Director’s Corner.  Greetings and salutations from the desk of Executive Director, Mrs. Wilhelmina P. Johnson (below).  This is the seventh and eighth in a series of publications called the Director’s Corner highlighting our programs, activities, and events ending 2017’ and 2018’. 

 

Mrs. Wilhelmina P. Johnson

Executive Director, CRC INC.

 

Celebrating 45-years.  The end of 2017’ and the beginning of 2018’ finds our organization continuing to unearth our communities’ glorious history noting the passing of two sages within our state, Former Chief Justice of S.C. Supreme Court Judge Ernest A. Finney, Jr., and Dr. Luns Richardson, former President of Morris College, Sumter, S.C., the 32nd Annual Darlington County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Celebration, Black History Month – The Continuation, Alabama Senator Hank Sanders' Senate Sketches #1593, Reconstruction 1865 - 1877 Series, and much more..

 

 

Chief Justice of S.C. Supreme Court

Judge Ernest A. Finney, Jr

 

 

Former Chief Justice Ernest A. Finney died on December 3, 2017 at 86.  Finney graduated from the segregated S.C. State University Law School in 1954 to become a civil rights lawyer representing thousands of defendants, including the Friendship Nine, a group of black students from Friendship College, who went to jail after staging a sit-in at a segregated Rock Hill lunch counter.   His S.C. Legal Career was one of many firsts.  In 1972, he was one of the first African-American Representatives to be elected to the House of Representatives since the Reconstruction Era saying he "wanted to be part of the structure that made the decisions."   In 1976, He became the state's first African-American Circuit Judge and joined the Supreme Court nine years later, becoming the first African-American South Carolina to sit on the high court since Jonathan Jasper Wright left the bench in 1877.  He was an associate Supreme Court Justice until 1994 when he became Chief Justice, becoming the first African-American, to hold the post retiring in 2000.

 

Finney, a native of Smithfield, Va., was raised by his father after his mother died shortly after his birth. His family came to South Carolina so his father could teach at Claflin College, where Finney would get a degree before going to law school. He needed six years after graduating from S.C. State's law program to start his practice because the state had so few opportunities for black attorneys. He taught in Conway and waited tables in Myrtle Beach before opening a practice in Sumter, S.C. developing his reputation for working civil rights cases.

 

 

 

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While leading the Supreme Court, he played pivotal roles in two cases in 1999 — one that ruled that all South Carolina schoolchildren were entitled to a minimally adequate education" and another effectively ended video gambling in the state by not allowing the Legislature to have voters decide the fate of the industry.

 

Finney's sons are lawyers. Chip is the 3rd Circuit Solicitor, while Jerry runs a Columbia law practice. His daughter, Nikky, is an award-winning poet who teaches at the University of South Carolina.  Judge Finney is also survived by his wife, Francine, daughter-in-law Elaine, and several grandchildren.

 

Ironically, Judge Finney attended the same university; Claflin University that employed the last African-American Supreme Court Justice Jonathan Jasper Wright (below) would also create the Claflin College Law Dept. before his death on February 18, 1885.

 

 

S.C. Supreme Court Justice

Jonathon Jasper Wright

 

 

Dr. Luns C. Richardson, a native of Hartsville, S.C. former President of Morris College, Sumter, S.C., a position he held with distinction having been the longest serving College President in the United States of America for 43 years passed on January 13, 2018 at 89.  He also held the distinction of serving as a Baptist Minister of Thankful Baptist Church in Bamberg for 56 years.

 

Dr. Luns Richardson

President, Morris College

 

“Dr. Richardson has worked tirelessly to maintain financial stability, increase student enrollment, initiate new academic majors, organize divisions, secure accreditation of academic programs, expand the college’s technological infrastructure and establish an Army ROTC unit (under the auspices of the University of South Carolina),” the release stated.  Morris College was founded in 1908 and is owned and operated by the Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina.  It is also the only historically black institution of eight pilot schools selected to participate in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges’ (SACSSOC) new Principles of Accreditation.

