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Honorary Street Named for Civil Rights Pioneer

1:08 PM, Jun 28, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - In 1951, history was made in Columbia when a 20-year-old African American woman boarded a bus and then was asked to leave her seat.  Friday, the City of Columbia honored Sarah Flemming by reveling a new sign in her name at that intersection.

Cheers erupted when Flemming's new sign was revealed  on the corner of Main and Washington Streets.

"It's beyond [what] words can express," said Asia Hall, Flemming's granddaughter. "I'm just so grateful that god is allowing my family to witness this day."

On June 22nd, 1954, Flemming was riding the bus in downtown Columbia. When told to get to the back of the vehicle, Flemming tried to exit the front of the bus and was dropped off at the corner of Main and Washington Streets.

"My grandmother was definitely a wonderful woman," Hall said. "The impiety of what a virtuous woman is."

The NAACP filed a lawsuit on her behalf, and the ruling helped end bus segregation.

Her impact goes beyond the 1950s, and has helped future generations.

"I think her being a woman and an African-American woman and making this impact on history has definitely aspired family members, but people beyond South Carolina to believe in what's right and fight for justice," Hall said.

The commemoration continues this Sunday with a film series including Flemming's story at the Richland County Library Main branch on Assembly Street.

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