Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-v

Contents

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p. vii

List of Illustrations

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p. viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

This book would not have been possible without the generous encouragement of the Department of English at Denison University, especially the glue that holds our pirate ship together, Anneliese Deimel Davis. Thank you to the Denison University Research Foundation and...

Chronology

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pp. xiii-xv

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Introduction

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pp. 1-10

It was a chance encounter with a book on a shelf. That’s all it was. Out of the thousands of books in the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza, I bumped into the one that had the most relevance to my life, to my hometown, and to my childhood. It was a chance encounter while I was...

Part One

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1. The Archive and the Archivist

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pp. 13-26

I wanted to start with paper, with documents, with what makes me (an English professor) comfortable. So, on a warm spring day in 2009, I began research for this book in the archives at South Carolina State University’s Miller F. Whittaker Library, located at the back of the campus...

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2. The Bystander

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pp. 29-36

When you’re young, there are some things you don’t or can’t notice. You don’t notice the social norms, cues, and realities of the adult world. At times you think that something must be amiss, but the thought slips quickly away, and you continue living in your world, whatever world...

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3. Garden City and Palmetto State

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pp. 39-53

You must know this: Orangeburg is beautiful. In the summer it is a lush paradise. Deep green ivy climbs oak trees draped in Spanish moss, while yellow pines sit sentinel over fields of soybean and cotton. And the din of cicadas provides citizens soft comfort as they sip sweet...

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4. Spitting at Jim Crow

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pp. 55-69

I was in the fourth grade when I first heard about the Ku Klux Klan from a classmate at Orangeburg Prep. One day he told me (and anyone else within earshot) that his uncle belonged to a club who wore white robes and masks and looked like ghosts. And when anybody, especially...

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5. Eight Seconds of Holy Hell

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pp. 71-88

Oscar Butler ended up in Orangeburg and at South Carolina State College in 1952 because of an athletic scholarship. A graduate of Pearl High School in Nashville, Tennessee, he was a standout on the basketball court and on the baseball diamond, but because of the color of...

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6. The State’s Men

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pp. 91-111

Carl Stokes said it happened often. His phone would ring at one, two in the morning. On the other end of the line would be his boss, Chief J. P. Strom, who would tell him to get dressed and come pick him up pronto. Strom would direct him to drive to some small town a...

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7. The Struggle

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pp. 113-125

In the wake of the deaths of Samuel Hammond, Delano Middleton, and Henry Smith, the United States Department of Justice, pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sued for the desegregation of the bowling alley and the hospital and was successful on both counts....

Part Two

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8. “That thing hurt me”

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pp. 129-139

John Stroman is a Muslim and lives in Orangeburg, South Carolina. That makes him unusual for two reasons. One, he made the personal choice to stay in the place that caused him so much pain. And two, he made the choice to convert to Islam in the Bible Belt, a choice he made a while...

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9. “A different light than bitterness”

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pp. 141-160

The telephone was on Johnalee Nelson’s side of the bed, so when it rang around 1:00 a.m., she was the one who had to answer it. On the other end was a family friend, a local funeral home director. He had to talk to her husband, James Herbert. Awake in the darkness of her...

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10. Editing the Story

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pp. 163-174

Dean Livingston is an old-school news paperman—cautious, concise, always looking for the right words and the best sources. He should be familiar with the news paper business, given that he started working in it when he was nine, delivering news papers. He eventually moved on to editing...

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11. Black, White, and Green

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pp. 177-189

A gleaming glass and stucco building overlooks Interstate 26 as it races through Orangeburg County—in one direction, mountains; in the other, sea. This somewhat innocuous edifice just off exit 145 is in fact the future of Orangeburg. It is more or less a welcome center for investors...

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12. New Narratives

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pp. 191-205

It was a cold January day. State College history professor Bill Hine and I were standing on the sidewalk in front of the embankment that highway patrolmen climbed at about 10:30 p.m. on February 8, 1968, and opened fire on a group of unarmed students. Watson Street...

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Epilogue

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pp. 207-213

I was careful about how I approached the people I interviewed for this book. Many of them were just as careful about talking with me, especially the first time we met. Even then, some didn’t want me to use their names. One of them later changed his mind. That was Clyde Jeffcoat....

Who’s Who

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pp. 215-217

Notes

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pp. 219-226

Bibliography

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pp. 227-231

Index

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pp. 233-257