1507 Harden Street
Site of the Lighthouse and Informer
In 1939, the Charleston Lighthouse and Sumter Informer merged under the leadership of editor John H. McCray to form South Carolina’s only (at the time) black-owned newspaper primarily devoted to informing citizens about relevant political and social issues. During the next 15 years, it became “the voice of black South Carolina” and of the state’s growing civil rights movement by publishing editorials and news articles about injustices surrounding the separate and unequal ethos that pervaded every aspect of society.
McCray, with financial help from Modjeska Monteith Simkins, moved the paper to Columbia in 1942, and after seven years at the Simkins Building (1022 ½ Washington Street) it relocated to this structure. In 1950, McCray was sentenced to two months on the Richland County Chain Gang after being convicted of libel. Continued financial difficulties in the 1950s shuttered the paper in 1954. The following year the contents of this building were auctioned off, and the stored files and back issues were sold for scrap. Today few issues of the newspaper survive; all known issues are available digitally through South Caroliniana Library at USC.