Virtual celebration to observe the 60th anniversary of the Friendship Nine

South Carolina News

ROCK HILL, S.C. (WCBD) – As Black History Month begins February 1st, we take this time to celebrate and honor those who have made an impact in both their fields and the world.

Monday, a virtual book event will be held between Claudia Smith Brinson, author of “Stories of Struggle: The Clash Over Civil Rights in South Carolina” and Friendship Nine organizer Tom Gaither, moderated by Professor Adolphus Belk, Jr.

Brinson’s book discusses decades of research, including more than 150 interviews with the men and women who spearheaded the civil rights struggle in South Carolina.

The event will be from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

The Friendship Nine was a group of African American men from Friendship Junior College and other picketed McCrory’s on Main St. in Rock Hill to protest the segregated lunch counters on January 31, 1961.

The next day, ten were convicted of trespassing and breach of peace and sentenced to serve 30 days in jail or pay a $100 fine.

Nine of those men decided to go to jail and marked a first in the Civil Rights Movement since the 1960 sit ins.

Their records were not cleared until 2015.

Monday’s event will be a conversational event to learn and observe both the Friendship Nine and the Civil Rights Movement in South Carolina.

To be part of the conversation, sign up here.

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