The Orangeburg Massacre

Exhibit Splash Image


About the Project Author
Jack Shuler is the John and Christine Warner Professor and Associate Professor of English Literature at Denison University, where he teaches American Literature and Black Studies. Shuler’s second book, Blood and Bone: Truth and Reconciliation in a Southern Town (University of South Carolina Press, 2012), examines the 1968 Orangeburg Massacre and the challenges of racial reconciliation in the twenty-first century. Blood and Bone is both a work of history and a personal memoir, as Shuler explores how his hometown of Orangeburg has and has not changed since 1968.

Editorial Contributor
John White, College of Charleston 

Additional Credits
Beth Gniewek, a College of Charleston-Citadel M.A. student in History and graduate assistant for the Lowcountry Digital Library at the College of Charleston, created the interactive Neatline map of the Orangeburg Massacre events. Gniewek also assisted in digitizing a portion of images and artifacts from the "Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr. Papers, 1934 - 2003," housed at the Avery Research Center to create a digital collection for the Lowcountry Digital Library, and to display within this exhibition.

Special thanks to the Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston for use of the "Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr. Papers, 1934-2003." The majority of the documents in the Sellers Papers collection at Avery detail Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr.'s role in a variety of student, civil rights, leftist, and Pan-African movements in the 1960s and 1970s.

Thanks to the generous support of the National Historical Publications & Records Commission, more materials of from the "Cleveland L. Sellars, Jr. Papers, 1934-2003" were digitized in 2016.

Visit the Online Collection:  


Bass, Jack and Jack Nelson. The Orangeburg Massacre. Macon, Georgia: Mercer UP, 2002. 

Bass, Jack and W. Scott Poole. The Palmetto State: The Making of Modern South Carolina. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 2009.

Beacham, Frank. Whitewash: A Southern Journey through Music, Mayhem, and Murder. Self-published. 2002.

Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Orangeburg State College Shooting.” U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, D.C.

Grose, Phillip G. South Carolina at the Brink: Robert McNair and the Politics of Civil Rights. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 2006.

Bestor Cram and Judy Richardson, directors. Scarred Justice. Northern Light Productions, 2009. 

Hine, C. “Civil Rights and Campus Wrongs: South Carolina State College Students Protest, 1955–1968.” South Carolina Historical Magazine 97.4 (October 1996): 310-31.

Sellers, Cleveland with Robert Terrell. The River of No Return. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi, 1973.

Shuler, Jack. Blood and Bone: Truth and Reconciliation in a Southern Town. Columbia, South Carolina:University of South Carolina Press, 2012.

Watters, Pat and Weldon Rougeau. “Events at Orangeburg.” Southern Regional Council. Atlanta, Georgia, 1968.

Williams, Cecil J. Orangeburg 1968: A Place and Time Remembered. Orangeburg, South Carolina: Cecil Williams Publishing. 2008.


Jack Bass, "Documenting the Orangeburg Massacre," Neiman Reports

Melanie Eversley, "Orangeburg Massacre stirs debate 44 years later," USA Today

"The Orangeburg Massacre: An Epic Story of Racism in South Carolina"

Craig Melvin, "Governor Mark Sanford apologizes for Orangeburg Massacre," WISTV

National Park Service, "We Shall Overcome: Historical Places of the Civil Rights Movement

Jermaine Spradley, "Orangeburg Massacre Remembered On This Day In Black History," Huffington Post