ORANGEBURG, S.C. – SC State will host events to commemorate the 53rd commemoration of the Orangeburg Massacre on virtually on Feb.8. The theme for this year is “Erasing Racism and Constructing Equity.” The tragedy remains etched in the history of the university, the Orangeburg community and beyond, but leaves a legacy of strength that has proven to be unwavering.
On Feb. 8, 1968, after three nights of escalating racial tension over efforts by students of then-SC State College, Claflin College and others to desegregate the local All-Star Bowling Lanes, three students were killed and 28 others injured when S.C. highway patrolmen opened fire on a crowd of unarmed protesters on the SC State campus. Those fatally wounded were SC State students, Henry Smith and Samuel Hammond, along with 19-year-old Wilkinson High School student, Delano Middleton.
Prominent civil rights attorney Justin Bamberg will serve as the guest speaker for the Commemoration Ceremony.
Following Monday’s ceremony, a wreath laying, and memorial flame lighting ceremony will be held at the Smith Hammond Middleton Legacy Plaza, where a monument serves as a tribute to the students who lost their lives during the Orangeburg Massacre.
Commonly known as the attorney for the families of Walter Scott and Kamiyah Mobley, Bamberg has established himself as one of the nation’s foremost attorneys and advocates for civil rights and social justice. The Bamberg, South Carolina native has successfully battled to protect constitutional rights at the local, state and federal levels, using his advocacy skills and the high profile of the cases to provide a voice to those long silenced and hope to those pushed to the outside.
Bamberg is additionally a South Carolina, House of Representative from the 90th district which includes Bamberg County and parts of Barnwell & Colleton counties.
Bamberg received his undergraduate degree and law degree from University of South Carolina.