The South Carolina Roots of African American Thought

Document Type


Publication Date



University of South Carolina Press


South Carolina has always loomed larger in the national imagination, particularly in terms of political and social policy, than its size and population might justify. The audacity and the often astonishing character of thinkers and political figures who have hailed from this region might suggest that climate affects personality. Edward Rutledge challenged the condemnation of the slave trade in the initial draft of the Declaration of Independence; John C. Calhoun penned the audacious philosophy of state nullification; Citadel cadets fired shots at Fort Sumter; and Senator Strom Thurmond defended racial segregation with the longest filibuster in Senate history. South Carolina has always used its passion to influence national debate.