But the historic-yet-racially inclined film wasn’t shown for entertainment. It only played in clips to set the background of a mass meeting that covered the general topic of discrimination, which was inspired by the specific topic of a sesquicentennial celebration of secession going on only one mile away at Gaillard Auditorium in downtown Charleston.
On Dec. 20, 1860 did South Carolina’s state government issue its Ordinance of Secession, making it not only the first state to secede from the United States prior to Civil War, but the only one to do so by unanimous vote. And while the South Carolina Secession Gala celebrated that 150th anniversary, over 120 gathered outside the auditorium to demonstrate.
“What would happen if Japanese-Americans had a ball to celebrate Pearl Harbor?” demonstrators asked. “What if German-Americans had a party to celebrate the Holocaust?”
Organized by the Charleston chapter of the NAACP, the “Campaign for Dignity in South Carolina” participants later took an organized march, bearing candles and singing hymns, to the Morris Brown AME Church where they conducted a forum following clips of the film.
Moderated by state NAACP president Dr. Lonnie Randolph Jr., the guest panel consisted of Rev. Brenda Kneece of the South Carolina Christian Action Council, Trident Tech instructor Donald West and Phil Noble, president of the South Carolina New Democrats.
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