The University of South Carolina Center for Civil Rights History and Research welcomes the public to “A Charge to Keep: the Legacy of Civil Rights Activism,” an event to celebrate newly opened and digitized University Libraries’ civil rights collections, with honored guest retired AME Bishop John Hurst Adams.
Adams— a pastor, bishop, civil rights activist, educator, college president and lifelong advocate for racial justice — is a Columbia, South Carolina native whose work has impacted campuses, congregations and communities nationwide.
Adams served as Senior Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church from 1988 until his retirement, and was Bishop of five different Episcopal Districts beginning in 1972, including his home district of South Carolina. While in South Carolina, Adams was a key leader in the successful effort to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House.
University Libraries, which holds multiple important African American history collections, will announce several newly opened and recently digitized civil rights collections, including the written works and papers of Adams and his father, the late Rev. Eugene Avery (E.A.) Adams (1886-1958), Adams was an A.M.E. minister, educator and civil rights activist who co-founded the Victory Savings Bank, Bell Street High School, the South Carolina Citizens Committee, and was president of the Columbia branch of the NAACP.
Additional newly opened collections include the papers of longtime educator and civic leader Martha C. Monteith and NAACP attorney John Roy Harper II (1939-2003), as well as over four hundred sermons from the Rev. Joseph De Laine (1898-1975), an A.M.E. minister and educator who led the fight against segregated schools in Clarendon County.
Newly digitized collections to be announced include the works of Modjeska Monteith Simkins, leader of public health, social reform and the civil rights movement, local African American newspapers the Lighthouse and Informer and the Palmetto Leader, and local news coverage of 1960s civil rights news footage.