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UofSC unveils statue commemorating first African-American professor

On Feb. 21, the University of South Carolina unveiled a statue of Richard T. Greener, the university’s first black professor.

The statue, measuring nine feet tall, can be seen in front of Thomas Cooper Library. Before the unveiling President of USC, Harry Pastides and US Rep. James Clyburn both paid tribute to the late professor.

Greener, Harvard’s first black graduate among other firsts, taught from the Reconstruction era until 1877. A native of Boston, he earned a bachelor of law degree from USC and was among the first black students to obtain said degree.

In 2012, Greener’s law degree and other documents were found in an abandoned building in Chicago. There is also a painting of Greener in the office of President Pastides.

During the unveiling USC Chief Diversity Officer John Dozier said, “This is a time when many Southern universities, including our own, are having important conversations about how to account for their histories. We at USC are proud that today we can celebrate–in a very tangible way–a legacy that holds true to our current values and aspirations.”

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