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New Exhibit: The Struggle for Integration at the College of Charleston, 1943 – 2015

A new exhibit installed in the first floor rotunda of the Addlestone Library tells the story of the decades-long struggle for integration at the College of Charleston. Curated by Dr. Mari N. Crabtree, Assistant Professor with the African American Studies Program, the interpretive display uses archival materials from the College of Charleston’s institutional records held in Special Collections and the Avery Research Center to illuminate the experiences of students of color who attempted to matriculate at the college as early as 1943. The exhibit highlights the roles of students such as John Wrighten, Sonja Ann Perey, Edward Ganaway, and Lucille Whipper while also demonstrating the actions of administrators through correspondence and excerpts from the minutes of the Board of Trustees. A final panel asks “Is the College of Charleston Integrated Yet?” and answers with provocative demographic statistics that show that the percentage of African American students at the College of Charleston has remained roughly the same for the past four decades and falls well below the percentage of African Americans in South Carolina.  The exhibit will be on display through February and March.