College of Arts and Sciences


Robert Smalls Annual Lecture Series

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The University of South Carolina

presents the



"I Got the Light of Freedom"

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Darla Moore School of Business, Room 005
Columbia, SC 29208

Admission:  Free



Dr. Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr.

This lecture will address the loss of innocence and the lives sacrificed during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. This was a time when Fannie Lou Hamer would burst into song, singing “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” Ella Baker would speak in a hushed tone about the darkness and uncertainty while reminding us that we had a history and strong sense of faith and spirituality — passed down to us by our ancestors who had courage and determination as they fought for our humanity, out of love for family and community. The once dark clouds turned to bright sunshine, tears were dried, burdens were lifted, and the shackles melted away as were reminded of Langston Hughes’ poem, “ Mother to Son” and the words rang true “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” Through it all, we continue to let our light shine.

Dr. Sellers, a political activist, civil rights pioneer, educator and administrator has had a profound impact on American history life and culture from his youth until the present day. Today, Dr. Sellers serves as Director of the African-American Studies Program at the University of South Carolina where he also teaches. He is a former member of the South Carolina State Board of Education, Second Judicial District, and Voorhees College Board of Trustees.

Performance by
Osalami Lamoke
Teacher, Composer, Guitarist, and Vocalist

Osalami Lamoke self-produced a CD of her original Gullah progressive folk music in 2004. She has performed at the Gullah Festival, Penn Heritage Days, Democratic Party fundraisers and many other cultural events in the Low Country.

A native of St. Helena Island in Beaufort County, she received her early education at St. Helena School and the Dalton School in New York City. She holds a Masters Degree in Sociology from the University of Paris and currently teaches Government and Economics at Beaufort High School .