Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968 | Chicago Reader

Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968

In the late 60s, Orangeburg, South Carolina, had a black majority and two black universities--Claflin and South Carolina State--whose students had successfully desegregated several area institutions. But in February 1968 a peaceful protest at a bowling alley turned into a riot at which police fired on unarmed students, killing three and wounding 27. Governor Robert E. McNair, then considered a moderate, escalated racial tensions even further by blaming the tragedy on Cleveland Sellers, a former organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Drawing from Jack Bass and Jack Nelson's book The Orangeburg Massacre as well as eyewitness accounts, directors Bestor Cram and Judy Richardson skillfully document a white enclave's overreaction to the Black Power movement. 56 min.

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