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Civil Rights Coverage in Sumter

Hubert Osteen Jr. recalls his newspaper’s coverage of the Civil Rights movement and the boycott that followed. Osteen takes you behind the scenes to history.

Louis Sossamon

Hubert Osteen, Jr.

Born: October 8, 1936 in Sumter

Newspaper History:
-Fourth generation of Osteen involved in newspapers in Sumter dating back 150 years
-Began working at newspaper at the age of 13 during the summers and continued to work there through high school and college
-Working full-time at The Item for 50 years

Honors and Awards:
-President of S.C. Press Association (1977-78)
-Member and chairman for over 20 years of the S.C. Press Association Foundation
-Member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors
-Business Person of the Year by the Sumter Chamber of Commerce in 1994
-Humanitarian of the Year by the Sumter YMCA in 1995
-Member and vice chairman of S.C. Parks, Recreation and Tourism Commission for nine years

-Bachelor of Journalism from University of Missouri
-Master of Science degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York City

Military Service: U.S. Air Force

Family: Parents, Hubert D. Osteen and Margaret Weeks Osteen.  Married Jacqueline Brown Osteen in 1960.  They have three sons, Graham, Kyle and Jack Osteen (all working in the newspaper business) and six grandchildren.

Photo Gallery
To listen to the full interview, click here to download the raw audio.
The full interview is one hour.

Interview Highlights (fast forward to hear about):
- Recollections of his grandfather and the newspaper (3:36-7:15)
- Memories of working at the newspaper (12:17-18:26)
- Historic stories covered by the newspaper (18:46-24:47)
- Hardest story to cover (24:20-29:18)
- Recollections of S.C. Politicians (29:35-31:35)
- Memories of SCPA (38:48-42:34)
- Changes in SC Civil Rights (42:49-49:15)
- The story of a lynching covered by his grandfather (49:53-56:00)
- Tradition of celebratory cigar (56:15-56:54)
- The future of newspapers (57:00-60:00)

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