time period

Civil Rights

Many of the initiatives and strides for national recognition of African Americans as first-class citizens, entitled to the same rights and privileges as other residents, were reflected in Charleston’s own local history. Petitioning, boycotting, mass mobilization, law suits, voter registration drives and labor strikes are examples of the multiple approaches taken over decades to achieve equal rights.

One of Charleston's best known civil rights activists, educator Septima Poinsette Clark, fought for equal pay for Black teachers, and became the first Black woman elected to the Charleston School Board in 1975.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks from the pulpit of Emanuel AME Church on Calhoun Street. King is brought to Charleston to support ongoing local voter registration and other civil rights battle efforts.
Charleston public schools become the first in the state forced by federal court order to adhere to the Supreme Court Decision of 1954 regarding school desegregation.
Charleston Hospital Workers’ Strike - One of the state’s most significant modern day civil rights protests calling into question the state’s denial of the right to organize unions, and provide equal pay to African Americans.