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Funeral services announced for Friendship Nine’s Clarence Graham

Clarence Graham, a member of the Friendship Nine, talks with a group of childre during the Freedom Summer Initiative at St. Mary's Bannon Hall and the Emmett Scott Recreation Center.
Clarence Graham, a member of the Friendship Nine, talks with a group of childre during the Freedom Summer Initiative at St. Mary's Bannon Hall and the Emmett Scott Recreation Center. FILE

Funeral services for civil rights hero and Friendship Nine member Clarence Graham will be held later this week in Rock Hill.

Graham, 73, died Friday at his Rock Hill home after a recent illness.

Visitation will be 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Robinson Funeral Home in Rock Hill, and from noon to 2 p.m. Friday at Boyd Hill Baptist Church. The service will begin at 2 p.m.

Family will also receive friends at the home on Midvale Avenue.

Graham, 73, was a member of the Friendship Nine civil rights group that spent 30 days in jail in 1961 after being convicted of trespassing after sitting down at an all-white lunch counter at the former McCrory’s restaurant in Rock Hill. The group opted for a month of hard labor on the chain gang rather than paying a $100 fine.

Their sacrifice and courage reignited the American civil rights movement, and a judge tossed out their convictions in January 2015.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Clarence H. Graham Memorial Fund, c/o Danise M. Simpson, at Founders Federal Credit Union on Plantation Road in Lancaster.

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