Thalia Orozco (b.1994) was born in Charleston, South Carolina. Her parents are from Michoacán, Mexico, and they came to the USA as agricultural migrant workers. In the nineties, they settled down in Wadmalaw Island, SC. Orozco attended Rural Mission, Frierson Elementary, Angel Oak Elementary, and graduated from high school at Charleston Collegiate. In the interview, she remembers her childhood and teen years and explains the challenges of growing up in the Sea Islands as a first-generation American- born citizen. She reflects on race relationships, belonging and exclusion, representation, and the barriers to political engagement. Thalia Orozco (b.1994) nació en Charleston, SC. Sus padres, originarios del estado de Michoacán, México, llegaron a los Estados Unidos como trabajadores agrícolas migrantes. En los años noventa se establecieron en Wadmalaw Island, SC. Orozco aprendió sus primeras letras con el programa Head Start en Rural Mission. Luego fue estudiante de las escuelas Frierson Elementary y Angel Oak Elementary y completo sus estudios en la escuela media y preparatoria en Charleston Collegiate. En la entrevista recuerda su infancia y adolescencia y explica los desafíos de crecer en el Lowcountry como ciudadana de primera generación nacida en Estados Unidos. Reflexiona acerca de las tensiones raciales y las cuestiones de pertenencia y exclusión que ha experimentado como así también acerca de las barreras y desafíos para la representación y participación política.
Journalist and activist Juan Fernando Soto Martínez (b.1994) was born in the city of San Pedro de las Colonias, Coahuila, Mexico but soon his family moved to Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. When he was seven years old, his parents decided to immigrate to the United States and settled down on Johns Island, South Carolina. From an early age, he excelled as a student, and a couple from the Catholic community provided financial support to further his education. He attended Charleston Collegiate, a private school on Johns Island and then Spring Hill College in Alabama where he earned a Bachelor in Journalism. After completing his degree, Soto Martinez returned to Charleston and founded Recursos Estatales (State Resources), an information service for the local Spanish-speaking community. In the interview, Soto Martínez reflects on his DACA status, the complexities of growing up in a small community, his love for journalism and his activism. He affirms his right to live his life on his terms and to pursue his dreams as a Latino gay man. El periodista y activista Juan Fernando Soto Martínez (1994) nació en la ciudad de San Pedro de las Colonias, Coahuila, México, pero pronto su familia se mudó a Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. Cuando tenía siete años sus padres decidieron emigrar a Estados Unidos y se radicaron en Johns Island, Carolina del Sur. Desde pequeño se destacó como estudiante y un matrimonio de la comunidad católica lo ayudó económicamente para que pudiera estudiar en la escuela privada de Johns Island, Charleston Collegiate y posteriormente en Spring Hill College en Alabama donde obtuvo el título de Bachelor en Periodismo. Después de completar sus estudios regresó a Charleston y fundó Recursos Estatales, un emprendimiento periodístico que sirve a la comunidad hispanohablante local. En la entrevista, Soto Martínez reflexiona sobre su situación de joven DACA, las complejidades de crecer en una comunidad pequeña, su amor por el periodismo y su activismo. Afirma su derecho a vivir su vida en sus propios términos y a perseguir sus sueños como joven latino y gay.
Yulma López-López (b. 1997) was born in Oaxaca, Mexico. When she was three years old, her parents decided to seek better luck in the United States and arrived to California where they worked as agricultural workers. Subsequently, the family moved to other states pursuing better employment opportunities until finally establishing themselves in North Charleston, South Carolina. López-López recalls her experiences at Midland Park Elementary and Charleston County School of the Arts and the teachers who helped her. She explains that she began to progressively understand her status as an undocumented immigrant and, therefore, the reasons why she could not access higher education in South Carolina. In 2016, thanks to a grant from The Dream.Us organization, she was accepted as a student at the University of Delaware. Along with other students, she is part of an organization that advocates for the rights of DACA students and seeks to persuade lawmakers in Washington of DACA students' rights. In the interview, López-López tells how she experiences the challenges of university life, including fear for her safety and that of her loved ones. Finally, she reflects on the limited information and support DACA eligible people and recipients have in the Lowcountry as well as the barriers to organizing politically. Yulma López-López (1997) nació en Oaxaca, México. Cuando tenía tres años, sus padres decidieron buscar mejor suerte en los Estados Unidos y llegaron a California donde se desempeñaron como trabajadores agrícolas. Posteriormente fueron mudándose a otros estados persiguiendo mejores oportunidades de empleo hasta que se establecieron definitivamente en North Charleston, Carolina del Sur. López-López recuerda sus vivencias en las escuelas Midland Park Elementary y Charleston County School of the Arts y a los maestros que la ayudaron. Explica cómo progresivamente fue entendiendo su condición de inmigrante indocumentada y las razones por las que no podía acceder a la educación superior en Carolina del Sur. En el año 2016, gracias a una beca de la organización The Dream.Us es aceptada como estudiante en la Universidad de Delaware. Junto con sus compañeros forma parte de una organización que defiende los derechos de los jóvenes DACA y busca persuadir a los legisladores en Washington. En la entrevista Lopez-Lopez cuenta como experimenta los desafíos de la vida universitaria, incluido el temor por su seguridad y la de sus seres queridos. Finalmente, reflexiona acerca de la limitada información y apoyo con que cuentan los jóvenes DACA en el Lowcountry como así también de las barreras que enfrentan para organizarse políticamente.
Karla Aguirre (b. 1995) was born in Mexico City, Mexico and lived there until she was six years old when her parents decided to immigrate to the United States. In the interview, Aguirre recalls her childhood in a neighborhood in the capital of Mexico, the journey to the United States and her impressions when she found herself for the first time in an unknown place surrounded by an unknown extended family. She explains that growing up in Johns Island was complex because she was part of two very different cultures: one of her classmates at the private school Charleston Collegiate, mostly middle-class whites, and the other, her working-class Mexican community. After finishing school, she participated in a workshop organized by United We Dream in Washington, DC. Then, she joined the organization as an activist and organizer. Aguirre talks about the barriers that dreamers face, including the high rate of mental health problems and the difficulty in accessing adequate services. She also reflects on the challenges of organizing politically, both in South Carolina and nationally, the positive and negative aspects of being an activist and organizer, and defends the right of undocumented youth to tell their own story and to define themselves. Finally, she points out that her dream is to resume her studies. Aguirre (1995) nació en la Ciudad de México, México y vivió allí hasta los seis años cuando sus padres decidieron emigrar a los Estados Unidos. En la entrevista, Aguirre recuerda su infancia en un barrio de la capital de México, la travesía hacia Estados Unidos y sus impresiones al encontrarse con una tierra y una familia extendida desconocidas. Explica que creció en Johns Island en un mundo muy complejo marcado por dos culturas completamente diferentes: la de sus compañeros en la escuela privada Charleston Collegiate, quienes en su mayoría eran blancos de clase media y la de su comunidad de origen mexicana y de clase trabajadora. Después de terminar la escuela, participó en un taller de la organización United We Dream para jóvenes DACA en Washington, DC y luego se unió a ellos como activista y organizadora. Aguirre habla acerca de algunas barreras que enfrentan los jóvenes soñadores, entre otros el alto índice de problemas de salud mental y la dificultad para acceder a servicios adecuados. También reflexiona acerca de desafíos para organizarse políticamente tanto en Carolina del Sur como nacionalmente, los aspectos positivos y negativos de su trabajo como organizadora y defiende el derecho de los jóvenes indocumentados a contar su propia historia y a definirse a sí mismos. Finalmente, señala que su sueño es retomar sus estudios universitarios.
