A gubernatorial candidate under both the Green and United Citizens parties says he’s leading a protest calling for Strom Thurmond’s name to be removed from many of the buildings and parks around the state. Morgan Bruce Reeves stood in front of the Thurmond Federal Building in Columbia while a few of his supporters carried signs calling for the name removal.
Reeves says Thurmond fathered a child with a teenage African American in the 1920’s and later ran for President as a segregationist. He called Thurmond a pedophile and said that subject should be openly discussed to improve racial relations.
Reeves says Thurmond’s name should not be on buildings around the state.
Thurmond, who was first a Democrat, ran for President in 1948 as a Dixiecrat–a party he created which supported segregation. He later changed to the Republican Party and become one of the most powerful members of Congress, serving for 48 years in the Senate.
After Strom Thurmond’s death in 2003, Essie Mae Washington-Williams, then 78, revealed that the senator was her father and told her story in the mid-1990’s book “Dear Senator.” According to a New York Times article on the book, Washington-Williams was born to Carrie Butler, a 16-year-old household servant, and Thurmond, who was 22 at the time.