Melissa Moore (pronouns: They/Them) discusses their personal life and the various roles they played in numerous social causes and organizations, many being LGBTQ related. Born in Mt. Pleasant, SC, they identified as male, and, denied that self-expression, Moore details the impact it had on their school years and the numbing escape made possible by drugs and alcohol. In passing Moore also describes a run-in with religious demands at Vacation Bible School, and being exposed to, and fascinated by, female impersonators at an early age. At the College of Charleston, Moore joined such groups as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance, and the Women’s Forum, engaging intellectually and socially with new people and ideas. Coming to see that societal norms aid in controlling conformity and denying diversity, Moore was strongly affected by a billboard supporting LGBTQ rights put up by the Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA). That prompted them to begin volunteering, and eventually working, for AFFA under the direction of Warren Redman-Gress. Moore later went on to work with Linda Ketner and SC Equality to attempt to defeat the movement within the state of South Carolina to define marriage as between a man and a woman. That was unsuccessful. In the process, Moore came into contact with other organizations such as Southerners on New Ground and worked with activists including Mandy Carter and others, creating opportunities to learn grass root organizing skills and to work with groups like Africa House in Orangeburg, SC. Moore notes the reluctance or refusal of national and other LGBTQ organizations to fund work in the South, assuming it “unwinnable” and also speaks to the lack of funding for social service agencies in lieu of political ones. Working with the Abortion Access Project, later called Provide, gave Moore further experience and they eventually became director of We Are Family, an organization in Charleston for LGBTQ youth. Moore details how under their management and planning the organization and its programs grew. They describe the plan to fund the organization through the creation of a thrift store and Moore notes how three LGBTQ organizations in town, Charleston Pride, AFFA and We Are Family recently moved to the same building in North Charleston. After touching on subjects like transphobia, the new management of We Are Family, and naming many people in the field they admire, Moore finishes the interview describing their new position with the city of Mount Pleasant, working on sustainable and equitable city planning.
Jensen Cowan (pronouns: They/Them) was born July 4, 1997 in Brandon, Florida, and discusses growing up in Socastee, adjacent to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in an emotionally and verbally abusive home. They discuss chosen family and close friends, their relationship with their mother and four sisters in a blended family and what it meant to leave home to start a new life at the College of Charleston, with mentions of being in the Bonner Leadership Program there. Cowan describes the struggles of separating from their family financially and finding a method to pay for school. Working with We Are Family and attending functions of Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA), Cowan felt “discrepancies in maturities” in various groups, eventually finding supportive friends and neighbors to help with personal issues and the need for food. Cowan discusses identifying as queer, nonbinary, and trans, mentions a fundraiser they started to help pay for surgery and speaks of their capstone project to map all the gender-neutral bathrooms on the College of Charleston campus. Cowan notes a lack of response from College administrators on this and other LGBTQ oriented issues, describes the inconveniences and disruptions caused to their college studies by this lack of facilities and speaks to the insensitivity of some faculty and friends in using offensive vocabularies and inappropriate pronouns. Cowan and the interviewer discuss the lack of diversity within Charleston Pride, and the larger LGBTQ movement as a whole, while praising classes and faculty, such as Dr. Kristi Bryan, within the College’s Women’s & Gender Studies program and the positive effect it has had on them and others. The interview closes with a discussion of Cowan’s plans for the future after graduating in May 2019, having earlier mentioned a disinclination to return to working as an educator/camp counselor at Kids On Point (formerly Chucktown Squash), due to the fact that the students there would have known them under a different name.