Marcela Ortega was born in a rural area of the state of San Luis Potosí, Mexico. When she was nine years old, her family moved to Tampico, Tamaulipas. In 1989, she decided to immigrate to the United States to build a more prosperous future for the son she was pregnant with. Ortega and her husband arrived to Johns Island, South Carolina to work in a store that sold beverages to migrant workers. Shortly after, Ortega began cooking and selling food to the agricultural workers in Johns Island fields and surrounding areas. In the early nineties, responding to the growing community's needs she established El Mercadito, the first Hispanic store on Johns Island. Later, she opened La Huasteca, a Mexican restaurant. In the interview, Ortega describes Johns Island at the end of the eighties and in the nineties and reflects on the changes she has witnessed. Finally, she remembers participating in numerous cultural events as a dancer and takes pride in the fact that her story has been featured in the local newspaper, the Post and Courier. Marcela Ortega nació y vivió hasta los nueve años en una zona rural del estado de San Luis Potosí, México y luego se mudó junto a su familia a la ciudad de Tampico en el estado de Tamaulipas. En el año 1989 decidió emigrar a los Estados Unidos para construir un futuro más próspero para el hijo que estaba esperando. Junto a su esposo se estableció en Johns Island y comenzó a trabajar en una tienda que vendía bebidas y algunos otros productos a los trabajadores migrantes que llegaban a la isla en la época de la cosecha. Poco después, Ortega comenzó a vender comida en los campos no sólo de la isla, sino de poblaciones aledañas. A principios de los noventa, respondiendo a la necesidad de la comunidad que comenzaba a crecer, estableció El Mercadito, el primer negocio de venta de productos hispanos en Johns Island. Posteriormente también abriría un restaurante llamado La Huasteca. En la entrevista, Ortega recuerda la vida en Johns Island al final de la década de los ochenta y los noventa y reflexiona acerca de los cambios que ella ha observado. Finalmente, cuenta que participó bailando en numerosos eventos culturales y que se enorgullece de que su historia haya sido contada en el periódico local Post and Courier.
Carmen Rigonan (b. 1948) was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico and raised by her grandmother in a large, poor family. Her parents died when she was young, and her aunts left to work in the agricultural fields of New York. She has fond childhood memories of playing in the riverbanks and the sugar cane fields. As a child, she contracted tuberculosis and was hospitalized for four years. In 1963, she moved to Corpus Christi, Texas where her sister and brother-in-law, a military officer, resided. Upon arriving, she experienced a cultural shock related to the national events and the racial dynamics of her new community. She dropped out of school and got a job at the military base in the Head Start program. There, she met her husband, a Vietnam War veteran of Filipino origin with whom she had two daughters. The family moved to several times to different states, including Puerto Rico, and settled permanently in Goose Creek, South Carolina in 1978. It was in the Lowcountry where Rigonan reconnected with her Puerto Rican roots. Later with a group of friends, she founded a non-profit organization called Tri-county Hispanic Association to promote community and cultural activities. In the interview, Rigonan reflects on the construction of her Puerto Rican identity and talks about the racism and classism that she has faced throughout her life. She takes pride in her multicultural family. Carmen Rigonan (1948) nació en Caguas Puerto Rico y creció junto a su abuela en una familia numerosa y pobre. Sus padres fallecieron cuando era pequeña y sus tías se marcharon a trabajar en los campos agrícolas en Nueva York. Sus recuerdos de infancia están asociados al rio y a los cañaverales de azúcar en los que jugaba. Siendo niña contrajo tuberculosis, “la plaga blanca” y tuvo que ser hospitalizada por cuatro años. En 1963, llegó a Corpus Christi, Texas donde residían su hermana y su cuñado que era militar. Allí sufrió un choque cultural marcado por los acontecimientos nacionales, pero también por las dinámicas raciales de su comunidad. No quiso estar en la escuela y consiguió trabajo en la base militar en el programa Head Start. Trabajando conoció a su marido, un veterano de la guerra de Vietnam de origen filipino con el que tuvo dos hijas. La familia vivió en varios estados, incluido Puerto Rico y se radicó definitivamente en Goose Creek, Carolina del Sur en el año 1978. Fue en el Lowcountry que Rigonan reconectó con sus raíces puertorriqueñas y junto a un grupo de amigos fundó una organización sin fines de lucro llamada Tri-county Hispanic Association, que tenía como objetivo promover actividades comunitarias y culturales. En la entrevista, Rigonan reflexiona acerca de la construcción de su identidad puertorriqueña, habla del racismo y clasismo que ha enfrentado a lo largo de su vida y se enorgullece de su familia multicultural.
Jeanette P. Singleton was born on October 6, 1932 in Awendaw, South Carolina. She attended South Carolina College and later the University of South Carolina where she earned a master's degree in library science. Upon her graduation, in 1954 she was hired at Lincoln School in McClellanville, South Carolina. She worked in this institution for thirty-seven years until her retirement in 1992. In the interview, Ms. Singleton talks about the school's lack of resources during segregation and the challenges brought by integration. She remembers Hurricane Hugo devastation and the efforts to recover from it. Singleton laments the closing of Lincoln High in 2016 arguing the school was important for the local community, which took pride in its history and its graduates' accomplishments. Finally, Singleton reflects on her calling to be an educator and offers words of advice and encouragement to young teachers.
Edith (b. 1967) was born in Mendoza, Argentina and lived there until 2001 when, like thousands of compatriots affected by the economic crisis, she decided to leave the country. She arrived to the United States with the help of good friends who were in South Carolina. She came with only her three children and the hope of a better life. She settled in North Charleston where has resided since then. In the interview, Edith tells about the process of learning to function in a strange community, how she was able to put an end to the abusive relationship she had with her children's father and how she learned to survive and thrive as a single mother. She discusses the different jobs she held and her family's strategies to get ahead. She is grateful and proud of her children. Finally, Edith reflects on the evolution of local organizations in which immigrants congregate and advocate for their rights. Edith (1967) nació en Mendoza, Argentina donde vivió hasta el año 2001 cuando al igual que miles de compatriotas afectados por la crisis económica decidió dejar el país. Llegó a Estados Unidos con la ayuda de unos amigos que estaban en Carolina del Sur. Solo traía a sus tres hijos y la esperanza de una vida mejor. Se estableció en North Charleston donde ha residido desde entonces. En la entrevista Edith cuenta acerca del proceso de aprender a desenvolverse en una comunidad extraña, como pudo terminar la relación abusiva que vivía con el padre de sus hijos y como aprendió a sobrevivir y prosperar como madre sola. Cuenta acerca de los diferentes trabajos que ha realizado y las estrategias de su familia para salir adelante. Se manifiesta agradecida y orgullosa de sus hijos. Finalmente, Edith reflexiona acerca de la evolución de las organizaciones locales en las que los inmigrantes se congregan y abogan por sus derechos.
Lidia Gabriela Ojeda Ruiz (b. 1997) was born in the town of Jerécuaro in Guanajuato, Mexico and came to the United States in 2006, with her two older brothers to live with her mother and her older sister who were already settled in Johns Island, South Carolina. In this interview, Ojeda remembers growing up in Mexico, the difficulty and confusion of leaving family and friends in Guanajuato to start a new life in the United States, and the challenges she faced adjusting to a foreign environment. She shares her story of adjusting to the school system, learning English and becoming acculturated. Moreover, she discusses her status as a Dreamer and the burdens placed upon DACA students to further their education beyond high school. Ojeda tells about her interest in criminal justice, her work with a local immigration lawyer, and her plans to continue her education in the future. In this interview, Ojeda reflects about how growing up in two different places, Guanajuato and South Carolina, have shaped her life and character.
