In 1968, nine officers in Orangeburg, S.C., fired into a crowd protesting continued segregation in the community. The incident, known as the Orangeburg Massacre, is the subject of a newly definitive book, “Blood and Bone: Truth and Reconciliation in a Southern Town,” by Assistant Professor of English and Black Studies Jack Shuler.
While other books have been written about the massacre, Shuler has been able to capture an insider’s vantage point. He grew up in Orangeburg, where the event was something most people didn’t really want to talk about. (In fact, he was largely uninformed about the town’s most infamous incident until he came across a history of the Orangeburg Massacre in a Brooklyn library.)
Shuler was able to engage his former neighbors in conversations that wouldn’t have been possible for anyone from outside the town, and he has brought their insight and experience about the conflict to light.
“This conversation is complicated because it involves race, it involves addressing how we integrate, how we get along,” says Shuler. “How we come to see this event will probably help shape how we live in the future.”
Shuler was a recent guest on “All Sides with Ann Fisher,” a radio talk show on WOSU, Columbus’ NPR station. The video below will give you insight into this little known moment in history.