Zenobbie Clark (L) and her sister, Diana Carter (R), remember their brother, Samuel “Bubba” Hammond Jr., who was shot in the back and killed during the Orangeburg Massacre of 1968.
To learn more about what happened that night in Orangeburg, South Carolina, click here.
Click here for the transcript.
Zenobbie Clark (ZC): He taught me to ride a bicycle, and to swim.
DC: We used to hang out at Auntie Al and Uncle Bo’s house. You remember they had the lake behind the house? And Bubba wanted me to go across the lake. I was scared, but I didn’t want to disappoint my big brother. And he said ‘I’m right beside you. I’m right beside you. You will not go under.’ So, I did it, and kept going and kept going. Bubba’s dream was to be an NFL player. I remember football game when he was at school. South Carolina State lost. And Bubba was lying down on my mom’s lap, crying, like a big old baby, you know. And she said ‘look at this, look at this. You’re not going to make it a whole entire season if you’re crying after the first game.’ But that was her baby.
ZC: Oh yes.
DC: That was her heart.
ZC: When we got the news about my brother’s death, mom, she just flipped out. And they had to, you know, sedate her.
DC: I was asleep, and you woke me up. And you said, ‘Diana, can you come and sleep with me?’ And I said, ‘why?’ And you said, ‘Because Bubba is dead.’ And dad had to go identify the body. And I remember when he got back, he said that he was ok until he had to go up to the dorm to pack –
ZC: To pack his clothes.
DC: And our dad was not the talkative kind, so he just kept things to himself. But I remember when after the funeral and everything he came in Bubba’s room, and I remember him telling my uncle, ‘you know, they buried my son today.’ And that’s the first time I saw him cry. The pain was just unbearable. You know, you still just wonder what he would have been? How many other nieces and nephews would we have had, and you think about what could have been? What could have been? You know, we had four cousins that went to war and all came back unscathed. Bubba went to college, and Bubba came home in a box.