María was born in Caracheo, Guanajuato, Mexico. She is the youngest of eleven siblings in a family dedicated to rural work. She got married when she was twenty years old. Soon after, her husband, following in the footsteps of family and friends, left for the United States to work in agriculture. While her husband worked in the United States, she took care of the family in Caracheo. Each year, her husband went back home. However, after the terrorist attack in New York City, the trip became increasingly more dangerous. Thinking that her children needed to be with their father and have a better future, Maria decided to move to the United States and settled in Johns Island, South Carolina. In the interview, Maria talks about the process of adaptation to life in the United States, the difficulties related to physical and cultural isolation and the support she received from the island's Hispanic community. Maria affirms that, despite the obstacles, she is happy because her family is reunited and her children are well. At the time of the interview, Maria had four children and two grandchildren. / María, nació en Caracheo, Guanajuato, México. Es la menor de once hermanos de una familia dedicada al trabajo rural. A los veinte años se casó. Al poco tiempo su esposo, siguiendo los pasos de familiares y amigos, se marchó a los Estados Unidos para trabajar en la agricultura. Mientras Su esposo trabajaba en Estados Unidos ella cuidaba la familia en Caracheo. Cada año su esposo regresaba al pueblo para estar con la familia. Pero después del ataque terrorista en la ciudad de Nueva York el viaje se volvió cada vez más peligroso. Para que sus hijos pudieran crecer junto a su padre y tener un mejor futuro, María decidió mudarse a Estados Unidos y se estableció en Johns Island, Carolina del Sur. En la entrevista, María habla acerca del proceso de adaptación a la vida en Estados Unidos, las dificultades relacionadas con el aislamiento físico y cultural y el apoyo que recibió de la comunidad hispana de la isla. María afirma que, a pesar de los obstáculos, ella es feliz porque su familia está reunida y sus hijos están bien. Al momento de la entrevista María tenía cuatro hijos y dos nietos.
United Methodist Church minister James Ellis Griffeth (b. 1942) grew up in Greenville, S.C. He attended Wofford College and later Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC. He worked as a chaplain with the Greenville Health System for twenty-four years until his retirement in 1998. In the interview, Griffeth discusses his association with South Carolina Clergy Consultation Service for Problem Pregnancies (SCCCS) in Greenville. He explains why he became involved and details the problems women requiring counsel faced during that time in South Carolina. Finally, he reflects on his own spiritual beliefs regarding abortion.
United Methodist Church minister Wiley Barrow Cooper (b. 1942) was born in Greenville, South Carolina. In addition to his pastoral work, he had a long career in human services. In the interview, Cooper discusses his association with South Carolina Clergy Consultation Service for Problem Pregnancies (SCCCS) in Greenville. He explains why he became involved, his role as a volunteer counselor, and the problems women faced during that time in South Carolina. Finally, he reflects on his own spiritual beliefs regarding abortion and his participation in the civil rights movement.
Enrique Martinez is the owner of La Casa Mexicana, one of the first Hispanic stores in the city of Goose Creek. He was born in Tampico Tamaulipas, Mexico and studied Agricultural Administration at the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas. At the end of the 80s, he emigrated with his then-wife Marcela Ortega to the United States and after a brief stay in Texas, they settled in Johns Island, South Carolina. Martinez started working in agriculture, but the devastation caused by hurricane Hugo in 1989 and the subsequent real estate development in the area demanded more workers and created new job opportunities. Martinez found work in the construction of the Kiawah golf courses. He and his wife opened El Mercadito, the first Hispanic store in Johns Island. After their separation, Martinez left the island and moved to North Charleston. He became familiar with the growing Hispanic community of Goose Creek and decided to establish the store he still owns. In the interview, Martínez reflects on his experiences as an immigrant and the evolution of the Hispanic community in the area. He also speaks proudly of his children and of what he has been able to achieve in his life. / Enrique Martínez es el propietario de ”La Casa Mexicana” uno de las tiendas de productos hispanos con más trayectoria en la ciudad de Goose Creek. Nació en Tampico Tamaulipas, México y estudió administración agropecuaria en la Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas. A fines de la década de los ochenta emigró con su entonces esposa, Marcela Ortega, a los Estados Unidos y después de una breve temporada en Texas la pareja se asentó en Johns Island, Carolina del Sur. Martínez encontró empleo en la agricultura, pero la devastación producida por el huracán Hugo en 1989 y el posterior desarrollo inmobiliario de la zona demandaron más trabajadores y originaron nuevas oportunidades por lo cual Martínez comenzó a trabajar en la construcción de los campos de golf de Kiawah. Junto a su esposa abrió la primera tienda de productos hispanos en Johns Island ”El Mercadito”. Después de su separación, Martínez dejó la isla y se mudó a North Charleston. Se familiarizó con la vibrante comunidad hispana de Goose Creek y decidió establecer allí el negocio que todavía conserva. En la entrevista, Martínez reflexiona acerca de la evolución de la comunidad hispana en el área y sus experiencias personales como inmigrante. También habla con orgullo de sus dos hijos y de lo que ha podido construir en su vida.
Sound engineer, drummer, and songwriter Jason Mcfarland was born in New York City in 1973. He has lived in the Lowcountry since the 80s. His earliest music memories are related to Joyce Kilmer Park in South Bronx where every Saturday bands like Chic or Talking Heads used to play. Additionally, he saw legendary musicians as The Jackson 5 and James Brown at the Apollo Theater where his cousin worked as a sound engineer. These early experiences were enriched by the Gospel and Funk sounds of Awendaw. Later, he attended Wando High School and was a member of the Marching Band. In the interview, McFarland tells about the origin of his first band, Funny Looking Kids, and explains how young musicians worked to find opportunities to play before the internet era. He reflects about punk culture and states that Black Flag, Bad Brains and the Descendents were his most influential artists. He affirms that touring with Fishbone was one of the most memorable and remarkable experiences of his career. He recalls the Charleston music scene in the 80s and 90s naming the music venues, record stores, and bars that congregated musicians and students in the city. McFarland is proud of his multifaceted career as a sound engineer and as a musician, which gives him multiple opportunities to enjoy great music. At the time of the interview, McFarland was playing with two bands, Funny Looking Kids and Hybrid Mutants.
Delia Chariker was born in born in Kingsville, Texas and when she was two moved to Clover, South Carolina where she grew up. Her earliest musical memories relate to her mother's big playful and musical family. She learned to play guitar when she was in High school. She attended college in North Carolina and after that she moved around the country playing in Nashville and California. However, making a living as a musician proved to be a struggle and she returned to school to obtain a Masters in Music therapy. She reflects about being a working musician and states this is one of the most rewarding times of her career: She is able to make a living creating music with her veteran clients and plays around town with her musician friends. Animas, her solo album reflects Chariker's deep connection with her Native American spirituality roots. At the time of the interview, Chariker was employed at the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affair Medical Center and was the Music Director at Unitarian Church in Mount Pleasant.
Music entrepreneur and philanthropist Eddie White was born in 1960 in Charleston, South Carolina. He attended Wando High School and later Furman University where he obtained a degree in dentistry, a profession he has practiced for more than thirty years. Music acquired an important place in White's life when he met his wife and her musical family. This interest deepened raising his three children because White became involved with his children music activities and by doing that, he had the opportunity to meet and share time with interesting and creative people. In 2007, after a series of collaborations with local musicians and small concerts, he opened Awendaw Green with the purpose of offering a listening environment for new bands and local talent. In the interview, White remembers the beginning of the project, the challenges they faced and reflects about the impact of Awendaw Green on the Lowcountry music scene and beyond.
