Advocate Stories

Four Historical Women from South Carolina  

by Demetria Mosley on Mar 26, 2024

South Carolina has a fascinating history and culture, enriched with inspiring stories of brave individuals who raised their voices to uphold justice, equality, and human rights.  

 As we celebrate Women’s History Month, WREN would like to express heartfelt gratitude to the women who displayed incredible strength and courage while dedicating their lives to freedom. We acknowledge the challenges they encountered and stand in solidarity with them.  

 Today, we highlight four noteworthy individuals from South Carolina whose legacies continue to inspire and empower us in our pursuit of progress. 

 These four stories were compiled as part of an initiative by WREN and Historical Columbia. This project is called Columbia City of Women. Find out more at: 


Sarah Mae Flemming 

Sarah Mae Flemming’s incredible courage sparked a transformative movement in the face of injustice and segregation. Her legacy continues to inspire change today. 

 In 1954, she embarked on a bus journey in Columbia, South Carolina, where she faced an unfortunate incident of assault and arrest for standing up against racial discrimination. 

 Flemming’s determination to challenge the existing norms paved the way for the victories of the Civil Rights Movement. Her story serves as a reminder that even the smallest acts of resistance can bring about significant change. 

 Read more about Flemming: 


Victoria L. Eslinger 

Victoria L. Eslinger dedicated her life to advocating for the rights and well-being of women in South Carolina. As a fierce advocate for gender equality, she fought tirelessly against discrimination and  worked to dismantle systemic barriers that hindered women’s progress. 

Eslinger’s legacy reminds us of the importance of intersectional feminism and the ongoing struggle for women’s rights in all aspects of society. 

Read more about Victoria: 


Dr. Matilda Evans 

 Dr. Matilda Evans was one of the first African-American woman physicians to practice in South Carolina, breaking barriers in the medical field. She faced racism and sexism but persisted in providing compassionate care to underserved communities and promoting public health.  

 Dr. Evans’s story reminds us of the incredible strength and perseverance we possess during challenging times. We are grateful for her leadership and unwavering commitment to hope. 

 Read more about Dr. Evans: 


Alice Norwood Spearman Wright 

 Alice Norwood Spearman Wright was a courageous advocate for social justice and civil rights in South Carolina, fearlessly challenging segregation and passionately advocating for racial equality. Wright’s bravery motivates us to speak out against injustice and stand up for what is right. 

 Read more about Wright: 


Using Your Voice to Share Your Story 

 The stories of Sarah Mae Flemming, Victoria L. Eslinger, Dr. Matilda Evans, and Alice Norwood Spearman Wright remind us of the transformative power of using our voices to speak out against injustice and oppression. These remarkable women faced immense challenges, yet they refused to be silenced. They understood that sharing their stories was a means of personal empowerment and a catalyst for collective liberation. 

 As we celebrate Women’s History Month, let’s reflect on the invaluable lessons taught by those who paved the way. We must acknowledge the significance of amplifying the voices of the marginalized, ensuring that they, too, are heard and valued.  

 Let us commit ourselves to speaking up against injustice, advocating for equality, and standing in solidarity with those who continue to fight for freedom and liberation. Audre Lorde said, “Your silence will not protect you.” Let us raise our voices, share our stories, and work together to build a brighter future for all. 

 Happy Women’s History Month! 



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