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Film “Scarred Justice” brings forgotten student massacre to light

February 7, 2011

(Left to right) Henry Smith, Samuel Hammond Jr. and Delano H. Middleton

Dinner and A Movie:
Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968
Thursday Feb. 10, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
The Bloom Collective
671 Davis NW (Steepletown Center)
Corner of 5th & Davis, Grand Rapids
$3-$5 suggested donation.
The Bloom will serve a light supper with vegan options.

Forty years ago, the Kent State shootings made national headlines. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s song, “Four Dead in Ohio,” made the charts—and is still played frequently today on classic rock radio stations. Last May, on the 40th anniversary, the shootings made headlines again in USA Today, on CBS news, Vanity Fair and other major news outlets.

Did you know that two years before the National Guard gunned down these four white students, the South Carolina Highway Patrol shot dead three African American students, injured 28 others and caused a young pregnant woman to miscarry?  All those shot were shot in the back. Why? They were protesting the illegal segregation practiced by the local All Star Bowling Lanes.

The dead included South Carolina State College students, Samuel Hammond and Henry Smith, and high school student, Delano Middleton.

If you are old enough to remember Kent State but can’t remember hearing about the Orangeburg Massacre, don’t blame your bad memory. The story barely made the news, let alone the top forty. But it’s not too late to learn about these brave young folks who stood up for their civil rights and were gunned down by the local police.

The Bloom Collective is screening the documentary film, Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968 on Thursday. The film’s website tells us, “This film brings to light one of the bloodiest Civil Rights era tragedies after four decades of denial. The killing of four white students at Kent State University in 1970 left an indelible stain on our national consciousness. But most Americans know nothing of the three black students killed at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg two years earlier. It raises disturbing questions about how our country acknowledges its tortured racial past in order to make sense of its challenging present.”

Come out and learn about The Orangeburg Massacre and pay homage to the brave students who died or were injured while standing up for their civil rights in 1968.

View the trailer.

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