SC63 Unveils Civil Rights Markers In Columbia

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A little more than 50 years ago, the nation was in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, where many people, including South Carolinians, paved the way for peace.

"You read about it, you see the videos in school but to actually know I'm touching a living legend, it's definitely a humbling experience," Cyrus Thornton said

For Thornton, the Civil Rights Movement wasn't just in his history books.

"There was a certain place for black folks in Columbia," Moses Javis said.

Thornton's dad, Javis, fought for the freedoms he enjoys today through the NAACP.

"I joined because it was the group that was a voice for the people," Javis said.

If you walk down Main street, you'll now see new additions. SC63 unveiled nine markers giving passers-by a glance into the past.

"We've been giving the opportunity to enable others to tell their story and once you listen to those stories they are really powerful lessons about what occurred 50 years ago," Dr. Bobby Donaldson with SC63 said.

One of the markers tells the story of James Edwards, a Benedict College student who was arrested after a peaceful protest at the State House.

He sued the state and won.

"I hate injustice," Edwards said. "We're going to make the best out of a situation that was the worst and make it better for the generation today. "

But even for these trailblazers who cleared the way for future generations, the effort continues.

"Fight for justice and equality. Stand up," Edwards said.

"This is really just the beginning, there is much work to be done," Donaldson said.

SC63 is a part of a joint initiative recognizing and commemorating the 50th anniversary of 1963, which marked the height of the Civil Rights Movement.

SC63 still needs the public's help to identify people in various photos, visit for more.


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