Jamie Nadeau (pronouns: She/Her/Hers) describes her journey to self-realization as a lesbian trans woman and a successful business owner of a hand-press greeting card printing company in Charleston, South Carolina. Born in Nashville, Tennessee into a religious Church of Christ family, Nadeau attended religious schools. Her father, a member of the Potawatomi Nation, and her mother divorced when she was young, and she speaks of trying to reclaim and learn more about her native American heritage. Born intersex, Nadeau retains early childhood hospital memories and speaks of her conservative upbringing where LGBTQ people were seen as “cultural oddities” and trans people were thought “horrific monsters.” Trying to imagine herself as a lesbian in that conservative environment “broke my brain,” and she had to go through the “impostor syndrome” before claiming and becoming comfortable as her true self. Embracing technology and computers long before they were commonplace, she was a young hacker and researched gender identities in cyberspace when others perhaps were still using libraries. She attended Middle Tennessee State University for a year, where and when she first began to explore her identity; she then studied at, and received her degree from, the Savannah College of Art and Design. After her mother’s death, Nadeau vowed she would never wear men’s clothes again and began seeing a gender therapist. She quickly began sharing her status with friends, family and her wife Allison, meeting wholehearted support from the latter, and a variety of responses from others. Nadeau speaks to the various levels of acceptance from the religious community, and from her biological and chosen families. She speaks at length of her experiences in coming out, noting how “soul crushing” being “misgendered” in public can be, and praises the Charleston trans women’s community for being so accepting and supportive, affirming the importance of support groups and loyal friends. Nadeau also describes how she and her wife, Allison, friends since childhood, followed their fascination with printing and design and left their professions to become proprietors of their greeting card company, Ink Meets Paper. There is a brief discussion focusing on Charleston being a safer space for LGBTQ people than other areas of the Deep South, and in response to the interviewer, Nadeau suggest that LGBTQ people should not necessarily focus on otherness, but see the world as she does, a place of countless, diverse narratives, where people are to be encouraged for finding their own way and lauded for their strength in “occupying space” in a world of proscriptions and possiblities.
"Gianni Leonardi, Daniel ""Danny"" McCann, and Adam Tracey speak about their experiences as Irish immigrants in the United States. Gianni and Danny are the owners of two Irish pubs in the Charleston area while Adam works at a pub on Johns Island. Gianni hails from the rural, Irish-speaking parish of Gweedore, in County Donegal. He first came to the United States in 2009 as part of a sponsorship by a pub in Michigan through his university in Ireland. He wanted to come to the U.S. for the opportunity to make a living in the hospitality industry and relocated to Charleston from Ann Arbor to open an Irish pub. He speaks of the vast difference between his rural upbringing and his life in a more suburban/urban environment. He makes a point to discuss the authenticity of Irish hospitality, and how, in owning and operating a pub, he tries to further that sense of genuine Irish warmth. Danny is from Lurgan, County Armagh. He came to the U.S. in 1998, to Detroit, to work in the same pub that later sponsored Gianni. Having grown up in Northern Ireland, he has the most firsthand experience of the Irish Troubles. He speaks briefly about Irish politics and witnessing some of the violence in the North in the 1990s. Adam comes from County Offlay, outside of Tullamore. Before working in hospitality, he had worked in construction in Yonkers, New York. Though he has little firsthand experience with the Troubles, he tells the story of a grand-uncle who was killed young by a bombing in the North. All three speak to their experience within the small community of Irish immigrants in Charleston, and how the community works to bring newly-arrived Irish immigrants together with those who are already established in Charleston. They agree that without the support of the Irish community, their experience in Charleston would have been very different."
Barbara Dugan discusses her upbringing as part of an Irish-American family in New York City. Her grandparents emigrated from County Mayo and County Kerry around 1900. Her grandmother, Catherine, took care of janitorial duties in her apartment building while her grandfather, Patrick, became employed in steel works and helped to build several New York City area bridges. As a child, she had difficulty getting her grandmother to speak in detail about Ireland, which she suspects is because of the hardships the family endured before their move to the United States. Barbara grew up going to all-girls Catholic schools and was raised Catholic. She speaks glowingly of her travels in Ireland and discusses the various ways in which she passes a sense of Irish-American identity onto her children and grandchildren. Barbara recently relocated to Charleston to be close to her married son and grandchildren, who live in Mt. Pleasant.
The Pringle family started coming to Sullivan’s Island for summers as far back as 1911. Peggy’s earliest memories stem from when she was three and a half years old and her youngest sister was born while the family was on the island. Peggy details all the enjoyable summer activities common to those summertime visits. She recalls the group of nuns who spent summer R&R in the Loretto Cottage. Other activities included time on the neighbor’s trampoline, skating at the old Army recreation center, and taking in movies at the old post theater. Peggy recalls enjoying horses when they were on the island. There was one episode when Peggy’s sister helped save a victim from drowning. The new lighthouse was turned on in 1962. Peggy relates the impact that never ending bright light had on islanders. Peggy then moved on to the second phase of life on the island, married to Topper Schachte and raising a family at 2501 Ion Avenue. The third phase of life was when she married Hal Currey and moved to “Bunker Hill”, one of the many structures left on the island by the Army. She recounts in detail the effects of Hurricane Hugo, her attempts to get back on the island, and an encounter with the National Guard. She also has memories of LaBrasca’s, both the restaurant and the fire that engulfed their house. Peggy ends by noting the changes in the island as well as the traffic that has always been part of living on Sullivan’s Island.
