- Student League for Black Identity (1969)
- The Student League for Black Identity was a student-run organization that was founded at Clemson University in January of 1969 and lasted until December of the same year. The purpose of this organization was “To promote courses in Black History, the study of Black culture and art, and the study of the Black man in today’s society.” A student by the name of Charles A. Williams was the founder and president of this organization from January 1969- March 1969. Unfortunately, his term as president did not last long. In April of 1969, a young man by the name of Joseph Grant took over Williams’ presidency due to unknown circumstances. Grant remained the president throughout the duration of the organization.
The Student League seemed to have been thriving and making little, yet growing progress. The administration began taking into consideration some of the wants and needs of their minority students on campus. Sadly, a disturbing and cruel incident happened. During Tigerama, an annual homecoming event at Clemson, there was an incident that led to the removal of all African American students on campus. A group of students formed an unofficial student organization entitled SPONGE (Society for the Prevention of Niggers Getting Everything) and the group then pieced together a skit to perform during the event, which mocked and stereotyped, in their words, Negros. Adding insult to injury, at the homecoming football game the following day on October 26, 1969, the Clemson cheerleaders ran down the hill at the beginning of the game with a Confederate Flag while the song “Dixie” was playing over the speakers. This immediately triggered a huge uproar on campus resulting in an extremely hostile atmosphere.
After the game, African-American students were then taunted and harassed on campus by their white counterparts. The harassment began to get so hostile and unsafe that Joseph Grant, the president at the time, wrote a letter to the president of the University at the time, Robert C. Edwards, stating that all African Americans would be evacuating campus due to intimidating threats and being in an overall dangerous environment.
The students quickly returned to campus the following day, but nothing was the same. The president of Clemson received several different letters in support of and also in outrage behind what had happened previously. Grant and Edwards had multiple conversations via letters but nothing was accomplished, resulting in the degeneration of the organization altogether.
- Minorities in Action (2000)
- Minorities in Action (M.I.A.) was a student-run organization formulated to review the retention/graduation statistics of minority students on Clemson’s campus. The purpose of this organization was to “provide quality events and information that caters primarily to the minority population.” While in effect, M.I.A. began to do great things on campus. The organization put together many different events and programs which include but are not limited to, piecing together an MLK committee, organizing many fun and festive things for the community, and also beginning work on hosting a diversity training on Clemson’s campus. Unfortunately, M.I.A. did not have a very long life on campus due to unknown circumstances.
- Clemson University Black History Project (1999)
- The Clemson University Black History Project was a committee of faculty and staff members across Clemson’s campus from various different departments and offices. The ultimate goal of this project was “to identify and honor Black Clemson University pioneers, students, athletes, staff, and faculty.” As the pictures below show, the entire project was set up and in full effect. Unfortunately, the director of the project, Jessyna McDonald, left the university and subsequently the project. No further actions were taken with the project.