Cleveland Sellers is an educator and civil rights activist. During the Civil Rights Movement, Sellers helped lead the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He was the only person convicted and jailed for events at the Orangeburg Massacre, a 1968 civil rights protest in which three students were killed by state troopers. Sellers' conviction and the acquittal of the other nine defendants was believed to be motivated by racism, and Sellers received a full pardon 25 years after the incident.
Sellers is the former Director of the African American Studies Program at the University of South Carolina. He served as president of Voorhees College, a historically black college in South Carolina, from 2008 to 2015.
His youngest son is former South Carolina state Rep. Bakari Sellers. At the age of 22, Bakari was one of the youngest state lawmakers in the United States when he was first elected in November 2006.