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MTC Reads 2021: A Civil Rights Collection

This guide includes supplemental resources for readers to explore the themes of MTC Reads book selections: Driving While Black, Lovecraft Country, and Stories of Struggle

About Claudia Smith Brinson

Claudia Smith Brinson's bio from Stories of Struggle website:

Claudia Smith Brinson worked as a journalist for more than 30 years in Florida, Greece, and South Carolina. She was a national columnist and writing coach for Knight-Ridder when the former newspaper chain owned The State in Columbia, South Carolina. Her reporting at The State won more than three dozen state and regional awards.

She was the first person to win Knight Ridder’s Award of Excellence twice and a member of the newspaper team whose Hurricane Hugo coverage was a Pulitzer finalist. Brinson published essays in national women’s magazines, and her short fiction awards include the O. Henry, as well as recognition by the National League of Pen Women and Iowa Woman literary journal.

For almost 20 years, Brinson also taught once a semester either a journalism, nonfiction, or short-story writing course at the University of South Carolina. From 2006 to 2016, Brinson taught writing, literature, and media courses at Columbia College, a private women’s college in Columbia. She developed and directed the college’s Writing for Print and Digital Media major and its media internship program. She held the Harriet Gray Blackwell Endowed Professorship.

Brinson was named a S.C. Woman of Achievement by the S.C. Commission on Women and a S.C. Journalist of the Year by the S.C. Press Association. Her artists books and collages traveled in museum shows; a short documentary was included in the Roxbury International Film Festival. Dr. Mary Baskin Waters collected her papers for the Archiving South Carolina Women Project at USC’s South Carolina Political Collection.

Her volunteer work includes tutoring and mentoring youth, writing workshops at shelters, and participation in Interfaith Partners of South Carolina and the South Carolina Dharma Group. She assists in production of the annual “I Believe Anita Hill!” networking event, serves on the partnership council of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at USC, and assists in development of a USC oral history collection of second-wave feminists.

Articles About Stories of Struggle

Stories of Struggle Lourie Lecture Series

This lecture series examines the extraordinary suffering inflicted on the Clarendon County petitioners of Briggs v. Elliott and the courage they summoned to persist for decades in their quest for what they called “Equal Everything.” Briggs v. Elliott was the first of five lawsuits composing Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 and 1955 US Supreme Court decisions that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.

Works Cited

Stories of Struggle, 2021,


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