Guitarist and entrepreneur Clelia Hand Reardon was born in Huntsville, Alabama. She recalls her beginnings: taking piano lessons when she was in first grade and knowing when she was only thirteen that she wanted to be a classical guitarist. Reardon talks about her mentor and friend, Mr. Fred Sabback, and states he was the biggest influence in her career. In the interview, Reardon reflects about her prolific career as a performer and as a teacher. She remembers her experiences playing in many shows in Charleston; included Man of the Mancha, Porgy and Bess, and Jesus Christ Superstar; touring Europe twice with a jazz band, and participating in the organization of the Guitar Foundation of America international conventions and competitions. Finally, she reflects about the rewards of her teaching career.
Consuelo Campos was born in Aquila, Michoacán, Mexico. Because her family was very poor and she was the oldest of thirteen siblings, she started working at an early age in the production of bricks and selling food that her mother prepared. She attended school only for two years after the village priest convinced her father that education was necessary and important. Poverty and the news of prosperity that came from the north fueled her desire to emigrate and help her family. At the age of nineteen, she married a young man from her town who worked as an agricultural worker in the United States. Soon after, in 1989 they settled in the state of Washington. In 1992, they moved to Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina but continued to travel as a migrant working family. Finally, after almost ten years working in the fields and concerned about her children’s wellbeing, she decided to settle down and began to clean houses in Johns Island. She learned English and opened several small businesses, including a cleaning company and a restaurant. At the time of the interview, Campos was working full-time with the company Mary Kay. She reflects on the reasons for emigrating, remembers life on Johns Island and Wadmalaw Island in the 90s, and takes pride in accomplishing her goal of helping her family. / Consuelo Campos nació en Aquila, Michoacán México. Su familia era muy pobre y como era la mayor de trece hermanos tuvo que comenzar a trabajar desde muy pequeña en la producción de ladrillos y vendiendo comida que su madre preparaba. Asistió a la escuela solamente por dos años después de que el sacerdote del pueblo convenciera a su padre de la que la educación era necesaria e importante. La pobreza y las noticias de prosperidad que llegaban desde el norte alimentaron su deseo de emigrar y ayudar a su familia. A los 19 años se casó con un joven de su pueblo, que se desempeñaba como trabajador agrícola en los Estados Unidos y con él, en el año 1989 se radicó en el estado de Washington. En 1992 se mudaron a Wadmalaw Island, Carolina del Sur, pero siguieron viajando en familia como trabajadores migrantes. Finalmente, después de casi diez años trabajando en el campo y pensando en el bienestar de sus hijos, decidió establecerse y para ganar su sustento empezó a limpiar casas en Johns Island. Aprendió inglés y abrió varios pequeños negocios, entre ellos una compañía de limpieza y un restaurante. Al tiempo de la entrevista Campos estaba abocada a tiempo completo a trabajar con la compañía Mary Kay. Campos reflexiona sobre las razones para emigrar, recuerda la vida en Johns Island and Wadmanlaw Island en la década de los noventa y se enorgullece de haber logrado su objetivo de ayudar a su familia.
Gino Castillo was born in Quito, Ecuador in 1974. His maternal grandparents raised him and introduced him to classical and Cuban music. He started playing drums when he was thirteen years old. As a drummer, he toured with rock bands in his country, Latin America, and Europe. In 1998, studying in Cuba, he decided to focus completely on hand percussion. Castillo moved to New York with his family in 2010 and was there for about a year. Then, he relocated in the Lowcountry lured by the promise of a great opportunity to play music. After realizing the deal was not real, he tried different jobs to support his family. He was frustrated and depressed but determined to play music. He connected with local musicians such as Charlton Singleton and Quentin Baxter and through them with the Charleston Latin Jazz Collective. Castillo reflects about the changes in the Charleston music scene since he arrived in town in 2010. He talks about the challenges of carving a niche for Latin Jazz and funk music. He discusses his participation in the Charleston Jazz Collective, his collaboration with other musicians and the success of the Salsa Nights in Voodoo. Castillo recorded his first solo album Ya llegué in 2008 and in 2014 released SoulFunKubanized.
Singer and storyteller Ann Caldwell was born in Denmark, South Carolina in 1952. Her family moved to Charleston when she was three years old. Her early musical memories relate to the church music and the long hours she spent listening to gospel and R&B on the radio. However, her interest in pursuing a professional musical career would develop much later. She was an adult when she had her first solo concert at St. Paul AME Church in the City of North Charleston in 1982. In the interview, Caldwell recalls the challenges of being a working mother and a party band singer as well as her experiences singing with the David Archer Band. She also talks about the Magnolia Singers, a Charleston-based vocal group she founded and gained national recognition. Caldwell reflects about what means for her to perform Gullah Spirituals, the music of her ancestors to different audiences. She discusses her participation in programs and events with musicians of different styles and traditions such as the Women & Series at the Music Hall and talks about what it takes to be a working musician in Charleston. Finally, she reflects about the Charleston music community response to Mother Emanuel tragedy and affirms, "I don't believe the music has changed. It's the medicine we lean on."
Musician, educator, and community leader Lonnie Hamilton III was born in Charleston in 1927. He is a graduate of South Carolina State College and VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. In the interview, Hamilton reflects about growing up and developing his career in the segregated South since his beginnings at Burke High and the Jenkins Orphanage Band. He speaks about his long and gratifying career as an educator teaching music at Sims High School in Union, South Carolina and at Bonds-Wilson High School at North Charleston, South Carolina, and the many relationships he forged with his students over the years. He talks about the highlights of his performing career, playing daily on Channel 2, attaining the dream to have his own club, Lonnie's, his successful years playing at Henry's on North Market Street, and having the opportunity to compose an original song, "Ugly Way Blues" that he performed on the movie Rich in Love. Hamilton recalls the excitement he felt when he listened to jazz music for the first time in a show called Silas Green Minstrel in downtown Charleston and describes playing at Mosquito Beach as a unique and wonderful experience. Hamilton takes pride in his accomplishments, as an educator, as a musician, as a businessperson, and as a City Council member. He affirms he was able to break Charleston's racial and economic barriers thanks to his saxophone.
Musician and educator Mervin Antonio Jenkins, also known as Spec the Spectacular for his talent at rhyming and freestyle, was born in Eutawville, South Carolina in 1972. He is the first child of Mary, a schoolteacher and Melvin Jenkins, an auto mechanic worker. It was on his father's garage that Jenkins listened to Run DMC, "Sucker MC's" for the first time. Then, he would learn more about rap music and culture with his cousin from New York. In the interview, Jenkins reflects on his career as a musician and as an educator that uses rap to engage young people. He shares the challenges and rewards of his career, stating that recording with Big Daddy Cane was one of his proudest moments. He discusses the evolution of rap music and its styles and names his favorite artists. When asked about a particular Charleston/Carolinas sound, he argues that the Carolinas never developed their own rap sound and style because it was not functional for the music industry. At the end of the interview, he performs "War of the Worlds" and freestyles responding to the audience prompts.
