PROJECTS

Center for Creative Partnerships has developed significant projects including  the first GullahStudies Institute on St. Helena Island at Penn Center;  Civil Rights/Social Justice Workshops; and many others. The organization has developed Strategic Plans for Penn Center,  Jackson, MS, and Charlottesville, VA. CCP President has curated important exhibitions including Partnership in Social Justice; James Brown: Preserving the Legacy; Journey from Africa to Gullah; Africa Revisited: The Art of Power and Identity.

Center for Creative Partnerships encourages communities and organizations to work with us to develop projects which will have a positive impact on your community and/or institution - and we help to raise the necessary funds.

     These and other unique projects are available for your community and /or organization.

For​ information contact Center for Creative Partnerships at

  (803) 928-6851or centerforcreativepartnerships@gmail.com

Orangeburg All-Star Justice Center

in Commemoration of the Orangeburg, Massacre 

Center for Creative Partnerships is excited to announce that it has acquired the historic All-Star Bowling Lanes and will create Orangeburg All-Star Justice Center in Commemoration of the Orangeburg Massacre.

The preliminary plans for the project include the only Civil Rights Bowling Alley, museum exhibition space, films, and places for community discussion and reconciliation.  The property includes the bowling alley, half of the parking lot and the large empty space adjoining the bowling alley, which will be developed. A small building adjacent to the bowling alley is in the process of a generous donation by Rev. Sammie Gordon. Examination by a structural engineer found that the building is structurally sound and can be renovated. When you enter the All-Star Bowling Alley now, you are transported back to a bowling alley in the 1960's, complete with lanes, bowling balls and bowling pins.

The basis for Center for Creative Partnerships has always been collaboration to achieve success. The Orangeburg All-Star Justice Center already has significant partners in the Orangeburg County Council, the City of Orangeburg and the South Carolina Humanities. We would like to thank Glenn Walters, Attorney, who contributed his time for the acquisition of the property.  We are in touch with the families of the heroes killed and wounded in the Orangeburg Massacre. We will be looking toward participation by the community and outreach throughout the country.

 

We’re going to make it a place of education, community and healing.                                                                                                                     Ellen Zisholtz

 I am happy to be a part of this important project, commemorating the significance of the Orangeburg Massacre. It will help heal the nation's divide and the wound resulting from the defining day of my life -16 years before I was born. It's been a long time coming.

Bakari Sellers

 Help us to renvate the All-Star Triangle Bowling Alley.  The formation of your partnership will be key to the restoration project’s success. Click below to donate.

Orangeburg massacre statues.jpg

Bronzed Busts of the Heroes of the Orangeburg Massacre

Henry Smith, Samuel Hammond, & Delano Middleton 

Sculptures by Tolu Filani, Artist/Chair of Visual and Performing Arts, SC State University

Photo taken at SC State University Commemoration of Orangeburg Massacre

James Clark, President, Germaine Middleton

About the Orangeburg Massacre

 Based on LDHI Lowcountry Digital History Initiative

On the night of February 8, 1968, South Carolina Highway Patrolmen shot and killed three African American men (Samuel Hammond, Delano Middleton, and Henry Smith) at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The incident occurred at the end of a weeklong series of student-led protests over continued segregation in the Orangeburg area, particularly at a local bowling alley. These patrolmen fired for at least eight seconds in the direction of a group of student protestors. In addition to the three deaths, at least twenty-eight students were wounded, most of them shot from behind as they fled. Due to the violence of this attack against civil rights protestors, these shootings became known as the Orangeburg Massacre.