The Truesdale family association with Sullivan’s Island goes back to the early 1800’s when David Truesdell immigrated from New York and started what became the island’s major oyster growing industry. Jeanie and Jerry recount the history of that extensive business until it was lost due to taxes. Their grandfather, Wyatt Aiken Truesdell, owned a sawmill and was killed when a saw blade flew off. Prior to that Wyatt Aiken had also been the ancestor who officially had the family name changed from Truesdell to Truesdale. Jeanie and Jerry describe their father, Cecil Wyatt Truesdale, as an extremely talented man, a jack of all trades, who could do just about anything including dance. However, his life was jolted when he developed a tumor that required extensive treatment and rehabilitation. Even though he never recovered fully, their father went on to be the bridge keeper of the new Ben Sawyer Bridge, built to connect Sullivan’s Island to Mt. Pleasant in 1945. Other family trials included a brother who developed polio and Jerry’s near drowning. The pair describe their Mother, Vernie Cooper Truesdale, and her many talents. She was the lunchroom manager at Sullivan’s Island Elementary School and was known widely as being an outstanding cook. Growing up on the Island is described as fun and relaxed. Jerry, one of a set of twins, describes his and his brother’s career. The family was intimately involved in the founding of Sullivan’s Island Baptist Church and relate much of its history. According to this brother and sister, the smell of the marsh, the roar of the sea, the friendly, easy going lifestyle are why “Fiddlers”, a name for Sullivan’s Island natives, will always remember this as the best place in the world to grow up.
Laura Lesburg (pronouns: She/Hers) was born and raised in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. She begins her interview discussing her childhood, coming from a lower middle-class milieu in the assumed-affluent Mount Pleasant area and struggling with her relationship with her family members. She details the ways that she found safety and comfort outside of her family home through a network of now life-long friends, and she details other struggles with religion throughout her childhood. She attended Wando High School, but then moved with her family to Indianapolis, Indiana, finishing high school there and beginning college there. She then lived in Los Angeles, California where she began the process of gradual process of coming out, noting that, coming back to Charleston, she found lesbian roles more stereotypical in the Lowcounty than the West Coast. Her complete coming out, after some difficult conversations with her mother, consisted of just being frank about her life. It coincided with her decision to get sober. Those actions freed her from thoughts of suicide, internalized homophobia, and a numbing of her real feelings. She compares the freedom and the acceptance of herself as a sort of second adolescence, becoming excited about figuring out directions to take in life. Lesburg discusses her family and friends’ reaction to her coming out as well as the difficulties of navigating life as a recovering alcoholic. She also references her limited exposure to queer people as a young person in Charleston, recalls silence on the topic, and negative and/or no responses to the coming out of Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie O’Donnell and the murder of Matthew Shepherd. She refers to the positive impact of shows like Will and Grace and the Russian women’s music group, Pussy Riot. One of the first times she became aware of a large number of lesbians was attending a Women’s National Basketball Association game in Indianapolis; and she also goes into great detail on the gay disco Pantheon, in Charleston, describing its mostly gay male clientele, music, lighting, dress, etc. With respect to the greater LGBTQ+ communities and their challenges, she mentions issues confronting people of color and trans people and describes the idea of “femme invisibility”. Being lesbian, she concludes, has given her insight into what it means to be a minority, out of the mainstream, and it has benefited her in her work as literacy instructor in mostly people of color communities.
