominent abolitionist and is widely held to be the mother of the Women's Suffrage Movement. 

Monica Helms holding a mic and speaking.

Monica Helms

Monica Helms is the creator of the Transgender Pride Flag.

A older man sitting back with his hand on his chin.

James M. Hinton

Reverend James M. Hinton was a businessman, minister, and leading Civil Rights figure.

A smiling Hal Jackson holding a phone.

Hal Jackson

Harold Baron Jackson was a disc jockey and radio personality who broke down racial barriers, becoming the first black host on a national broadcast network in the 1950s. 

Jesse Jackson wearing a dark suit and tie.

Jesse Jackson

Born in Greenville, SC, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. is a political activist, Baptist minister, and politician.

Esau Jenkins with bus used to provide students with transportation

Esau Jenkins

Esau Jenkins was a South Carolina African American Human Rights leader, businessman, local preacher, and community organizer.

Benjamin Mays wearing a dark suit

Benjamin Elijah Mays

Benjamin Elijah Mays was a teacher, civil rights leader, president of Morehouse College, dean of Howard University's School of Religion, and first black president of Atlanta's school board.

Black and white photograph of Frieda Mitchell

Frieda Mitchell

Frieda Mitchell was a civil rights and social justice activist from Beaufort County.

A smiling I. DeQuincey Newman wearing a dark and light suit with a dark bowtie

Isaiah DeQuincey Newman

Reverend Isaiah DeQuincey Newman was a minister and civil rights leader who became the first African American since 1887 to serve in the state Senate.

An older man with round wired glasses sits in a leather chair holding a book.

Daniel Alexander Payne

Daniel Alexander Payne was a bishop, educator, college administrator, and author from Charleston, SC.

An older gentleman sitting in a brown leather chair

Matthew J. Perry, Jr.

Judge Matthew James Perry, Jr. was South Carolina's first Black United States District Court Judge.

Black and white photograph of Robert Purvis

Robert Purvis

Robert Purvis was an abolitionist from Charleston, SC.

A young woman with a small smile.

Gloria Blackwell Rackley

Gloria Blackwell Rackley was a Civil Rights activist and educator. 

Black and white photograph of Bernice Robinson

Bernice Robinson

Educator, civil rights activist

Photo of Frances Rollin Whipper

Rollin Sisters

Born to an aristocratic free Black family in Charleston, the Sisters were noted for their influence and political savvy in Reconstruction politics.

Eulalie Chafee Salley

Eulalie Chafee Salley

Eulalie Chafee Salley from Aiken, SC fought for the right for women to vote.

A middle-aged woman.

Celia Dial Saxon

Celia Dial Saxon was a teacher and one of the founders of the Fairwold Industrial Home for Negro Girls and the Wilkinson Orphanage of Negro Children.

Black and white photograph of Cleveland Sellers, Jr.

Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr.

Civil rights activist, educator

Modjeska Monteith Simkins

Modjeska Monteith Simkins

Modjeska Monteith Simkins was an African American civil rights activist who was the Secretary of the NAACP in South Carolina and helped write the court case for Briggs v. Elliott.

Black and white photograph of Dr. Treadwell

Henrie Monteith Treadwell

Civil rights activist; public health expert and advocate; First Black graduate and Black woman graduate from the University of South Carolina since Reconstruction

Josh White in the middle wearing a polka-dot shirt.

Josh White

Josh White was a singer, musician, and civil rights activist.

An older smiling Black Woman.

Donella Brown Wilson

Donella Brown Wilson was an educator and centenarian.

A woman wearing a patterned dress with a golden turtle broach.

Dorris Wright

Dorris Wright is a Civil Rights Activist and was one of the participants in the "Greenville Eight" protest.

Black and white photograph of Virginia Durant Covington Young

Virginia Durant Covington Young

Virginia Durant Covington Young was a South Carolina suffragist, editor, and owner of South Carolina's Fairfax Enterprise weekly newspaper.