Desegregation at the College of Charleston

Exhibit Splash Image

Credits and Sources

Curated by Dr. Mari N. Crabtree, the Desegregation of the College of Charleston exhibit was originally written and designed as a physical exhibit on display in the College of Charleston's Addlestone Library for February and March of 2016. This permanent digital exhibit has been updated and expanded with additional historical text by Erica Veal of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, a new gallery and timeline by LDHI graduate assistants, and an updated conclusion by the Office of Institutional Diversity.


My Soul is a Witness, Mari N. Crabtree

Mari N. Crabtree is an associate professor of African American Studies and, previously, was a visiting research scholar with Princeton University's Department of African American Studies. She specializes in African American culture and history—in particular, how the African American cultural tradition has shaped the Black freedom struggle in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her book, My Soul Is a Witness: The Traumatic Afterlife of Lynching, was published in 2022 by Yale University Press as part of the New Directions in Narrative History series.

Digital Exhibit, Co-Authoring Contributors
Courtney Howard, Office of Institutional Diversity, College of Charleston
Erica Veal, Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, College of Charleston

Physical Exhibit, Editorial Contributors
Millicent Brown, historian and educator
Jon Hale, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Thank you to LDHI graduate assistants, Brenna Reilley and Paige Little, for creating the timeline and gallery.


Primary Sources:

"33 Negroes Seek Admission to College Here," Charleston News and Courier, Charleston, South Carolina, June 11, 1944, courtesy of NewsBank. (View full article here).

"Compliance Issue: U.S. Discontinues Loans at College," Charleston Evening Post, Charleston, South Carolina, 1965, courtesy of NewsBank. (View full article here). 

The College of Charleston Yearbook: The Comet, 1967-2008. 

The College of Charleston Magazine, 2001-2005. 

Grice's statement to the Board of Trustees, College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, 1964, courtesy of College of Charleston Libraries.  

Letter from E. E. Towell to Gretta Middleton, Charleston, South Carolina, 1962, courtesy of Special Collections at College of Charleston.

"Open Door Policy Draws Comment" headline and student quote from the article, by Dick Johnson, The Meteor, Charleston, South Carolina, December 11, 1967, courtesy of College of Charleston Special Collections. (View full article here).

Wrighten’s first letter to the segregated College of Charleston attempted to gain admission, Charleston, South Carolina, 1943, courtesy of Special Collections at College of Charleston. (View full document here). 

Wrighten’s letter to the College of Charleston regarding desegregation, Charleston, South Carolina, October 6, 1944, courtesy of College of Charleston Special Collections(View full document here).

Books and Articles:

Chaddock, Katherine and Carolyne Matalene. College of Charleston Voices: Campus and Community Through the Centuries. Columbia, S.C: The History Press, 2006. 

Clotfelter, Charles T. After Brown: The Rise and Retreat of School Desegregation. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2004.

Hale, Jon. "'The Fight was Instilled in Us': High School Activism and the Civil Rights Movement in Charleston." The South Carolina Historical Magazine 114, no. 1 (2013): 4-28.

Morrison, Nan. A History of the College of Charleston, 1936-2008. Columbia, S.C: University of South Carolina Press, 2011.

Greene, Robert  Tyler D. Parry. Invisible No More: The African American Experience at the University of South Carolina. Columbia, S.C: University of South Carolina Press, 2021.

Samuels, Albert L. (Albert Leon). Is Separate Unequal? : Black Colleges and the Challenge to Desegregation. Lawrence, Kan: University Press of Kansas, 2004.

Thomas, June M. Struggling to Learn : An Intimate History of School Desegregation in South Carolina. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2022.

Wallenstein, Peter. Higher Education and the Civil Rights Movement: White Supremacy, Black Southerners, and College Campuses. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2008.

LDHI Exhibits:

Avery: The Spirit That Would Not Die, 1865-2015

Equalization Schools: South Carolina’s History of Unequal Education 

Remembering Individuals, Remembering Communities: Septima P. Clark and Public History in Charleston 

Somebody Had To Do It: First Children in School Desegregation

Digital Resources:

Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture

Discovering Our Past

Multicultural Student Programs and Services  

Office of Institutional Diversity 

Office of Institutional Research 

The College Today