Sixth District U.S. Rep. James Clyburn laughs with former longtime state Sen. John Drummond Wednesday afternoon at the Benjamin E. Mays Site during Rep. Clyburn’s book signing. (MADDY JONES | INDEX-JOURNAL)
Sixth District U.S. Rep. James Clyburn laughs with former longtime state Sen. John Drummond Wednesday afternoon at the Benjamin E. Mays Site during Rep. Clyburn’s book signing. (MADDY JONES | INDEX-JOURNAL)
The air at the Benjamin E. Mays Site on North Hospital Street is thick with history.
As such, there was perhaps not a more appropriate location Wednesday for longtime 6th District U.S. Rep. James Clyburn to greet local residents and sign copies of his new memoir, “Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black.”
A large crowd gathered at the Mays Site to greet Clyburn, who is a Sumter native. Many posed for pictures with the former House Majority Whip, who signed copy after copy of his book and engaged in lively conversations with local residents.
As he mingled with guests, Clyburn said it was very important to have Tuesday’s signing at the Mays Site.


“This means a lot to me,” Clyburn said. “In fact, one will see in the book that there is a significant discussion of my relationship with Bennie Mays, one of which I have to look back on and call a blessing. When my wife and I were at South Carolina State (University), freshmen and sophomores were not allowed to go home for Easter. We had to stay on campus and listen to the annual sermon from Bennie Mays. That started the relationship of many years. Especially when he was president of the school board down in Atlanta, I got to know him very, very well.

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