 

By February 1968, most of the public spaces in the city of Orangeburg were integrated except for All Star Bowling Lanes and the Orangeburg Regional Hospital. The bowling alley had become a focal point for protests led by black residents in Orangeburg, as well as students from South Carolina State and Claflin Colleges, because these two historically black colleges stood within walking distance of the establishment. Members of the black community made several attempts to broker a deal with the bowling alley manager, Harry Floyd, to integrate the business - but to no avail. Floyd insisted the alley was a private business with no obligation to desegregate. Contrary to his claims, the presence of a lunch counter in the bowling alley meant that it was tied to interstate commerce, where federal law demanded integration. On Monday evening, February 5th, a group of African American South Carolina State students went to All Star and sat at the lunch counter in protest.  John Stroman, an organizer from a student group called the Black Awareness Coordinating Committee (BACC), helped lead these student protestors. The local police were called and Floyd closed the business for the night.

 

The next evening, February 6, several students returned and attempted to integrate the bowling alley and were turned away. Word spread quickly after local police arrested them and hundreds of African American students poured into the bowling alley parking lot. Approximately 150 law enforcement officials were on the scene and some began to beat students. A fire truck arrived at the scene and tensions mounted. Several girls were clubbed to the ground. That night, eight students and one officer were admitted to the hospital with injuries.  

 

On Wednesday, February 7th, Orangeburg Mayor E.O. Pendarvis and city manager Bob Stevenson attempted to address students at South Carolina State College, but were hooted off the stage. Students expressed anger over the response from law enforcement the night before, and towards city officials who they believed were not taking their demands seriously. The students requested a permit from city officials to march in protest, and were denied. They also submitted a list of demands, which included integrating the bowling alley, drive-in movie theaters, and the Orangeburg Regional Hospital, and called for an end to police brutality and the establishment of a biracial human relations committee. Meanwhile, the National Guard and the South Carolina Highway Patrol set up roadblocks around the colleges, and students were not permitted to leave the campus.

 

By early evening on Thursday, February 8th, South Carolina State College was on lockdown. Patrolmen, members of the National Guard, local deputies, city police, and agents from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), all surrounded the campus. A group of students assembled at the front of the campus to face off against these armed forces. They sang, chanted, and gathered around a bonfire they built to keep warm throughout the frigid evening. A fire truck, escorted by a group of patrolmen, was called in to put out the bonfire. Around 10:30 p.m. patrolman David Shealy was struck in the head by a bannister removed from a nearby house. About five minutes later, nine patrolmen fired on the group of protesting students while moving up an embankment and onto the campus. Twenty-eight men and women were wounded, and three men died from these gunshots. Samuel Hammond died at 11:20 p.m., 

Delano Middleton at 1:10 a.m., and Henry Smith at about 1:35 a.m.

In the aftermath, South Carolina Governor Robert McNair asserted that the students had been out of control and fired first on the patrolmen (although no evidence could be provided that this occurred). McNair also placed blame on former SNCC organizer Cleveland Sellers. Sellers lived in Orangeburg at the time and had plans to help students organize and promote African American studies. Sellers, however, was not heavily involved in the bowling alley sit-in protests. Still, because of his involvement with SNCC he was an easy scapegoat and became the only person connected to the events of that week to serve a significant prison sentence. Sellers spent seven months in the South Carolina state penitentiary charged with inciting the protests. The white patrolmen involved in the shooting were exonerated of all charges in a 1969 trial held in Florence, South Carolina.

 

The timing of the Orangeburg Massacre in 1968 meant that it was largely overshadowed in the national media by the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968 and the student shootings at Kent State University in 1970.  Publication of Jack Bass and Jack Nelson’s The Orangeburg Massacre in 1970 helped to document the event and bring the story back into public conversation. The South Carolina state government pardoned Cleveland Sellers in 1993, and he later served as president of Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina and now serves on the Center for Creative Partnerships Board of Trustees.

 

In 2001, South Carolina governor Jim Hodges apologized on behalf of the state for what happened in Orangeburg, calling it a “great tragedy for our state.” Mayor Paul Miller also issued an apology on behalf of the city of Orangeburg in 2009. Former South Carolina House Representative, Bakari Sellers, (son of Cleveland Sellers) continues to call for an official state investigation into the 1968 shootings.