 

 

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  32nd Annual Darlington County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Memorial Celebration.  “World Unity – Peace, Hope, Love, and Understanding” was the theme for The 32nd Annual Darlington County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Celebration on Monday, January 15, 2018’, beginning at 12:00 noon at St. James United Methodist Church, 312 Pearl Street, Darlington, S.C., Rev. Dr. Marvin Caldwell, Sr., Pastor and Overseer.  Keynote Speaker for the event was Rev. Michelle Law-Gordon, Pastor, Open Door Baptist Church.  Not-withstanding this year’s event and message, with the approaching 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s Last Sermon – The Drum Major Instinct – an excerpt presented on February 4, 1968 at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA., two months before his assassination on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, TN.. is provided. The background scripture begins with Mark 10:35.

 

A NEW DEFINITION OF GREATNESS

“And so Jesus gave us a new norm of greatness. If you want to be important—wonderful.

If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful.

But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.  That's a new definition of greatness.

And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can

be great, because everybody can serve.

You don't have to have a college degree to serve.

You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve.

You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve.

You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve.

You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve.

You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.

And you can be that servant.”

 

 

 

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Black History Month – The Continuation.  What If There Were No Black People…..This is the story of a little boy named Theo, who woke up one morning and asked God, “What if there were no black people in the world?”  Well God thought about that for a moment and then said, “Son, follow me around today and let’s just see what it would be like if there were no Black People in the world.  Get dressed and we will get started.”

 

  Theo ran to his room to put on his clothes and shoes. But there were no shoes, and his clothes were all wrinkled.  He looked for the iron, but when he reached for the ironing board, it was no longer there.  You see Sarah Boone, a Black Woman, invented the ironing board and Jan Matzelinger, a Black Man, invented the shoe lasted machine.  “Oh well, God said, go and do your hair.”  Theo ran to his room to comb his hair but the comb was not there.  You see Walter Sammons, a Black Man, invented the comb.  Theo decided to brush his hair but the brush was gone.  You see, Lydia O. Newman, a Black Woman, invented the brush.  Well, he was a sight for sore eyes, no shoes, wrinkled clothes, hair a mess, without the hair care inventions of Madam C.J. Walker, a Black Woman, well you get the picture.

 

God said to Theo, “Let’s do the chores around the house and then take a trip to the grocery store.”  Theo’s job was to sweep the floor.  He swept and swept and swept.  When he reached for the dustpan, it was not there.  You see, Lloyd P. Ray, a Black Man, invented the dustpan.   So he swept his pile of dirt over in the corner and left it there.  He decided to mop the floor, but the mop was gone.  You see, Thomas W. Stewart, a Black Man, invented the mop.  Theo thought to himself, “I’m not having any luck.”  “Well son, God said, we should wash the clothes and prepare a list for the grocery store.”  When he finished, Theo went to place the clothes in the dryer but it was not there.  You see George T. Samon, a Black Man, invented the clothes dryer.  Theo got a pencil and some paper to prepare a list for the market, but noticed that the pencil lead was broken. Well, he was out of luck because John Love, a Black Man, invented the pencil sharpener.

 

  He reached for a pen, but it was not there, because William Purvis, a Black Man, invented the fountain pen.  As a matter of fact, Lee Burridge invented the type writer, and W.A. Lavette, the printing press.  So they decided to head out to the market.  Well, when Theo opened the door, he noticed the grass was as high as he was tall.  You see the lawn mower was invented by the John Burr, a Black Man.  They made their way over to the car and found that it just wouldn’t move.  You see, Robert Spikes, a Black Man, invented the automatic gear shift and Joseph Gammel, invented the supercharge system for internal combustion engines.

 

  They noticed that the few cars that were moving were crashing into each other because there were no traffic signals. You see, Garrett A. Morgan, a Black Man, invented the traffic light.   Well, it was getting late, so they walked to the market, got their groceries and returned home.  Just when they were about to put away the milk, eggs, and butter, they noticed the refrigerator was gone.  You see, John Standard, a Black Man invented the refrigerator.  So they put their food on the counter.  By this time, they noticed it was getting mighty cold.  Theo went to turn up the heat and what do you know, Alice Walker, a Black Female invented the heating furnace.  Even in the summer time, they would’ve been out of luck, because Alexander Miles, a Black Man, invented the air conditioner.