Radio host and producer Osei Terry Chandler was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1946. His father was a musician and his mother loved listening to music. Growing up in his multicultural city, he was exposed to all kinds of music. As a teenager, he joined his high school radio and mixed music at parties. He moved to Jacksonville, Illinois to attend MacMurray College and there continued DJing and working for the college radio. After graduation, he returned to New York to support his younger brothers and there he met and fell in love with Sadeeka Joyner, a young woman from Ridgeville SC, who would become his wife and the mother of his three children. In 1977, Chandler relocated to Charleston. Soon after, he found an opportunity to work on a jazz radio program replacing the host Tony Robertson. Later he focused mostly on reggae and Caribbean music. His program Roots Musik Karamu has been on the air in SC Public Radio since 1979. In the interview, Chandler recalls some of the most memorable moments of his career and reflects about the evolution of the music scene in Charleston. Finally, he states he has had a joyful life sharing his work with musicians and friends and explains that all the aspects of his life, family, his work as an educator and the music, are tied together. Mostly he always has wanted to share music that brings positive feelings and thoughts that are uplifting for the community.
Galen Hudson, owner of Monster Music and Movies Store, was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1967 and he grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. His earliest musical memories relate to his love for bagpipes and drums and the music of his Catholic grade school. He remembers the first record he bought- Steve Miller Band, Fly Like an Eagle when he was just a nine-year-old kid. He got his first job in a books and records store when he was a teenager. After graduating from college with a Bachelor in Psychology, he went to work for a retail music and entertainment store chain, Record Bar, in Chapel Hill. Later, he moved with his girlfriend to Charleston where he continued working with record stores, first at Manifest Discs and Tapes and later at Cats Music. In the interview, Hudson talks about the negative impact that the big boxes commercial model and the early file-sharing services had on the records business. However, he argues small local stores are resilient and have learned to adjust. He talks about Record Store Day, an initiative started by of a coalition of independent record stores fifteen years ago. He states his store and the Record Store Day are successful thanks to the Charleston community's cultural vibrancy and support.
Musician and art entrepreneur Leah Suárez was born on August 12, 1981, in Greenwood South Carolina. She grew up in Charleston with her parents and three brothers and her childhood activities revolved around soccer and music. As early musical experiences, she remembers singing with her mother the mixed tapes her brother created for her. Suárez formal musical training started in middle school when she joined the school band and learned to play the euphonium. She received a scholarship to study the instrument at George Mason University College but she dropped out due to health problems. She returned to South Carolina and enrolled at the College of Charleston where she focused on vocals. At the age of twenty-four, she participated in the Copenhagen Jazz Festival and lived in Europe for six months. Back in Charleston, with the support of her mentor and friend, Jack McCray co-founded Jazz Artists of Charleston (JAC) becoming the organization Executive Director and the co-producer the Charleston Jazz Orchestra. In the interview, Suárez explains that her life experiences and the issues affecting her community shaped her voice and art. She reflects about the challenges and rewards of being a musician entrepreneur in Charleston, her work with other Charleston musicians, and the importance of re-connecting with her Latino roots.
Songwriter, singer, and guitarist Eddie Bush was born in Princeton, a small rural town in Indiana, in 1965 and he has lived in the Lowcountry since the early 70s. When he was four years old, his father taught him basic guitar chords and since then he never stopped learning and perfecting his craft. In the interview, Bush talks about the musicians that influenced him, remembers his teen years playing in Charleston and reflects about the evolution of Charleston music scene. Bush recalls some of the most memorable moments of his career such as touring with Eric Johnson, becoming a member of the harmony group One Flew South, standing on a stage by John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson, designing his own guitar and the overwhelming public response he received for his songs "Spirit of America" and "The Thin Blue Line." Finally, he discusses the challenges of making a living as a musician in the time of the internet and takes pride in his work as a guitar teacher. Teaching gives him the opportunity to nurture young talents and share his values as a musician.
Lebanese-American musician Peter Kfoury was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. His father was Lebanese and his mother Syrian. At thirteen, he learned to play guitar and soon after, he became fascinated with the oud, an old Mid-Eastern traditional instrument. He moved to Connecticut to attend college and for a few months, he took lessons with the Armenian musician George Mgrdichian. By that time, Kfoury started blending Middle Eastern music with jazz, rock, and funk. After a year, he decided to leave college and went to play music in New York. Later he returned to school and graduated as Dr. Chiropractor, the profession he has practiced for almost forty years. In the interview, Kfoury talks about the lack of diversity in the music offerings in Charleston as well as the lack of listening rooms. Responding to these voids, in 2016 he launched the World Music Cafe. John Holenko and Hazel Ketchum from Hungry Monk Music supported his efforts. Since then, World Music Cafe produces a monthly show that features three musicians of different musical traditions and styles. Finally, Kfoury talks about creating, recording and presenting his album At the Heart of Two Worlds.
Vocalist Aisha Kenyetta (a.k.a Aisha Frazier) was born in 1980, in Monetta, South Carolina. Before going to college, her life revolved around family and church activities. Kenyetta describes herself as a freelance vocalist with a powerful voice: "I'm a power singer... but when I sing, my diction is rhythmic. My voice is an extension of the percussion instruments. It's not—I'm not the violin. I'm the bass." She performs with her own band AmpSquared and several other such as Super Deluxe, Plane Jane, and the musician collective Emerald Empire. Additionally, she is the North Charleston Seacoast Church's Worship Leader. In the interview, Kenyetta discusses balancing family, day work, and music career and states she is grateful for the many opportunities to perform. At the time of the interview, Kenyetta was writing her own material.
Saxophonist Abe White was born in downtown Charleston in 1935. He attended Burke High and there he realized he could be a musician. Soon, with almost no training, he started playing at the local bars in Reynolds Avenue in North Charleston and in downtown Charleston. The job allowed him to make money and support his mother financially but also exposed him to the nightlife dangers. After graduating from high school, White joined the Air Force in administrative positions. He was stationed in Texas, Colorado, California, Florida, Germany, and Thailand. On each place, after his office hours, he pursued opportunities to play. When he returned to the civil life, he started his own business, "The Abe White Affair". In the interview, White reflects about his music and career and the long journey that took him from playing at armors and bars to his performances in local concerts and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival.
Feidin del Rosario Santana was born in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic in 1991. He moved with his family to New Jersey, NY when he was twelve years old. After high school graduation at the age of nineteen, he returned to his country to train at a baseball academy in rural San Pedro. He explains that for him this was a "life-changing experience" but after a physical injury, he had to quit and return to the USA where he struggled to adjust. Later, he went back to Punta Cana to work in the tourist industry. There he met the mother of his child and trained as a barber. A job opportunity in a barbershop brought him to North Charleston in 2013. On his way to work on the morning of Saturday, April 4th, 2015 Santana recorded the killing Walter Scott by North Charleston Police Officer Michael Slager. Realizing the magnitude of the event he had witnessed, he feared for his safety but decided to hand over the video to the Scott family prompting the arrest of Slager. Santana reflects about the following months, including dealing with the press and media outlets, being a witness in the trial, and becoming the target of hateful messages.
Michelle Mapp was born on September 4, 1969 in Bad Kreuznach, Germany where her father, a U.S. Army drill sergeant was stationed. The family moved back to the United States when she was four years old and to the Charleston area when she was thirteen. Mapp attended Brentwood Middle School and Garret High School in North Charleston. She earned a bachelor's degree in Engineering from Clemson University and a Master of Engineering Management at George Washington University. She lived with her husband in Atlanta for several years and then relocated to Charleston in 2000. While teaching math at Stall High in North Charleston she observed the complexity of community factors that affected her students and became more interested in working on public policies. Following this interest, she enrolled in the master's degree program in public administration at the College of Charleston and started working right away with a newly formed organization, the Charleston Housing Trust. In the interview, Mapp discusses in length the need for affordable housing in Charleston and North Charleston and states that regional conversations and plans are needed and still lacking. She explains that affordable housing requires both finding resources but also modifying government building and development regulations. At the end of the interview, Mapp reflects about the Mother Emanuel AME Chuch massacre, the killing of Walter Scott, and systemic racism in Charleston and South Carolina.
