SC's first black chief justice to be honored

SUMTER, SC (AP) - The first black chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court is to be honored at a banquet.

Judge Ernest A. Finney Jr. is the featured guest at a fundraising dinner scheduled for Saturday at the Sumter Civic Center.

It's being hosted by a nonprofit trying to create a museum honoring Mary McLeod Bethune. The prominent African-American leader was a South Carolina native.

Both Finney and Bethune started their careers as teachers. Finney taught in Conway's public schools for five years.

He became a lawyer specializing in civil rights and was elected to the state House in 1972. He became South Carolina's first black circuit court judge in 1976. Legislators elected him to the South Carolina Supreme Court in 1985. He became chief justice in 1994 and retired in 2000.

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