The World of Cecil

When the Civil Rights Movement in South Carolina hit its stride, Cecil Williams was there with his camera creating a visual record through marches, meetings, sit-ins, demonstrations and riots. A child of the movement, himself, Williams was both an active participant and a passionate observer and preserver of its history. It is a role he prepared for from childhood; a role he embraces, yet today.

Williams is outspoken in his belief that the Civil Rights Movement had its beginning in Clarendon County, South Carolina, and that South Carolina—especially his hometown of Orangeburg—played a critical and pivotal role on the national civil rights front, although its primacy and impact are little known and accorded scant recognition. Through publications, sharing his photographs, telling the stories—and most recently, creating a South Carolina Civil Rights Museum, Williams hopes to correct this oversight. The two-part documentary, The World of Cecil tells his story through glimpses of major events and people, illuminated by Cecil’s photographs. Along the way, we learn of the myriad talents and accomplishments of Cecil J. Williams, the man, who set out to help make the world a better place.

Within this Series

The Orangeburg Massacre | The World of Cecil


In the final segment of The World of Cecil: Part One, the documentary recounts events from 1968 when students from South Carolina State University, led by John Stroman, attempted to desegregate the...
The Pink Palace | The World of Cecil


The sixth segment delves into the historical student protest in Orangeburg, South Carolina, in 1960. The movement, inspired by the Greensboro sit-ins, featured students from Claflin and South Carolina...