Suzanne Groff is an attorney who moved to Charleston in 1995. She begins her interview by contextualizing her growing up in a small conservative community of Lancaster, PA, where she had close family relationships that continue to this day, even though she and her brother and have grown up and now live far apart. The conversation then turns to her coming to terms with her identity and how, initially, she kept her relationships with women secret. As time went on, however, she came out as a lesbian to friends, work, and family. Groff practiced as an attorney in New Hampshire from 1980 to 1995; what prompted her to leave the state was her desire to adopt a child, which was illegal for gay men and women under New Hampshire law. Since South Carolina did allow such adoptions, she and her partner moved here. She found differences between the North and the South arresting, specifically at how unreserved Southerners are in comparison and the personal questions they will ask. While she did have a troubling medical appointment at the Medical University of South Carolina, she found many progressive people in the area, and, despite her fears, her daughter was warmly accepted in public schools despite her difference in having two mothers. Groff describes difficulties she experienced with joining a law firm and the subsequent creation of her own firm and mentions how being a lesbian was once used against her. She was active in the development and growth of Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA) and discusses her legal work here on LGBTQ related issues, such as helping with name changes for transgender clients and her past work in AIDS-related activism in New England. Groff attended the march celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York and reflects on issues such as “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and Marriage Equality. The conversation closes on her thoughts on current challenges facing the LGBTQ community.
Kristen Lowe (pronouns: She/Her/Hers) was born in Florence, South Carolina, and currently resides in Charleston with her partner, and works professionally as a hand therapist in a sports medicine practice. She discusses growing up in the small-town atmosphere of Florence, and the impacts of her largely conservative and Southern Baptist religious upbringing. She recalls happy childhood memories with her parents and two younger brothers, including spending summers on the lake. Attending a private Baptist high school, she was unaware of her identity and saw no LGBTQ role models anywhere, having her first experience at age twenty. A graduate of the College of Charleston and later the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), she hid her sexual identity at the former institution, afraid of being labelled if she attended Gay Straight Alliance meetings, but at MUSC, she eventually served as Vice President of the Alliance for Equality. Lowe describes the difficulty of arriving at self-acceptance, feeling solitary, and at first being fearful of going to church and educational figures, or even close friends for advice. Becoming more and more open, she searched for a place within the LGBTQ community, finding fulfillment and social acceptance in becoming a board member of Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA). She details the advocacy work AFFA does, achieving, just at the time of the interview, a victory in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina in its passing a non-discrimination ordinance. Being out has given her a freedom to do as she wants, dress as she wants and she also has a variety of reproductive options available to her and her partner, as well. Any harassments received for being perceived as a lesbian were minor, she notes. In answer to queries about the issues facing the LGBTQ community today, she reflects on the number of different identities within it, and although there is much more visibility currently, she reiterates the difficulty of coming out, recalling how she at first had to do it via letters to her parents. If it takes an individual years to come to terms with her identity, she reasons, family members should be given time to adapt as well. She also explains how naturally children will take to the idea of LGBTQ relations among adults since children come into the world unprejudiced and will remain so if their society will allow it.
Lynn Dugan attended Catholic grammar and high schools in New York City. With a lesbian friend, she visited lesbian bars where rigid “butch” or “fem” roles prevailed. She came of age just after the Stonewall Riots of 1969, later befriending some of the participants, as she became part of a community that looked after and protected each other from attacks, some of which she describes. She notes the comradery of men and women in the early gay rights movement, and the accessibility of many future celebrities entertaining in the gay baths and bars. She was mentored by an older gay man, Jimmy Alan Newcomer and she created a marriage ceremony with a woman opera singer at St. Peter’s MCC Church in 1981. She witnessed the start of the AIDS crisis and the work of many women and activists such as Larry Kramer. Professionally, she held jobs in management and sales, drove a taxi, and had her own greeting card company. In some jobs, she had to hide her sexuality. She visited Colorado often before moving to Boulder ca. 1993, participating in the LGBTQ community there. While attending a Pride parade in Columbia SC, she met political activist Charlie Smith, who invited her to Charleston, SC; she moved there soon after and began her involvement in the community, founding the Charleston Social Club, which offered opportunities to many isolated and closeted women. One of the programs, Lezz Fest, produced on the club’s tenth anniversary closed off part of North Charleston and drew 1,000 participants. Dugan was the prime mover in establishing the first Pride Festival in the lowcountry. She and a cadre of friends staged fundraisers for the event which the City of Charleston wanted to sideline. The city of North Charleston, however, including Mayor R. Keith Summey, who served as grand marshal of the parade, supported it, despite the criticism of many local churches. The Charleston Pride Organization event took place on May 15, 2010, and its impact, and that of the evening event held on the Citadel campus, is described in detail by Dugan. In response to questions, she comments on African American participation in the community and ends the interview with suggestions of other issues that LGBTQ community could address, such as the care of its older citizens, a task in which she is involved.
