Shade and a statue

College of Charleston biology professor Arch McCallum shields his face from the harsh sun April 11 before a ceremony to unveil a statue commemorating the late U.S. District Judge Waties Waring. McCallum’s program is open to a page showing a photograph of Waring. In the background above it under a maroon cloak is the statue. More than 500 people attended the ceremony, including U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Photo by Andy Brack; used by permission from

Waring honored at Charleston courthouse

Excerpted from The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier:

APRIL 12, 2014 — For 33 years, the only public tribute to one of Charleston’s most famous jurists, the late U.S. District Judge J. Waties Waring, sat on a small podium inside City Hall.

On Friday, diagonally across Broad and Meeting streets, an integrated crowd of several hundred people gathered to watch that change with a few tugs of a red cloth. Continue reading

Waring’s impact big on South Carolina politics, too

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher, Statehouse Report

APRIL 11, 2014 — The same South Carolina federal judge whose dissent framed the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 decision to end school segregation also had a long impact on South Carolina politics.

The late U.S. District Judge J. Waties Waring, an eighth-generation Charlestonian finally being honored today with the unveiling of a statue commemorating his courage and legacy, is generally lauded for his 1951 dissent in a Clarendon County civil rights case, Briggs v. ElliottContinue reading

HuffPost: S.C. finally remembers a hero

From The Huffington Post, April 8, by the Center’s Andy Brack:

It has taken more than 60 years for people in the city where the Civil War started to figure out it was home to an authentic civil rights hero.

The late U.S. District Judge Waties Waring

On Friday, April 11, Charleston city fathers will unveil a statue commemorating the bold prescience of J. Waties (pronounced “wait-eez”) Waring, a federal district judge who was the first in the South to write that government-mandated racial segregation was unconstitutional. The reward for his courage? The eighth-generation Charlestonian became a pariah, run out of town after he retired following his strong dissent that directly influenced the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board school desegregation decision. Continue reading

Brack: Statue for Waring is long overdue

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher
Commentary republished with permission of Statehouse Report

MARCH 14, 2014 — Almost 60 years after the Brown v. Board of Education school integration decision, a statue will be erected to honor the Charleston judge who steered the nation toward the landmark ruling.

It’s long overdue. Quite frankly, we should be embarrassed that it’s taken this long. U.S. District Judge Waties Waring’s courage and conviction in law helped to transform a segregated America into an integrated land of opportunity. Continue reading

More South Carolinians needed like Waties Waring

MARCH 26, 2012,  by the Rev. Joseph A. Darby Jr. — South Carolina is a better place because of people like the late J. Waties Waring. Judge Waring’s evolution from a segregationist to an advocate for civil rights and his judicial rulings that hastened the end of legal segregation are little recognized but noteworthy landmarks along the road to freedom and justice. His life and work also offer good direction … Continue reading

Statue planned to honor Judge Waties Waring

MARCH 19, 2012, by Andy Brack — Sixty years ago at age 71, U.S. District Judge J. Waties Waring resigned from the bench in Charleston and moved to New York, never to return to his hometown, except to be buried in Magnolia Cemetery. The reason: civil rights. But now with the passage of time, people are starting to remember Waring’s courage in opposing segregation in the face of a Charleston … Continue reading

“The dissent that changed America”

JULY 11, 2011, by Leon Friedman and Richard M. Gergel — On June 23, 1951, a little more than 60 years ago, a three-judge federal court panel sitting in Charleston, S.C., issued a majority opinion, upholding the state’s rigidly maintained practice of segregating school children on the basis of race. The decision in Briggs v. Elliott, which relied upon the U.S. Supreme Court 1896 precedent of Plessy v. Ferguson, concluded … Continue reading