The former Charleston mayor discusses family storytelling. He considers himself and his mother's side of the family to be introverted. His father's side are talkative, "Irish" storytellers. Riley shares family lore he received as a child. These include impressions of his father and his political associates, including Senators James F. Byrnes and Fritz Hollings. He also shares family stories and impressions of memorable relatives, including his grandfather J. Edwin Schachte's involvement with the Knights of Columbus, his uncle Lawrence G. Riley's life in the merchant marine, and pranks with his uncle John E. Riley. Riley lore also ties the family to the Civil War through his great grandfather Henry Oliver, a Confederate veteran. After the Civil War, Oliver walked home from Richmond, Virginia. The interview concludes with Rileys childhood memories of World War Two.
Riley discusses his years in the South Carolina House of Representatives (1968-1974). During those years, Riley was part of a small group of young legislators known as the Young Turks, which attempted to pass progressive reforms but faced the opposition of conservative legislators lead by the long-time serving Speaker of the House, Solomon Blatt Sr. Riley discusses his 1968 campaign and the unsuccessful runs of James Clyburn and Herbert Fielding. The interview concludes with Riley reflecting on his wife Charlotte's role and presence in his political career.
María Asunción Córdova was born and grew up in Punta Arenas, Chile. She is the daughter of Miguel Córdova and the writer María Asunción Requena. When she was eleven years old, her parents divorced and she moved with her mother and her two brothers to Santiago de Chile. Cordova attended the University of Chile, where she graduated with the title of Doctor in Dental Surgery. There, she met her husband, Dr. Carlos Salinas. In 1972, Córdova and Salinas relocated to Baltimore, Maryland to work at the Johns Hopkins University. In this interview, Córdova remembers her life in Chile and reflects about her experiences as a young professional, mother, and activist. / María Asunción Córdova nació y vivió su infancia en Punta Arenas, Chile. Es hija de Miguel Córdova y de la escritora María Asunción Requena. Cuando tenía once años sus padres se divorciaron y tuvo que mudarse junto a su madre y sus dos hermanos a Santiago de Chile. Córdova estudió en la Universidad de Chile, donde se graduó con el título de Doctor en Cirugía Dental. Allí conoció a su esposo, el Dr. Carlos Salinas. En 1972, Córdova y Salinas se radicaron en Baltimore, Maryland para trabajar en la Universidad Johns Hopkins. En esta entrevista, Córdova recuerda su vida en Chile y reflexiona sobre sus experiencias como joven profesional, madre y activista.
Charleston?s longest-serving mayor discusses his experiences as an undergraduate at The Citadel (1960-1964). Prompted by a yearbook photo, Riley shares memories of his classmates, including a company commander with a proclivity for pranks involving wildlife. Riley also reflects on Charleston's Civil War Centennial events, which were part of a year-long national commemoration. Cadets re-enacted the December 1861 firing on the federal supply ship, the Star of the West, which preceded by four months the attack on Fort Sumter that marked the start of the Civil War. Riley recalls his cousin Steve Schachte firing a model cannon at a Star of the West replica from the roof of the family home on Charleston's Battery. Riley also describes his relationship to Thomas Nugent ("The Boo") Courvoisie, a beloved Citadel administrator. A trip to New Orleans as a member of the Summerall Guard during Riley's senior year was especially memorable. He additionally reflects on his early work experiences, including assisting his father in his insurance business and an internship in Congressman Mendel Rivers's office in Washington, DC. Riley concludes with some reflections on the influence of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. on his values.
Iris was born in the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico. Her grandmother served as her main caregiver because her mother worked full time and studied on the weekends. She suffered the absence of her mother, but from her she learned to strive for her goals. As a teenager, she was sent to Mexico City to study cosmetology. When she returned to her town, she fell in love and had her first child at seventeen. She had her own hairdressing and beauty business, but she aspired to a better quality of life for herself and her child. Excited by the stories of prosperity coming from the north, she decided to emigrate. She left her nine-year-old son with her sister and embarked on the difficult journey to cross the border. The crossing was plagued by situations of danger and abuse. Life in the United States was more difficult than she had anticipated, and her plans to reunite with her child took six years to complete. The reunion was fraught with difficulties and the family needed a lot of time and determination to heal their wounds. Iris’s son was at risk of deportation but, fortunately, he was able to apply for DACA and receive approval. Iris worked as a promoter in the PASOs program and currently continues to volunteer in the community and her parish.Nació en la ciudad de Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México en el año de 1972. Siendo niña estuvo al cuidado de su abuelita porque su madre trabajaba a tiempo completo y estudiaba los fines de semana. Sufrió la ausencia de su madre, pero de ella aprendió a luchar por superarse y lograr sus metas. Siendo adolescente se fue a vivir a la Ciudad de México para estudiar cosmetología. Cuando a volvió a su pueblo se enamoró y a los diecisiete años tuvo a su primer hijo. Tenía su propio negocio de peluquería y belleza, pero aspiraba a una mejor calidad de vida para ella y su niño. Entusiasmada con las historias de prosperidad que le llegaban del norte decidió emigrar. Dejó a su hijo de nueve años con su hermana y emprendió el difícil viaje para cruzar la frontera. El cruce estuvo plagado de situaciones de peligro y abuso. En Estados Unidos las cosas fueron más difíciles de lo que había anticipado y sus planes de reunirse con su niño demoraron seis años en cumplirse. El reencuentro estuvo plagado de dificultades y la familia necesitó mucho tiempo y trabajo para reparar las heridas. El joven estuvo a punto de ser deportado, pero afortunadamente pudo acogerse a los beneficios de DACA. Lopez trabajó como promotora en el programa PASOs, y actualmente sigue ofreciendo su trabajo voluntario en la comunidad y su parroquia.
López was born in Mexico City in 1978, but grew up with her grandparents in a very small town called Huaycali in the state of Guerrero. Recalling her childhood, López reminisces about the responsibilities she had as a peasant girl and describes the customs and celebrations of her land. As a teenager, she crossed the border with her family and, after a difficult and dangerous journey, arrived in Johns Island, South Carolina, where one of her aunts lived. Almost immediately, López started working in the fields to pay for the expenses of her trip. A short time later, a young friend from Mexico came looking for her. They were married soon after, and have been together ever since. They have two children and consider Johns Island their place in the world. In her interview, López explains that education is very important to her and her husband, which is why they have made an effort to learn, better themselves, and train as community leaders. In this learning process, she explains, the sisters of Our Lady of Mercy played a crucial role. López also reflects on her work with various community organizations such as PASOs, Family Corps, and Holy Spirit Parish.López nació en la Ciudad de México en 1978 pero creció junto a sus abuelitos, en un pueblo muy pequeño llamado Huaycali en el estado de Guerrero. Recordando su infancia, López cuenta acerca de las responsabilidades que tenía como niña campesina y describe las costumbres y celebraciones de su tierra. Siendo adolescente, cruzó la frontera con su familia y después de un viaje azaroso y difícil llegó a Johns Island, South Carolina donde residía una de sus tías. Apenas llegada, Alma comenzó a trabajar en la agricultura para poder pagar los gastos de su viaje. Al poco tiempo, un joven amigo de México llegó a buscarla y enseguida se casaron. Desde entonces López y su esposo han estado juntos. Tienen dos hijos y consideran a Johns Island su lugar en el mundo. López explica que la educación es muy importante para ella y su marido y que por esa razón se han esforzado en aprender y formarse como líderes comunitarios. En ese proceso de aprendizaje, su relación con las hermanas de Our Lady of Mercy tuvo un rol fundamental. López, también reflexiona acerca de su trabajo con distintas organizaciones comunitarias como PASOs, Family Corps y la Parroquia Holy Spirit.