Mikayla Drost begins by describing her childhood in Lugoff, South Carolina. She did not grow up in a religious household but, through a friend, began attending Mormon (Church of the Latter Day Saints) services and events. She found contentment and many positive experiences within this community, but details the shunning visited upon a friend of hers within the group who came out as lesbian. In her town, there was not a very visible gay presence, and the one woman neighbor suspected of being gay was the object of derision and disrespect. Drost, who describes herself as bisexual, but prefers the term “queer” due to negative associations with “bisexual”, always was aware of her sexual orientation. Upon leaving home to attend the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, she found a larger more accepting community and it was easier to come to terms with herself and others. Her breakup with another woman sparked her coming-out to her parents. In college she enjoyed being a bit different in her sorority and she speaks of there being little pressure on her of how to act once she came out. She remarks that she often deliberately presented in stereotypically lesbian manner, allowing her to assert her identity without having to verbalize it. She replies to questions regarding how her generation’s views on gender, sexuality and reproduction differ from those of her of her parents and she states what she sees the challenges facing the LGBTQ community. She specifically mentions many trans issues and comments on her politically active life, in which she regularly contacts her elected representatives on a variety of environmental and other issues.
Charles W. Smith discusses growing up, his adult professional life as a city planner and realtor, his personal life and his work as an activist for LGBTQ rights. His family lived in Orangeburg, Beaufort, Florence and Charleston and he was educated at the College of Charleston and Clemson University, moving to Miami in 1984. His early family life was overshadowed by the illness and death of an older brother. Realizing he was gay, he avoided being bullied in school by staying closeted. In 1987 in Miami Beach, FL, he met Carlos Guillermo Rodriguez. Soon after, Smith told his family he was gay and Rodriguez tested HIV positive. He wanted Smith to leave him, but Smith refused; their families in South Carolina and Colombia, South America accepted them. Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Miami, with which Smith was affiliated as a senior warden, was also accepting and affirming. After his lover’s death in 1995, Smith, who had run for political office, but lost, moved to Charleston, SC in 1996, finding a changed city, which he attributes to Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. We Are Family, a youth-oriented LGBTQ organization had been founded by Thomas Myers and Smith stayed, founding a real estate firm catering to LGBTQ clients. There were a number of bars in town he remembers frequenting; he affiliated with St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, a historically African American congregation opened up to white congregants, many of whom were LGBTQ. Smith and others, mostly non natives, such as Linda Ketner, Jim and Warren Redman-Gress, Carolyn Kirk, Lynne Moldenhauer and Linda G. William, helped found Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA). They publicly confronted a newspaper ad attacking LGBTQ people. This, Smith believes, began the process of removing shame and empowering the LGBTQ community. Smith also describes the “thousand year rainfall event” of 2015 and his marriage to Rob Suli that year, in a Columbia, SC hospital to ensure their rights were respected in the arena of health care. He notes the importance of the internet to LGBTQ people in finding community. He mentions Lowcountry Gay and Lesbian Alliance (LGLA), the lives of Jay Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson in Miami, and two gay men, who wintered in Charleston, SC. They, according to Smith, participated in the gay purges of US State Department employees in the 1940s and ‘50s. He also mentions the ownership of gay bars in Charleston, SC and the conflict over LGBTQ rights that has split the local Episcopal Diocese.
Richard Little (pronouns: He/Him/His) describes his youth and education, his founding and running a gay bar in Charleston, South Carolina, attending medical school, and his professional work as a senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institute of Health. Born in Union, South Carolina, he attended Christ School, a private boarding school in Asheville, North Carolina, where he impacted student programming and where a research project of his prompted the state to take action on water pollution in Pisgah National Forest. After some experimentation in high school, Little came out as gay while attending Tulane University in New Orleans. After a brief stint in graduate school, Little moved to Charleston, where in 1979 he opened a gay bar, Les Jardins, more commonly called LJ’s, in the then-desolate Market area. Little describes some of the other gay bars in town and notes that his private club offered a place for both out and closeted LGBTQ patrons. State liquor laws mandated the necessity of incorporating as an eleemosynary institution, and LJ’s became a major supporter of the Spoleto Festival, gaining praise for the club and the gay community from Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. and others. He describes the evolution and growth of the club, its parties, programs and members, speaks of the Alcohol Beverage Commission’s anti-gay harassment, describes a court case regarding that, and mentions speaking to the Charleston Police Department about its harassment of gay men at the Battery, a cruising spot in Charleston. In 1984, opting not to franchise, but to close, the club, Little decided to attend medical school. He faced anti-gay bias at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston but found a welcome at the University of South Carolina Medical School in Columbia. Little was elected President of the American Medical Student Association and in a public venue confronted South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster for his homophobic comments, instead of addressing the topic of infant mortality. He speaks of early poor care of HIV patients in Columbia, a situation he tried to remedy and how “the good old girls’ network” brought him to the National Cancer Institute where he became head of the AIDS oncology center. In his work of almost thirty years, he has had patients he knew from LJ’s and from his hometown, and he mentions how difficult it has been to deal with so many losses over the years. But changes in HIV care, and changes at MUSC in Charleston, are signs of progress and the interview ends on a hopeful note.
