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See Historic Briggs Family Bible!

Largest Orangeburg Massacre Display

Statewide Civil Rights Movement Exhibits


For the benefit of present and future generations, the main objective of the

Cecil Williams Civil Rights Museum is to exhibit, reserve and reclaim

"The South Carolina Events that Changed America"

CWCRM is preserving and reclaiming the history of the remnants of a system of inequity that continues to plague America today. 

The CECIL WILLIAMS CIVIL RIGHT MUSEUM (South Carolina's First and Only Civil Rights Museum) honors a generation of people, throughout the Palmetto State, who deserve to be remembered for their unselfish commitments and sacrifices: Black and White together, destroyed Jim Crow, demanded dignity and justice for all people, changed the Constitution, and inspired mankind.

Guided tours by Cecil Williams — an eyewitness and civil rights movement participant — begin with a 5-minute overview in the Matthew Perry Media Gallery, one of the magnificent historical areas of the 3500 sq. ft. museum.

In addition to comprehensive exhibits and documentation of almost all South Carolina Civil Rights Movement Era events, the CECIL WILLIAMS CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM henges on four major historical trend-setting milestones that influenced America's Civil Rights Movement more than any other: 1. Briggs v. Elliott Case, the nation's first suit against segregation in public education; becoming merged into Brown v. Board of Education 2. The Orangeburg Freedom Movement, where local citizens created boycotting as a new tool to fight JIM CROW; then becoming the template for the Montgomery Bus Boycott. 3. Harvey Gantt - Integration of Clemson, first African American to attend Clemson. 4. The Orangeburg Massacre; the first massacre on any college campus. 5. The Charleston Hospital Workers' Strike; and many, many more.

The CECIL WILLIAMS MUSEUM proclaims an unusual origin and documentation of America's civil rights beginning. Among other events and places, the museum focuses on major events in Clarendon County, Orangeburg, Sumter, Rock Hill, Elloree, Columbia, and Charleston where civil rights activities flourished. Upon entering, the Briggs—Delaine—Pearson Gallery, the "big bang" documentation presents Summerton and Orangeburg, South Carolina as epicenters of a movement that transformed the lives of African Americans—from segregation to first class citizens. Recently, this area has been sponsored and now named: The Briggs-Delaine-Pearson Gallery Sponsored  by the Quick Family. Naming of other areas is presently a museum priority.

The significance of location in a residential area is related directly to the metaphoric rise against injustice and segregation by Cecil Williams—who after graduation from high school was barred from attending Clemson to study architecture. Determined to succeed despite this barrier, he designed three minimalist-styled homes; one of which was featured in June 1977 EBONY as a "Space Age Home." He designed the above ultra-modern building, now museum, in 1983—36 years ago. Throughout South Carolina and the United States, museums in residential areas include: Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, Topeka,Kansas; Modjeska Simkins House/Museum, Columbia, SC; Martin Luther King - Birth House, Atlanta, Georgia; Benjamin Mayes Historic Site, Greenwood, SC and 183 others. 

In addition to being Divine-driven, the Cecil Williams Civil Rights Museum also functions as a neighborhood community center; a role it has already served for 18 years. Organizations are invited to inquire about meeting dates in the unexcelled environment that celebrates the rich history of the civil rights movement.

"The CWCRM is a tranquil place rich in the history of struggle and transformation; a place to reflect on the civil rights movement, to honor those injured and killed during the struggle; to appreciate how far our state and country has come in its quest for equality, and to consider how far it has to go." - Cecil Williams

The Cecil Williams Civil Rights Museum serves as a link between

past, present, and future generations, who are reminded that our history 

proceeds forward not only as a results of actions of governmental leaders,

but also from the actions of ordinary Americans.




Norman Rockwell • Gilbert Young • Floyd Gordon • Leo Twiggs • James Green

Cecil Williams • Raymond Floyd • Ellen Zisholtz