Liberty Hill A.M.E.

Liberty Hill A.M.E.


Historic Liberty Hill A. M. E. is associated with the movement that laid the groundwork for one of the U. S. Supreme Court's most celebrated decisions. In 1954, Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka.

"Your old men dream dreams,
and your young men see visions"

Joel 2:28


In the small town of Summerton, in 1947, the 1896 separate but equal doctrine, in Plessy vs. Ferguson, was questioned. This led to the case of Levi Pearson v. the County Board of Education, which was dismissed in 1948, because his farm straddled the line between two school districts. In 1950 the case of Briggs v. Elliott was launched. The name of Harry Briggs appears at the top of the complaint.

Rev. Joseph Armstrong De Laine had a vision and a dream that one day segregation and discrimination would no longer exist.

Rev. J. A. De Laine, principal of Scotts Branch school, ( so states the record, however he was the Principal of Liberty Hill colored school) initiated the snowballing effect of requesting a bus for his pupils who walked miles to go to school, when the white children of the same district were given nice clean busses. From Davis Station to Summerton, the distance is 7 miles of corn and cotton fields. Seven miles was a long way for a child to walk. De Laine and others met with leaders in Columbia of the N.A.A.C.P

A group of black parents pooled their resources and purchased a bus to carry their children from Davis Station to the Scotts Branch School in Summerton.

One of the meetings held at Liberty Hill

Meetings at Liberty Hill

Meetings were held at Liberty Hill for the selection of petitioners in the complaint that would become Briggs v. Elliott

Participants in the case


Participants in the case of Briggs v. Elliott, later to become known as the Brown v. The Board Of Education at Topeka.

Rev. J. A. De Laine and his family suffered dearly. Both his home and his church were burned to the ground. He was harassed with death threats and finally run out of town. Relocating in upstate New York, where he organized and became the pastor of an A.M.E. Church. Appropriately, the new church was named, the DeLaine-Waring African Methodist Episcopal Church after the two men who had done so much to revolutionize the educational system of South Carolina. He helped to break down the barriers of segregation

"We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of "separate but equal" has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought, are by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment".
Chief Justice Warren, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.


Pioneers In School Desegregation

Historic Marker

Historic Marker

Erected by
Clarendon County Council

The Following citizens of Clarendon County were plaintiffs in the case of Harry Briggs Jr. v R.W. Elliott, heard 1952 in the United States District Court at Charleston which refused an injunction to to abolish racial discrimination in S. C. schools: Harry Briggs, Anne Gibson, Mose Oliver, Bennie Parson, Edward Ragin, William Ragin, Luchrisher Richardson, Lee Richardson, James H. Bennett, Mary Oliver, Willie M. Stukes, G. H. Henry, Robert Georgia, Rebecca Richburg, Gabriel Tindal, Susan Lawson, Frederick Oliver, Onetha Bennett, Hazel Ragin and Henry Scott. The case, consolidated with similar cases and appealed to the United States Supreme Court, became known as Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. The Court's ruling desegregated all public schools in the United States in 1954.


Harry Briggs Mary Jane Oliver Bessie J. Johnson Lee Richardson
Eliza Briggs Rev. Mose Oliver Morgan Johnson James Richardson
Harry Briggs Sr. George Oliver Samuel Gary Johnson Charles Richardson
Thomas Lee Briggs Mitchel Oliver Maxine Gibson Amie Lee Richardson
Katherine Eliza Briggs Bennie Parson Jr. Harold Gibson Dorothy I. Richardson
Thomas Gamble Plummie Parson Robert Georgia Jackson D. Richardson
Henry Brown Celestine Parson Carrie Georgia Mary O. Lawson
Tillman Brown Edward Ragin Charlie Georgia Francis Lawson
Beatrice Brown Sarah Ragin Jerome Georgia Bennie Lee Lawson
Willie H. Brown Shirley Ragin Glady's E. Hilton Mary J. Oliver
Marion Brown Deloris Ragin Joseph Hilton Daisy Oliver
Ethel Mae Brown Hazel Ragin Henrietta Huggins Lewis Oliver Jr.
Howard Brown Zelia Ragin Lila Mae Huggins Esther F. Singleton
James Brown Sarah Ellen Ragin Celestine Huggins Janie L. Fludd
Thomas Brown Rebecca Ragin Juanita Huggins Henry Scott
Euralia Brown Mable Ragin Gussie Hilton Mary Scott
Joe Morris Brown William Ragin Roosevelt Huggins Irene Scott
Onetha Bennett Clan Ragin Thomas Johnson Willie M. Stukes
Hercules Brown Lucrisha Richardson Bland E. Johnson Gardenia Stukes
William Gibson Jr. Elone Richardson Lillie Eva Johnson Willie Mood Stukes
Annie Gibson Emanl L. Richardson Ruby Lee Johnson Gardenia E. Stukes
William Gibson Jr. Rebecca Richburg Betty J. Johnson Louis W. Stukes
Eddie Lee Lawson Rebecca I. Richburg Bobby M. Johnson Gabriel Tindal
Susan Ann Lawson E. E. Richburg Preston John Jr. Annie S. Tindal
Frederick Oliver Albert Richburg Susan Lawson Mary L. Bennett
Willie Oliver Lee Johnson Raymon Lawson Lillian Bennett



Rev. J. A. DeLaine Pardoned After 45 Years (Summerton,SC)

Burials at Liberty Hill Cemetery






Last Update: 10/2008
Web Author: EE Vaughn
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