Regina Duggins tells the story of her childhood in metropolitan New York, growing up in a tightknit family with her strong connections to religion and the surrounding community. She describes her traumatic experiences with men at a young age, and how this relates to her more positive connections and relationships with women throughout her life, including several long-term romantic relationships. She also recounts her early activism, in which she formed a dance team in her apartment building to prevent other young girls from experiencing the sexual abuse she had. In discussing two of her siblings who died, she notes that both were LGBTQ and lived closeted lives; her brother died of AIDS. She raised five children, sons and daughters of her siblings, and was the first of all of her family to openly declare her identity as a proud black lesbian. Family connections prompted her to move to Charleston, SC in 2010 with her children, and her mother; here she has continued her activism, motivated by the closeted communities and pervasive racism of the area. Her education, experience and persistence led the leaders of Charleston Pride to offer her a spot on the board. Despite the challenges she has witnessed in Charleston regarding racial discrimination and discrimination against the LGBTQ community, she believes change is coming and has faith that she will live to see a day when a new generation succeeds in creating a world in which love wins.
Taylor DeBartola tells the story of his upbringing in Peachtree City, Georgia, a town he describes as “very conservative.” He discusses the competitive relationship he had with his younger brother who is close in age, as well as the role that religion played in their early life. DeBartola reflects on the way that he revealed his sexuality to his family, and the period of time where things between them were rocky, discussing the ways in which he had to be patient and allow his parents to “take their time” to accept him. Taylor then talks about his “chosen family,” and the way they all met at Dudley’s, a popular gay bar in downtown Charleston. He details the ways he sees gatherings with gay men changing in recent years, moving from public spaces to more private locations such as personal residences. Taylor also discusses gay married life in the South, later noting that he and his now-husband were “engaged when it was not going to be legal,” and stressing that young people should educate themselves on gay history, especially the HIV/AIDS crisis, which he stresses is far from over. He also talks about the ways that particular books shaped him and his desire to learn more about gay history, mentioning Harlan Greene’s Why We Never Danced the Charleston. DeBartola then describes the impact that artist and activist David Wojnarowicz has had on his life, and the ways that he has tried to trace Wojnarowicz’s and his partner’s time spent on a trip to Charleston. Finally, Taylor talks about his experiences being an openly gay College of Charleston student.
Linda Ketner is a strategic planning consultant for mostly nonprofit organizations; she and her partner Beth have been together for almost twenty years. She grew up in the small town of Faith, NC, eventually moving to Raleigh and finally, Salisbury, NC. Ketner recalls realizing her sexual identity at about age twelve and asking her mother about girls marrying girls. Her mother’s strong negative response prompted Ketner to learn more; she looked up “homosexual” in her local library and found literature that was even more discouraging. A series of events led her to live a double life: one “supposedly straight” and the other, her hidden true self. In college, Ketner began her first relationship with a woman while simultaneously dating men in the hopes of finding one with whom she was compatible. This eventually led to a number of broken engagements and a marriage that ended when Ketner could not deny that she was a lesbian. After years of living in secret, she and her partner occupying two separate nearby houses to allay suspicion, Ketner decided to come out. Some others, however, advised her to remain closeted to prevent “damaging” many of the progressive causes with which was involved. Ketner describes the process of telling friends and describes the family ceremony that included her partner Ginny, Ginny’s children, and a host of other invited guests, who ended up fully supporting them. Her mother, whom Ketner took care of for years, eventually was won over, as well. In 2008, Ketner ran as a totally “out” candidate for US Congress; she describes that and how she and others founded Alliance For Full Acceptance (AFFA) in Charleston, SC and SC Equality, in Columbia, SC. She mentions Tom Meyers and his organization We Are Family and discusses the work of AFFA and SC Equality on such LGBTQ issues such as HIV/AIDS awareness and on other public, religious, and law enforcement topics. Ketner discusses her curiosity as to what might survive death; and the interview concludes with her assessment of challenges facing the LGBTQ community today. She particularly notes the troubling policies and attitudes of President Donald J. Trump, and the lack of strategic planning necessary for progressive movements to sustain themselves and survive.
