The Orangeburg Freedom Movement | The World of Cecil


This video covers the events in Orangeburg during the summer of 1955. The local branch of the NAACP formulated a petition requesting the desegregation of schools in line with the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. In response, the White community retaliated against the petitioners, demanding that they remove their names, with threats of job loss and other forms of retaliation. Some individuals did remove their names, but others, including Black business owners and ministers, kept theirs on the petition. In reaction to White pressure, the Black community initiated a selective buying campaign or boycott against certain White-owned businesses, creating economic tensions in the city. The video also mentions the visit of Thurgood Marshall to Claflin University and highlights the various angles of history being told through images and accounts. Importantly, this boycott in Orangeburg predated the famous Montgomery bus boycott and even involved discussions with Montgomery activists, indicating the significance of this early civil rights movement.