 

  It was almost time for Theo’s father to arrive home.  He usually took the bus, but there was no bus because it precursor was the electric trolley, invented by another Black Man, Elbert Robinson.  He usually took the elevator from his office on the 20th Floor, but there was no elevator because Alexander Miles, a Black Man, invented the elevator.  He usually dropped off the office mail at the nearby mailbox, but it was no longer there because Phillip Downing, a Black Man, invented the letter drop mailbox and William Barry invented the postmarking and canceling machine.  Theo sat at the Kitchen table with his head in his hands when his Father arrived, he asked him, “Why are you sitting in the dark?”  Why?? Because Lewis Howard Latimer, a Black Man, invented the filament within the light bulb.

 

Theo quickly learned what it be like if there were no Black people in the world.  Not to mention if he were ever sick or needed blood.  Dr. Charles Drew, a Black Scientist, found a way to preserve and store blood, which led to the world’s first blood bank.  And what if a family member had to have surgery, this would not have been possible without Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, a Black Doctor, who performed the first open heart surgery.

 

  Theo…where is your cell phone? his father asked.  The cell phone was invented by Dr. Henry T. Sampson, a Black Nuclear Engineer and inventor.  

 

Dr. Henry T. Sampson

Nuclear Engineer and Inventor

 

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  Theo looked upward into the sky, and wondered, about the space craft overhead…when God said…”Have you heard of  NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson, a Black Astrophysicist, Space Scientist, and Mathematician. In the early days of the space race, she was a noted member on the Human Computer Project with her colleagues Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson, both Mathematicians in their own right, worked closely together in calculating trajectory analysis for Astronaut Alan Shepard’s May 1961 Freedom 7 Mission, America’s First Human Spaceflight.

 

 

 

Dr. Katherine Johnson

NASA Space Scientist

 

 

 

        

    Dorothy Vaughn

   NASA Mathematician

                                              

Mary Jackson

NASA Engineer

 

  So if you ever wonder, like Theo, where we would be without Black people?  Well, it’s pretty plain to see, we could very well be sitting in the dark or stuck on earth, literally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alabama Senator Hank Sanders (left), representing the 23rd District since 1983’ from his Senate Sketches #1593, on the journey and power of the vote during Alabama’s hotly contested senatorial seat in December 2017’ between Attorney Doug Jones and Judge Roy Moore.

Attorney Doug Jones vs. Judge Roy Moore.

 

It should be noted that Attorney Doug Jones was responsible for successfully convicting KKK Members whom murdered four African-American Girls; Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Denise McNair, at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., on September 15, 1963.

 

 

16th Baptist Street Church Bombing Victims.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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S.C. House of Representative Member – Darlington County

The Honorable John Boston

1868-1870 and 1872-1874

 

Introduction:  In continuation of our Reconstruction 1865-1877 Series, local negro leaders throughout Darlington County were sought, after the S.C. 1868’ Constitution Convention, attended by a fusion coalition of men; both black and white, from all walks of life endeavoring to make S.C. a place where the words “of the people, for the people, and by the people will not perish from the face of the Earth”, into a democratic society for all.  One such individual elected by his constituents was the Honorable John Boston.

 

Representative John Boston.  Born into slavery about 1832 in present day Lamar, S.C., formerly known as Lisbon Township, Rep. John Boston was a foremost minister and servant of God.  He was a self-employed farmer as noted in the 1880’ Census in the township that bore his surname during the Reconstruction Era – Boston Township.  He was also known as a land purchaser, school trustee, and community supporter.

 

 Representative John Boston.

             Courtesy of Darlington County Historical Museum of Ethnic Culture.

and S.C. Dept. of History and Archives

 

 

 

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Darlington County during the Reconstruction Period – note Boston Township.

                  Courtesy of the Darlington County Historical Commission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Career:  Because of his community service and business acumen, he was elected twice to the S.C. House of Representatives – 1868-1870 and 1872-1874.  During his tenures in the House of Representatives, he endorsed the children of his constituents desiring an education at the state’s premiere school – University of South Carolina – such as R. Marcus Dubose in December 1869’. 

