EASTOVER, S.C. (WIS) - The COMET is honoring one of South Carolina’s civil rights icons, Sarah Mae Flemming, through its “Saving Sarah’s Seat” campaign to spotlight her contributions to the civil rights movement in our state and country.
The campaign will begin on June 22 and end on August 22. This campaign commemorates the 66th anniversary of the landmark incident which was cited in the lawsuit that brought an end to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, made famous by civil rights activists Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks.
On June 22, 1954, Sarah Mae Flemming, a 20-year-old resident of Eastover, boarded a crowded bus operated by South Carolina Electric & Gas Company. When asked to leave her seat and move toward the rear, Flemming resisted the racial custom at the time by attempting to exit from the front of the bus.
The driver hit and forced her from the bus onto the corner of Main and Washington streets. The NAACP filed a lawsuit on her behalf, and in July 1955, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Brown desegregation mandate be applied to public transportation.
Now the local bus transportation system is now honoring Flemming for standing up for her rights as an American citizen.
“I believe her life inspired me to just be authentic. She made this decision in a time when social media and technology was not known,” Kimberly Mocks, Flemming’s granddaughter said. “So just knowing to always make the right decision whether cameras are rolling or there’s a platform to put it on. To always follow that moral compass we all should have naturally, and make the best choice and decision that’s going to provide moral and equality support to everyone in the world today.
The campaign officially kicked off at 10 a.m. at Richland Library Eastover at The COMET Park and Ride area.