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Esau Jenkins Papers, 1963-2003

Esau Jenkins Papers, 1963-2003
Esau Jenkins (1910-1972) was born and raised on Johns Island, South Carolina. With very little formal education, he became a businessman and civil rights leader. Jenkins founded the Progressive Club in 1948, which encouraged local African Americans to register to vote, through the aid of Citizenship Schools, a topic he was educated in by his attendance at Highlander Folk Center in Tennessee. In 1959, he organized the Citizens’ Committee of Charleston County dedicated to the economic, cultural and political improvement of local African Americans.
 
Printed material, correspondence, photographic materials, and literary productions (1963-2003) document the life and works of Esau Jenkins (1910-1972). Writings holds miscellaneous correspondence and notes and printed versions of his talks and writings. Affiliations contains correspondence, brochures, notes, and other data on variety of organizations he helped found or was a member of, including the Progressive Club, Citizen’s Committee of Charleston, Community Organization Credit Union, Political Action Committee of Charleston County, Political Awareness League of Charleston County, and the Highlander Folks Center. Topics mentioned include the 1969 Charleston Hospital Worker’s strike, and the protested death of a young African American, Robert Brown, killed by a white policeman in 1970.
 
This collection was digitized and made freely available online through the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
 

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Philip Simmons Collection

Philip Simmons with ironwork

Philip Simmons (1912-2009) was an African American blacksmith and artisan specializing in the craft of ironwork in Charleston, South Carolina. Simmons spent seventy-seven years crafting utilitarian and ornamental ironwork. His work is recognized within the state of South Carolina, nationally, and internationally.  This collection, donated by the Philip Simmons Foundation, holds personal papers with photographs and business related documents from 1977-2007. The bulk of materials feature preparatory graphite drawings (originals and photocopies) of commissioned works and estimates of Simmons' decorative ironwork (1984-2004, and undated).

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Isaiah Bennett Papers, ca. 1932-2002

Isaiah Bennett Papers, ca. 1932-2002
Isaiah Bennett (1926-2002) served as a union representative for tobacco workers at the American Tobacco Company's "Cigar Factory" and as a leader and negotiator of the Charleston Hospital Workers' Strike of 1969. Bennett also founded and was president of the Charleston chapter of the A. Phillip Randolph Institute, an umbrella organization for black trade unions.
 
The digitized portions of the Isaiah Bennett Papers, ca. 1932-2002 predominantly consist of correspondence and photographs of Bennett’s campaign for Charleston County Council, biographical materials, A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) materials, amendments to the 1977 Fair Labor Standards Act, ALF-CIO Club materials, and a 1979 South Carolina Democratic Party resolution regarding the state minimum wage.
 
This collection was digitized and made freely available online through the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
 

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Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr. Papers, 1934-2003

Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr. Papers, 1934-2003
Cleveland Sellers, Jr. (born 1944), an African American from Denmark, South Carolina, was a participant and leader of a variety of student, civil rights, leftist, and Pan African movements in the 1960s and 1970s. Sellers alone was indicted and convicted for inciting a riot during the Orangeburg Massacre, in which three students of South Carolina State University died and many others were wounded; Sellers was later pardoned.
 
The Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr. Papers is comprised of papers relating to the Orangeburg Massacre, February 5-8, 1968. Included in the collection is a poem, a collection of Western Union telegrams, press releases, a fact sheet created by the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, flyers, photographs, and a resolution from the Student Legislative Council of the University of California at Los Angeles demanding that the perpetrators of the violence that took place at Orangeburg be brought to justice. Additionally, the collection reflects Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr.’s role in a variety of student, civil rights, leftist, and Pan African movements in the 1960s and 1970s. Other materials document his personal, academic, and professional life. Personal correspondence (1960s-1990s) include 1968 letters from jail, with some mentions of Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) and events, legal problems and pardon relating to the Orangeburg Massacre. Materials on the Orangeburg Massacre include photocopies of court papers, Sellers' appeal to the South Carolina Supreme Court (circa 1970) and clippings and responses regarding the event. Affiliations includes Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) papers (1960-1997, bulk 1960s), All African Revolutionary People’s Party materials (1972- 1989, bulk 1970s), materials documenting various African countries and movements, organizations involved in Black Power and Pan Africa movements and Civil Rights. School-related organizations include the Student Organization for Black Unity (SOBU), various black student groups from a number of American colleges and universities, with significant data (1969-1971) regarding the founding, organization, and administration of Malcolm X Liberation University. Also included are various drafts of Sellers’ dissertation on the Civil Rights movement from 1954-1968. Printed materials include miscellaneous clippings from a variety of sources and newsletters from various organizations, as well as scattered publications. Photographs of Cleveland Sellers and others are also included.
 