 

Letter of Matriculation endorsing R. Marcus Dubose to attend USC.

          Courtesy of the Darlington County Historical Commission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In 1865, Rep. John Boston founded the Lamar Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, currently known as John Wesley United Methodist Church, for freedman in that township.  The first service was held under a brush arbor and the first sanctuary was built in 1866. He is buried in the church cemetery.

 

 

 

John Wesley United Methodist Church - early 1900s.

Coutesy of Darlington County Historical Commission

 

 

 

John Wesley United Methodist Church - about 1981.

Coutesy of Darlington County Historical Museum of Ethnic Culture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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S.C. Supreme Court Removes Oversight in Abbeville v. State of S.C. Case. With the recent passing of Former S.C. Chief Justice Ernest A. Finney, Corridor of Shame Schools lost one its strongest advocates.  With his passing, on December 5, 2017, the S.C. Supreme Court withdrew “oversight” in the Abbeville v. State of S.C.  Oversight, by the S.C. Supreme Court was put in effect ensuring the Legislature; both House and Senate, provided meaningful and charted course(s) of action(s) necessary to provide “equitable funding” to meet the minimally adequate education mandate required by the State’s Constitution.  70-years after Briggs v. Elliott, Clarendon County's legal response to segregated and inadequate funding of black schools during that period, the Corridor of Shame School Region is continually underfunded while S.C. taxpayers are funding the State’s Charter School System at an astonishing $350,000,000.  In June 2017’, the S.C. Dept. of Education sought to overtake the Allendale School District because of poor performance.  While funding appears to have increased in the past year to $17,000 per student, this financially malnourished and deprived entity believes this effort to be too little too late by the state of S.C.  The Allendale School District responded by suing the S.C. Dept. of Education. In the closing weeks of 2017’, Sumter and Orangeburg Counties either have closed predominately African-American Schools within those districts or consolidated them.  In April 2018, the S.C. Dept. of Education also overtook Williamsburg County School District and Florence County School District #4, Timmonsville, S.C.  In closing, the third redemption period in which we currently reside, seeks to repeal gains that help African-Americans and other Minorities.  This movement has a five-point mandate that is the following:

* Repeal Educational Laws

* Repeal Labor Laws

* Repeal Fair Criminal Justice Laws

* Cut Taxes - Ensures Government has no means to fund needed programs (to help the poor)

* Repeal Voting Right Laws

University of South Carolina Doctoral Student Luci Vaden Chapter 2 headlined in her dissertation; Before The Corridor of Shame – The African-American Fight for Equal Education After Jim Crow – states, “If you can keep a man from getting an education: You can manage him”.  Finally, a main pillar of any Democratic Society is Education.  Without Education, the whole of society is threatened which leads to the infographic on the next page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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School to Prison Pipeline Infograph.

Courtesy of Internet Community

 

What can you do? 

 

* Contact your state legislature.  Each of us has one Senate and one House Member. Tell them you want the General Assembly to enact comprehensive legislation that will remedy the problem, i.e. equitable funding, better teacher pay, teacher retention.

 

*  Tell your legislators to stop spending millions of dollars defending the state of S.C. against lawsuits brought by school districts whose educators, parents and students are located in the Corridor of Shame.

 

*  Ask a member of the legislature to speak to your civic or community group, focusing on what the General Assembly should do to improve educational opportunities in the state’s rural, low-wealth school districts.

 

* Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper calling for the Governor and General Assembly to address the critical financial needs of our state’s rural schools.

 

 

 

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 Remembering Senator Robert Kennedy by Children's Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman.

 

                                         forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and during

                                           those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance".  

 

                                          For more information, go to www.childrensdefense.org

 

 

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  45th Anniversary Director's Funding Drive.  To learn just a few facts about our non-profit, click here.

 

 

 CRISIS ALERT.  Famine has gripped South Sudan and a hunger is ravaging Somalia and parts of East Africa. Please click on the International Rescue icon to your right and donate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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