During this time South Carolina had African-American men (women were not eligible to vote or hold political office at this time) in the state legislature as well as sending one to represent South Carolina in the US Congress. Reconstruction was the systematic recreation of US society, especially the areas that formerly had allowed slavery.
According to the Wikipedia entry on the subject: "The laws and constitutional amendments that laid the foundation for the most radical phase of Reconstruction were adopted from 1866 to 1871. By the 1870s, Reconstruction had officially provided freedmen with equal rights under the constitution, and blacks were voting and taking political office. Republican legislatures, coalitions of whites and blacks, established the first public school systems and numerous charitable institutions in the South."
Who knows how far South Carolina could have progressed if not for the end of Reconstruction in 1877?
I didn't want to upload the following photo because of the racist commentary written under the picture. But this is also part of the history of South Carolina and should be known rather than hidden.
Why didn't I learn about these people in school? Because that knowledge (that someone other than rich, white men could accomplish social reforms) is STILL, even in 2012, too dangerous to the powers that be?