Photo from: 1972 Bulldog Yearbook, South Carolina State Historical Collections and Archives Department, Miller F. Whittaker Library, South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, SC 29117. Thanks to: Ashley L. Till, Archivist at the South Carolina State Historical Collection and Archives for useful information and the photo of Dr. Bryant.
April’s “Person of the Month” is Dr. Lawrence Chesterfield Bryant, Retired Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education, South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, SC
Lawrence Bryant was born on a farm in North Whitakers Township, Nash County, NC on the 16 February 1916, and, in 1930, his family lived off of Red Oak – Whitakers Road in Red Oak Township. His father Emmett [12 June 1893 – January, 1971] and mother Hattie Bland Cooper [1896 – 2 May 1939] appear in the Censuses of 1920 and 1930 as living on a farm and his father is listed as a farmer. It is obvious that his parents emphasized educational achievement since all members of the family can read and write, at a time, when many people in the county could not.
At 94 years young, Professor Bryant has enjoyed a long life of academic achievement with much of his time consumed by researching and writing the story of his families in Red Oak township and Nash County. Also, in 1985, he chronicled the achievements of the larger black community in Nash County.
A FEW OF HIS SCHOLARLY PUBLICATIONS ARE:
THE NEGRO LEGISLATORS IN SOUTH CAROLINA, 1865 – 1894: A PRELIMINARY REPORT. [Orangeburg, SC: Graduate School of Education, South Carolina State University, 1966].
NEGRO LAWMAKERS IN THE SOUTH CAROLINA LEGISLATURE, 1868-1902 [Orangeburg, SC: School of Graduate Studies, South Carolina State College, 1968]. 142pp.
NEGRO SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES IN THE SOUTH CAROLINA LEGISLATURE, 1868-1902, edited by Lawrence C. Bryant, [Orangeburg, S.C., School of Graduate Studies, South Carolina State University, 1968]. 199 p.
SOUTH CAROLINA NEGRO LEGISLATORS: A GLORIOUS SUCCESS; STATE AND LOCAL OFFICEHOLDERS; BIOGRAPHIES OF NEGRO REPRESENTATIVES, 1868-1902. [Orangeburg, South Carolina State College, 1974]. 119 pp.
Written with J. H. Deloach, “The Status of Music in Negro High Schools in South Carolina,” THE SOUTH CAROLINA SPEECH BULLETIN, Rock Hill, SC [South Carolina State Department of Education, 1977]
Written with Ashriel J. Mose, A STUDY OF THE NATURE OF GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING SERVICES AMONG NEGRO HIGH SCHOOLS IN SOUTH CAROLINA [Orangeburg, SC: The Graduate School of Education, South Carolina State University, 1972.
THE CONTRIBUTIONS AND HISTORY OF BLACKS IN NASH COUNTY, NC. 1985.
ST. JOHN BAPTIST CHURCH AT RED OAK, NORTH CAROLINA: REVEREND WILTON BYRD, PASTOR. 1971.
HIS GENEALOGICAL PUBLICATIONS INCLUDE:
THE HISTORICAL AND GENEALOGICAL RECORD OF LAWRENCE BRYANT AND PATTIE SESSOMS’ FIVE OTHER SONS OF NASH COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA. 1968.
THE HISTORICAL AND GENEALOGICAL RECORD OF LEE CLAY AND RELATED FAMILIES OF PERSON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA. 1972
THE HISTORICAL AND GENEALOGICAL RECORD OF FANNY SILLS AND RELATED FAMILIES OF NASH COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA. 1968.
Lawrence Bryant’s long life as a researcher and writer on the educational opportunities for black children in South Carolina, his ground breaking scholarship on the careers of black senators and representatives in the legislature of South Carolina from 1869 to 1902 and his publications on the lives of his family as well as those of other black citizens of Nash County, over time, earn him recognition as April’s “Person of the Month.”