This collection was digitized and made freely available online through the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
 

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Septima P. Clark Papers, ca. 1910-ca. 1990

Septima P. Clark's 1964 black and white passport photo.
This collection contains material relating to the life and work of Septima P. Clark. The biographical papers include tributes, clippings, certificates, awards, family correspondence and transcripts of various oral history interviews in which Clark discusses her parents; husband; growing up and race relations in Charleston, South Carolina; her work in Citizenship Schools; her work at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and in the civil rights movement with people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Stokely Carmichael, Dorothy Cotton, Ella Baker, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, Hosea Williams, Ralph David Abernathy and others. There are a few references to the Charleston South Carolina Hospital Worker's strike in 1969. A series on her works includes a photocopy of her autobiography Echo in My Soul, with related papers; various versions of talks and essays on civil rights, race and racism, non-violence, God and religion, American youth, tributes to individuals and other topics.
 
Her correspondence includes numerous local and state black and white politicians; a partial letter to Ella Gerber regarding Porgy and Bess, a significant series of letters with writer Josephine Carson (Rider), and from Spelman College professor Vincent Harding, with some of his articles. Presidential materials include a photocopy of a Jimmy Carter letter; a letter from Gerald Ford; and an invitation to inauguration of Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew.
 
A series documenting her affiliations begins with a her association with Charleston schools, and contains correspondence regarding losing of her job in 1956 as a teacher for being a member of the NAACP; her service (1975-1978) on the Charleston County School Board; and other connections with various educational endeavors. The series also includes papers regarding her association with the Highlander Folk Center; papers regarding her work with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, with material on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; papers regarding the Penn Community Center and Clark’s relationship with it; publications, program materials and correspondence regarding Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and local Charleston Chapter, Gamma Xi Omega; materials regarding various women’s groups with which she was affiliated; materials regarding various civil rights, African American and political groups and causes for which she worked; a list of grievances regarding the Charleston Hospital Worker’s strike, brochures from various African American political campaigns, groups to free jailed African Americans; the US Commission on Civil Rights, State Advisory Committee of SC; Neighborhood Legal Assistance and other similar groups.
 
Her church papers include materials regarding Old Bethel Methodist Church, Charleston, SC, and other various Methodist groups, and her papers documenting her relationship with arts groups contain a nearly complete script of Sea Island Song by Alice Childress. Other materials documenting Clark's association with social, health care and literary-related agencies include papers regarding the Septima Clark Day Care Center, and papers dealing with the handicapped. Her relationships with various schools cover institutions such as College Seven, University of California-Santa Cruz, Benedict College and Hampton University, including student papers submitted at Hampton regarding Saxon Elementary School, Columbia, SC, and materials documenting unrest at Allen University, Columbia, SC, and at Voorhees College, Denmark, SC. Photographs show Septima Clark, Poinsette and Clark family members, various functions, programs and events participated in by Clark and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, including teaching programs at various spots and the Charleston Hospital Workers’ strike.
 
This collection was digitized and made freely available online through the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
 

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Civic Services Committee Papers

Cover page of the first Historic Charleston Foundation promotional publication

The Civic Services Committee (CSC) (1942-1946) was the predecessor body to Historic Charleston Foundation. It was formed by the Carolina Art Association to address the need for architectural preservation and to implement city planning in response to growth. The Committee received grants from the Rockefeller Foundation and Carnegie Corporation, which were used to retain Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., to prepare a study that resulted in his report "Objectives for the Civic Services Committee." The funding was also used to compile an inventory of the city's architecture that resulted in the publication of the book This is Charleston. The Committee also addressed and conducted studies related to growth issues such as off-street parking and traffic. The collection spans the time period ca. 1939-1949, and consists of meeting minutes, correspondence, memoranda, reports, articles, speeches, news clippings, manuscripts, and other documents. For ease of access, this collection can be browsed by folder.

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