In the second part of her interview, Margarita recalls the different places she’s worked since her family settled in the Lowcountry. Her first job was in North Charleston in a food processing facility, where she spent most of her working hour processing vegetables in a walk-in cooler. She withdrew from that position because she was pregnant and the long hours of work in the intense cold were affecting her health. After the birth of her baby, she got a job at Carolina Nurseries in Moncks Corner and was surprised by how many Mexican workers the company employed. Currently, she works with her husband in a landscape company. Upon arriving in the Lowcountry, Margarita and her family settled in a neighborhood located behind Midland Park Elementary. Margarita remembers with great affection the Midland Park teachers who, from the first school day, supported and encouraged her daughter and continued providing help, support, and encouragement throughout her time at school. Her daughter, a young DACA, is studying at the University of Delaware. Margarita reflects on the limitations she had as a mother to support her daughter in the process of applying for college and expresses the immense pride she feels for her daughter’s achievements.En la segunda parte de la entrevista, Margarita recuerda los distintos lugares en los que trabajó desde que se establecieron en el Lowcountry. El primero, fue en North Charleston en una cámara frigorífica procesando verdura. Se retiró de ese lugar porque estaba embarazada y las largas horas de trabajo en el frio intenso le estaban afectando su salud. Después del nacimiento de su bebe consiguió trabajo en Carolina Nurseries en Moncks Corner y se sorprendió de la cantidad de trabajadores mexicanos que la compañía empleaba. Actualmente trabaja con su marido en una compañía de jardinería. Al llegar al Lowcountry, Margarita y su familia se establecieron en un vecindario ubicado atrás de la escuela Midland Park. Margarita recuerda con mucho afecto a los maestros de esa escuela que desde el primer día apoyaron y alentaron a su hija y que a lo largo de su vida escolar la acompañaron y la ayudaron a encontrar recursos para progresar. Su hija, una joven DACA, estudia en la Universidad de Delaware. Margarita reflexiona acerca de las limitaciones que tuvo como madre para apoyar a su hija en el proceso de ingresar a la universidad y expresa el orgullo inmenso que siente por los logros de la joven.
Carmela was born in a rural community called Ojo de Agua, Santa Cruz, Nundaco, Tlaxiaco, in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. She grew up speaking Mixtec, learned to speak Spanish in school, and from an early age helped her family with the house and small farm chores. At the age of fourteen, after finishing middle school, she moved to Mexico City. In the interview, Carmela tells about her life in the capital, first under the care of her mother's godmother and then employed with two other families. She tells about the things she learned living in a big city, but also about the situations of injustice and abuse to which she was subjected. Back in her village, Carmela married a childhood friend. Unfortunately, the couple's first baby was stillborn. The loss of her child left her in such deep pain that her family feared for her mental health. Relatives and friends advised them to travel to the United States to distract themselves and recover. Though she was initially unwilling to leave her homeland and terrified to cross the border, she joined her husband anyway and set off along the road to the north. Carmela remembers how they prepared for the trip and the problems they faced in the desert. She also tells of her first impressions upon arriving in South Carolina and how she learned to live in the United States, where her three children were born. Finally, Carmela reflects on work, access to education and health services, her concerns about immigration raids, and her dreams for her family.Carmela nació en una comunidad rural llamada Ojo de Agua, Santa Cruz, Nundaco, Tlaxiaco, en el estado de Oaxaca, México. Creció hablando mixteco, aprendió a hablar español en la escuela y desde temprana edad trabajó junto a su familia en las tareas de la casa y el campo. A los catorce años, después de terminar la escuela media se mudó a la Ciudad de México. En la entrevista, Barrios relata cómo fue su vida en la capital, primero bajo el cuidado de la madrina de su madre y luego empleada con otras dos familias. Cuenta las cosas que aprendió viviendo en una gran ciudad, pero también las situaciones de injusticia y abuso a las que fue sometida. De vuelta en su pueblo, Barrios se casó con un amigo de la infancia. Desafortunadamente el primer bebe de la pareja nació muerto. La pérdida de su niño la dejó sumida en un dolor tan profundo que su familia temió por su salud mental. Familiares y amigos le aconsejaron que viajara a los Estados Unidos para distraerse y recuperarse. Sin deseos de dejar su tierra y aterrorizada de cruzar la frontera, emprendió junto a su esposo, el camino al norte. Barrios recuerda cómo se prepararon para el viaje y los problemas que enfrentaron en el desierto. También cuenta sus primeras impresiones al llegar a Carolina del Sur y cómo fue su proceso de aprender a vivir en los Estados Unidos donde nacieron sus tres hijos. Por último, Barrios reflexiona sobre el trabajo, el acceso a la educación y los servicios de salud, sus preocupaciones sobre las redadas de inmigración y sobre sus sueños para su familia.
Felipa was born in a small town in the state of Oaxaca called Capulín and grew up there with her parents and six siblings. She never went to school and contributed to the family economy by participating in the house and field chores from a very young age. Her father was a seasonal agricultural worker in northern Mexico, and Felipa began traveling and working with him when she was nine years old. At the age of fourteen, she moved in with the father of her first daughter, who later emigrated to the United States and never returned. She met and married a farmworker from Guerrero, and together they decided to try their luck in the United States. They traveled the country, working in the fields and in poultry processing plants. Her marital life was very difficult, and fearing for her life, Felipa returned to Mexico. Determined to turn her life around, she left her children with her mother and returned to work in the United States with the illusion of saving enough money to be able to have the whole family together. "My reason is to bring all my children here in the United States so that I can work and give what they want and they can study, " Felipa said. She is now grateful to have achieved her dream: "When I reunited with all my children I told them, ‘Now I'm happy,’ and even now I'm still happy for it, because a daughter died, but I know she died, I know where she is, I know where she went. But they're all with me, I know what they do, I know what they are going to do. There is one who obeys, one does not obey, but I am with them.” Felipa proudly reveals that one of her sons, Antonio, graduated with honors from Strafford High School and is currently a student at the College of Charleston. Felipa nació en un pequeño pueblo del estado de Oaxaca llamado Capulín y allí creció junto a sus padres y seis hermanos. Nunca fue a la escuela y desde pequeña tuvo que dedicarse a las labores del hogar y el campo. Su padre trabajaba como campesino migrante en el norte de México y a los nueve años, Felipa López empezó a viajar a la cosecha junto con él. A los catorce años se fue a vivir con el padre de su primera hija, quien luego emigró a Estados Unidos y nunca más regresó con ellas. Más tarde se unió a otro jornalero originario de Guerrero, y juntos decidieron probar suerte en Estados Unidos. Recorrieron el país trabajando en la agricultura y en plantas procesadoras de pollo, pero a causa de los problemas matrimoniales y temiendo por su vida Felipa regresó a México. Decidida a dar un vuelco en su vida, dejó a sus hijos a cargo de su madre y regresó a trabajar a Estados Unidos con la ilusión de ahorrar para poder tener a toda la familia junta. “No perdí tiempo”” Mi razón es traer todos mis hijos aquí en Estados Unidos, para que yo pueda trabajar y dar lo que ello quiere y estudiar ellos.” Felipa se siente agradecida de haber logrado su sueño: “cuando yo encontré todos mis hijos les dije, ahora sí estoy feliz y hasta horita sigo siendo feliz por ello, porque una mi hija se murió, pero sé que se murió, sé dónde está, sé dónde se fue, pero todos ellos están conmigo, sé lo que hacen, sé lo que piensan hacer, hay uno obedece, uno no obedece, pero estoy con ellos.” Felipa cuenta con orgullo que uno de sus hijos, Antonio, se graduó con honores en la escuela Strafford y actualmente es alumno del College of Charleston.
