South Carolina Civil Rights Pioneer I. DeQuincey Newman Dies
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ I. DeQuincey Newman, a veteran of the civil rights movement who became South Carolina’s first black state senator since Reconstruction, died today of lung failure in Richland Memorial Hospital here. He was 74.
Newman, also a minister and businessman, was elected to his Senate seat in an October 1983 special election, but resigned July 31 because of failing health. A special election is set for Nov. 5 to fill his seat.
Newman had been battling emphysema and had been hospitalized since Thursday, his wife, Anne, said. Hospital spokeswoman Maureen Shurr said Newman had suffered from lung cancer in recent years.
From 1960 to 1969, Newman led civil rights efforts in South Carolina, emphasizing peaceful methods and reconciliation while serving as field secretary and director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in South Carolina.
Newman is often given credit for helping South Carolina through a difficult transition with less violence than many of the neighboring Southern states.
He was arrested six times for his participation in boycotts and protests at segregated lunch counters, state parks and schools during those years. Newman also played a key role in the black voter registration drives of the 1960s.
″I am greatly saddened with the loss of my close friend and colleague,″ Gov. Dick Riley said. ″Few people have demonstrated during their lifetime that they care about the good of all South Carolinians, and translated those thoughts into actions, more than I. DeQuincey Newman.″
Newman was elected as a Democrat from a district representing parts of Richland, Chester and Fairfield counties after Alex Sanders stepped down to become chief judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals.
Newman was born April 17, 1911, in rural Darlington County, the son of a minister. He graduated from Clark College in Atlanta in 1934 with a bachelor of arts degree and from the Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta three years later.
On April 27, 1937, he married Anne Pauline Hinton, and the couple had one daughter, Emily.
Newman was the founder of Francis Burns United Methodist Church. He had retired from the ministry in 1973.