Photographer to Give Talk, Exhibit on Civil-Rights Movement

February 7, 2009

South Carolina photographer Cecil J. Williams will give a public talk about the state’s role in the civil-rights movement Wednesday, Feb. 18, at the University of South Carolina. 

Williams’ talk, “Reclaiming the Origin of America’s Civil Rights Movement,” will take place at 3:30 p.m. in the Lumpkin Auditorium on the eighth floor of the Moore School of Business. The talk coincides with an exhibition of his photography, which will be on display at the Institute for African American Research, located on the second floor of Thomas Cooper Library. The public can meet Williams and view the exhibit from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., before the lecture. Both the exhibit and lecture are free and open to the public. 

The exhibit will feature 10 large, black-and-white photos that document the civil-rights movement in South Carolina over four decades. 

A resident of Orangeburg, Williams has documented race relations as both a writer and photographer. His books include “Freedom and Justice: Four Decades of the Civil Rights Struggle as Seen by a Black Photographer of the Deep South” (1995), “Out-of-the-Box in Dixie: Cecil Williams’ Photography of the South Carolina Events that Changed America” (2007) and “Orangeburg 1968…: A Place and Time Remembered,” co-written with Sonny Dubose (2008). 

Williams has served as the official photographer for Claflin University, the South Carolina branch of the NAACP and the National Conference of Black Mayors, Inc. His work has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers. 

The IAAR was established in 2008 to conduct research that enhances the scholarly study and public understanding of race and black life in South Carolina and the Southeast, as well as the United States and broader African Diaspora. History professor Dr. Daniel Littlefield serves as director. 

For more information about Williams’ exhibit or talk on Feb. 18, call Francesca Fair in the IAAR at 803-777-4472 or via e-mail at [email protected]

In addition to his IAAR exhibit and talk, Williams will be featured as a speaker in the public lecture series, “Bearing Witness: Documenting African American History in the Palmetto State,” which is being taught by university historian Dr. Bobby Donaldson at the SC Archives and History Center on Parklane Road. The series runs through March 10. Call 803-777-5195 for more information.