Riley discusses his close ties to Hillary and Bill Clinton. Riley discusses meeting and supporting Bill Clinton during his presidential campaign. Clinton returned the favor and assisted Riley to keep the federal courthouse downtown. Riley also discusses his discovery and enthusiasm for Barack Obama. Riley explains his support for Obama over Hillary Clinton in 2008. He asserts that he has maintained a positive relationship to the Clintons despite opposing the administration's decision to close the Charleston Navy Base. He acknowledges that the campaign to keep the base open distracted him from his campaign for governor in 1994.
The former Charleston mayor discusses the impact of Hurricane Hugo (1989) on the region. He spotlights the emotional toll that it took on area residents and rejects suggestions that the storm benefited Charleston. Hugo elevated Riley's public profile, but he declined to run in the 1990 governor's race. The recovery led to tensions with Federal Emergency Management Authority and Republican officials. Riley expressed gratitude for Senator Ernest Hollings' outspoken criticisms of FEMA. Riley observes that FEMA is more proactive and professional as a result of their failures in 1989.
Riley describes his close relationship with the Carter administration. He discusses receiving a surprise Sunday evening phone call from President Carter and the president's visit to Charleston. Riley also explains how his close ties to the administration aided in the annexation of the Citadel mall into the city of Charleston in 1980.
The former mayor of Charleston reflects on the first seven months of his retirement and indicates that he is satisfied with the decision not to seek re-election. He also comments on recent protests in cities across the country regarding the use of excessive force by police departments. The bulk of the interview focuses on the events related to Hurricane Hugo in September 1989 and his leadership of the recovery efforts. He discusses the challenge of alerting residents to the coming danger and the need to evacuate without triggering panic. He remembers the evening of the storm, hunkered down in City Hall with key staff. Riley stressed to Police Chief Reuben Greenberg that there should be no looting in the aftermath of the storm. He also discusses key events during the recovery. He concludes with memories of his only Oval Office meeting with President Ronald Reagan, who showed little interest in the discussion of low income housing.
Riley discusses his efforts at revitalizing downtown through the development of the Charleston Place hotel and Waterfront Park. He faced strong opposition to Charleston Place (originally Charleston Center) from preservationists and local merchants, including Maier Hyman. One opponent nearly landed a blow at the conclusion of a city council meeting. Riley also describes the negotiations that took place to acquire properties between Meeting and King Streets and to relocate tenants, including the Washington Light Infantry. The city received critical financial support for King St. revitalization from the US Economic Development Association and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The former mayor of Charleston discusses the troubled origins of the Spoleto Festival - Charleston's performing arts festival that began in 1977. The Charleston events are the US counterpart to the "Festival of Two Worlds" in Spoleto, Italy. Riley recounts the early financial and leadership struggles that led to the departure of festival chairman, Hugh Lane. He also discusses his working relationship with Spoleto's founder, the Italian composer Gian Carlo Menotti. During an especially lean year, Riley provided personal funds to keep the festival afloat. Riley also recalls taking some pride in his nickname "Little Black Joe" or "LBJ." Detractors dubbed him LBJ to suggest that he was pandering to the African American community for votes. He concludes with some reflections on police reform early in his tenure. Police Chief John Conroy worked to rid the police force of "thumpers," or those officers prone to violence.
Charleston's long-time mayor discusses policing, comparing chiefs Reuben Greenberg (1982-2005) and his successor, Gregory G. Mullen (2006-present). Riley reflects on the physical and mental health issues that led to Greenberg's retirement. He also recounts the racially charged fights that marred the Sertoma Classic football games in 1977. Riley offers remembrances of civil rights leader Septima P. Clark.
Margarita was born in Santiago Juxtlahuaca in a very small town in the Sierra de Oaxaca, Mexico. Much of her childhood was spent in a shelter for children, where she suffered from the lack of family affection and from economic shortcomings. At sixteen, she went to live with her uncles in Mexico City and began working. "I was rebellious. I wanted to learn, to get out of poverty, to wear beautiful clothes," she recalls. When she returned to Oaxaca, she worked as a bilingual employee at a small local bank. She met a boy who was a seasonal worker in the United States, and they got married and had two children. Facing the scarcity of resources in Mexico, her husband decided to migrate again, and this time she joined him. They left their children with their mother-in-law and went to California to work in agriculture. They missed their children terribly and considered returning to Mexico, but in the end, they decided that it was better for the children to join them in the United States. Together they traveled and worked in different parts of the country until they finally settled in South Carolina.Margarita nació en Santiago Juxtlahuaca en un pueblo muy pequeño de la Sierra de Oaxaca, México. Gran parte de su infancia transcurrió en un albergue para niños donde sufrió la falta de afecto familiar y las carencias económicas. A los dieciséis años se fue a vivir con unos tíos a la Ciudad de México y allí comenzó a trabajar. “Era rebelde, quería aprender, salir de la pobreza, usar ropa bonita”. Cuando volvió a Oaxaca, trabajó como empleada bilingüe en un pequeño banco local. Conoció a un muchacho que trabajaba por temporadas en Estados Unidos, se casaron y tuvieron dos niños. Cuando la necesidad económica los apremió, el decidió volver a emigrar y ella se le unió. Dejaron los niños con su suegra y fueron a California a trabajar en la agricultura. Dado que extrañaban mucho a los pequeños pensaron en volverse, pero al final decidieron que era mejor que los niños se les unieran en Estados Unidos. Todos juntos viajaron y trabajaron en distintas partes del país hasta que finalmente se establecieron en Carolina del Sur.
In this second interview, Córdova delves into the vicissitudes of her family, professional and community life in Charleston, South Carolina, where she has lived since the mid-70s. Córdova remembers the obstacles and challenges she faced as a foreign-born in establishing herself professionally in the United States, and tells about the beginnings of the Círculo Hispanoamericano de Charleston in 1978 reflecting on the past, present, and future of the organization. She also recalls her participation and leadership in Amnesty International, YWCA and the first editions of Piccolo Spoleto Festival. / En esta segunda entrevista Córdova profundiza en las vicisitudes de su vida familiar, profesional y comunitaria en Charleston, Carolina del Sur donde reside desde mediados de los años setenta. En la entrevista, Córdova recuerda los obstáculos y desafíos que sobrellevó para establecerse como profesional extranjera en Estados Unidos y rememora los inicios del Círculo Hispanoamericano de Charleston en el año 1978 reflexionado acerca de la trayectoria, presente y futuro de la organización. También cuenta acerca de su participación y liderazgo en Amnistía Internacional, YWCA y las primeras ediciones de Piccolo Spoleto Festival.
Mary Ann Sullivan (b. 1944) was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. She attended the College of Charleston and then the University of Georgia where she graduated with an M.A in Classics. Sullivan worked as a teacher for a few years and in 1976 joined the Mayor’s Office of the City of Charleston as a grant writer. She became Mayor Joseph P. Riley executive assistant and continued working with him until his retirement in 2016. In the interview, Sullivan remembers growing up in Charleston and the events that contributed to her early political interests. She also talks about her experiences working with Mayor Riley through critical moments in the history of the city such as the development of the Charleston Place, Hurricane Hugo, the annexations of Daniel Island and James Island, the Sofa Super Store fire and the Mother Emanuel massacre. Sullivan reflects about Riley’s leadership style and his inclusion of minorities in government. Finally, she talks about her decision to retire and her plans for the future.