Historic Markers Across South Carolina

The Lighthouse & Informer/John H McCray

Marker ID: SCHM 40-144
Location: on Harden St between Hampton and Taylor Streets, Columbia, SC
County: Richland
Coordinates: N 34° 00.621    W 081° 01.275
  34.01035    -81.02125
Style: Free Standing **


The Lighthouse & Informer, long the leading black newspaper in SC, was a weekly published here from 1941 to 1954 by journalist and civil rights advocate John Henry McCray (1910-1997). McCray, who founded the paper "so our people can have a voice and some means of getting along together," published articles covering every aspect of black life and columns and editorials advocating equal rights.

In 1944, after the SC General Assembly repealed laws regulating primaries and the SC Democratic Party excluded blacks from voting in them, John H McCray helped found the Progressive Democratic Party, the first black Democratic party in the South. He was an editor for other leading black newspapers in the 1950s and 1960s, then spent many years as an administrator at his alma mater, Talladega College. McCray died in Alabama in 1987.

Erected by the Historic Columbia Foundation, The city of Columbia, and the SC Department of Transportation, 2008.