Josh Langdon Hooser grew up in Pea Ridge, a small town near Huntington, West Virginia, which he describes as “very conservative.” During this interview, he discusses his childhood, with mentions of being bullied in school until he switched from theatre to sports, his experience coming out, what led him to settle in Charleston, some experiences at the College of Charleston, including being excluded from a fraternity, his marriage, and his work as a lawyer focusing on LGBTQ clients and issues. His coming-out experience, in which he called a “family meeting,” began a process of acceptance within his family. He describes the judgements directed his way by Democratic and more liberal members of the LGBTQ community, due to his being a Republican, yet he also explains how he tried to impact the Republican Party and some of its candidates on social LGBTQ issues, noting that he was active in the John McCain Presidential Campaign and served on a statewide board of South Carolina College Republicans. He worked for the Human Rights Campaign in West Virginia, and details the attitudes he encountered from a very religious woman state legislator on LGBTQ issues. He also discusses some discrimination and resistance he and his fiancé encountered while planning their wedding and describes the culmination of factors that led to his decision to plan to relocate his practice from Cincinnati, Ohio to Charleston, South Carolina. He refers to the importance of both biological and chosen families, and how he and his husband plan to start a family, contrasting the issues gay men face in that field versus those faced by lesbians. He describes many of the legal issues confronting LGBTQ people, due to conflicting state and federal laws, and is particularly sympathetic to the difficulties of trans people. In replying to the interviewer’s questions, he sums up difference between his “millennial” generation and the generation that came before and the one that is coming after. He mentions many legal decisions and social shifts that have impacted LGBTQ communities, and sees fragmentation and intersectionality as one of the biggest hurdles facing the LGBTQ community today, particularly in respect to race and gender.
At a “Unity in the Community” Forum sponsored by the Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA), Reverend Robert Arrington answers questions posed to him by female impersonator/performer Symone N. O’Bishop and members of the audience. After introductions by emcee Regina Duggins (aka Gina Mocha), Arrington speaks of his personal life, conditions in the lowcountry, and the development and evolution of his open and affirming Charleston Unity Fellowship Church. He describes growing up in Durham, NC, and living in Rochester, NY, before moving to Charleston, a place he finds not as progressive or easy to live as elsewhere. He mentions a dysfunctional childhood, being misdiagnosed with learning disabilities, and recalls various phases of his life, including being married to woman, being a female impersonator, being HIV positive for thirty years, and the love he now shares with his husband, stating that they were the first “out” African American gay male couple in the area to have a house built for them by Habitat for Humanity. Most of the interview, however, focuses on the growth of his church, his plans for it, and the need to be completely transparent in all aspects of one’s life, including one’s spiritual life. He and O’Bishop discuss the behavior of some closeted LGBTQ church goers, who hide their sexual and emotional lives to worship under ministers who preach against homosexuality. The only “out” African American minister in the area, Arrington describes his church as Pentecostal-related and its policy of accepting every one of every sexual orientation, identification and race. He responds to an HIV-positive transgender woman of color asking how to find a loving relationship; he and the interviewer also discuss sexually irresponsible behavior and strategies for finding a life partner. Prompted by other queries from the audience, Reverend Arrington agrees that there is a need for more coordination with his church and the community it represents with other agencies in the area. An audience member comments further that there must be a new attitude regarding such participation: instead of asking to be included, one must demand that inclusion. The interview ends with Chase Glenn of AFFA and others describing programs and initiatives of related interest in the area. A call for action results with applause at the comment that this forum may mark a new direction for one of Charleston’s marginalized communities.
