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Public invited to evening with national civil rights legacy, leader Bishop John Hurst Adams

Capstone House


Bishop John Hurst Adams

The University of South Carolina Center for Civil Rights History and Research welcomes the public to “A Charge to Keep: the Legacy of Civil Rights Activism,” an event to celebrate newly opened and digitized University Libraries’ civil rights collections, with honored guest retired AME Bishop John Hurst Adams February 24, 2017 at 4 p.m. at the Capstone Conference Center Campus Room.

Adams, a pastor, bishop, civil rights activist, educator, college president and lifelong advocate for racial justice, is a Columbia, South Carolina native whose work has impacted campuses, congregations and communities nationwide.

Adams served as Senior Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church from 1988 until his retirement, and was Bishop of five Episcopal Districts beginning in 1972, including his home district of South Carolina, prior to that appointment. While in South Carolina, Adams was a key leader in the successful effort to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House.

University Libraries, which holds multiple African American history collections, will announce several newly opened and recently digitized civil rights collections, including the written works and papers of Adams and his father, the late Rev. Eugene Avery (E.A.) Adams (1886-1958). E.A. Adams was an A.M.E. Church minister, educator and civil rights activist and co-founded the Victory Savings Bank, Bell Street High School, the South Carolina Citizens Committee, and was president of the Columbia branch of the NAACP.

Additional newly opened collections include the papers of NAACP attorney John Roy Harper II (1939-2003) and over 400 sermons from the Rev. Joseph De Laine (1989-1975), an AME minister and educator who led the fight against segregated schools in Clarendon County.

Newly digitized collections include the papers of Modjeska Monteith Simkins, leader of public health, social reform and the civil rights movement, local African American newspapers the Lighthouse and Informer and The Palmetto Leader, and local TV news coverage of the civil rights movement. These University Libraries collections are held by South Carolina Political Collections, the South Caroliniana Library, and Moving Image Research Collections.

Guests are asked to RSVP by email to by February 22. For more information about the event, call (803) 777-2220.

The Capstone Conference Center is located at 902 Barnwell Street in Columbia, SC.

More information about the collections can be found at: