Historical marker honoring desegregation of schools to be unveiled


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The Preservation Society of Charleston and Charleston County School District officials will unveil a new historical marker Friday.

The marker will honor the desegregation of Charleston schools and will be placed at King and Moultrie Streets in front of James Simons Elementary.

A special unveiling ceremony is scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m. Speakers include Oveta Glover, the former student who desegregated James Simons in 1963. Honored guests also include additional former students who desegregated Charleston schools: Barbara Ford, Gale Ford, Clarice Hines Lewis, Joann Howard, and Alifay Edwards.

The event is free and open to the public.

The vetting, funding and instillation of the historic marker is a part of the Preservation Society's 2011 Seven to Save listing of Civil Right Era Sites, celebrating the significance of these historic sites in the Civil Rights movement in Charleston.

"We are honored to place this marker in front of the campus where brave students stood up for equality and set foot fifty years ago, and I thank the Preservation Society for their partnership," said Charleston County School District Superintendent Dr. Nancy J. McGinley.

From the Preservation Society website: In 1963, 11 African American students ended the practice of segregation in Charleston's public schools. James Simons Elementary provides a powerful example of the African American challenge to unequal schools, with three brave young girls, Oveta Glover and Barbara and Gale Ford, desegregating the school in 1963. That same year, Millicent Brown, daughter of J. Arthur Brown, desegregated Rivers High School, and Harvey Gantt became the first African American admitted into Clemson University.