Born in Horry County, South Carolina, Bryan Rowell came to Sullivan’s Island after World War II. He reminisces about life on the island in the late 1950’s. Rowell soon became active in the political life of the island, serving on the Township Commission for 12 years from 1963 to 1975. While on the Commission he served as Civil Defense Chairman and helped prepare the island for a potential nuclear attack during the Cuban missile crisis. He also recounts the reenactment of the Battle of Sullivan’s Island that was staged in 1966, including a mishap with gunpowder that led to the death of a local teenager. Despite his best efforts to create reasonable ways to keep horses as part of the island ambiance, horses were banned during Rowell’s tenure on the Commission. Bryan Rowell is remembered by many as the member of the Exchange Club who was in charge of the skating rink at the old recreation hall that no longer exists. Rowell also operated a “Variety Store” on the island that sold everything from food to clothing. His other passion has been as a member of the local Baptist Church. Rowell recounts other memories, including conflict with the DOT over access to the Isle of Palms, the local theater productions, and the accretion of land with development of the maritime forest.
Elmire Raven was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1952 and moved to South Carolina in 1989. Since 1991 she has served as the Executive Director of My Sister's House, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides services to domestic violence victims in the Lowcountry area. In this interview, Raven recounts her upbringing, her early awareness of discrimination and her work with the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. She also reflects about motherhood, social justice, and what it means for her to be a feminist and a southern woman.
Carol Tempel was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1941 to first generation Polish and German- Czechoslovakian parents. Her father was a Roman Catholic Democrat and her mother a Missouri Synod Lutheran Republican. She credits her parents' experiences as the foundation for her understanding of civil rights; " I think those experiences are really the thing that helped me understand what the civil-rights movement was all about, what discrimination was all about, what prejudice was all about, because it was founded on knowing people as people." Her father encouraged her to attend college and pursue a career in science even when in 1963 it was an uncommon career choice for a woman. She graduated from Augustana College, majoring in Biology and Secondary Education. Later she pursued a master's degree in Biology and completed her PhD in Educational Leadership. In the interview, Tempel tells about the times when she was denied employment despite her qualifications because of her gender. In 1978, Tempel moved with her husband, George Tempel, and children from Kansas to Charleston. Tempel remembers feeling she was "an anomaly" among the other women. She joined the League of Women Voters and soon was deeply involved in the Equal Rights Movement. She tells about the efforts to reform the legislation in South Carolina, the criticism she received in her own community because of her activism, and finally the frustration when despite all the hard work in 1982 the legislation did not pass. Tempel never stopped working in the community; from ‘82 to ‘88 she served as a chair of the James Island Constituent School Board and was the owner of a small business. In '88, she was hired by Charleston County Schools as curriculum specialist and she worked with the school district in many different capacities until her retirement. She is the president of the American Association of University Women of South Carolina. In the interview, Tempel reflects about the motivations behind her activism, her biggest accomplishments, and what means for her to be a feminist and a southern woman.
Susan K. Dunn (1951) was born in Murray, Kentucky. Her mother was a homemaker and her father, a World War II veteran, was a Methodist Church minister who was very active in the Civil Rights movement. Dunn attended Duke University from 1968 to 1972, and her whole college experience was deeply impacted by the anti-war movement. In this interview, Dunn remembers her days as a student, protesting in the Duke Campus, and marching to DC. After college she decided to become an attorney and attended the University Of North Carolina School Of Law in Chapel Hill. Although it was a predominately male environment she did not face discrimination or problems for being a woman. It was later, when she was looking for a job that she confronted more barriers related not only to her gender but also to the fact that she lacked family connections. After graduation she moved with her husband to Charleston and worked for a small local law firm for a while. Later, she opened her own practice focusing mainly in family law. In 1993, Dunn began litigating in a high profile case known as Ferguson et al V. City of Charleston et all which lasted for more than a decade and was decided by the United States Supreme Court. "It involved a legal challenge to a policy that was basically created by the Charleston City Police and the Medical University. It was a policy that dealt with drug-testing pregnant women and using the criminal procedure to force them into treatment or to arrest them." The Supreme Court held that the policy was unconstitutional because it violated the Fourth Amendment. During all the years living and practicing law in Charleston Dunn has been involved in many causes directly related to protect and advance women's rights. Dunn has devoted her time and energy to many organizations, such as NOW (National Organization of Women), The South Carolina Women Lawyers' Association, and the City of Charleston Women Association. However, she affirms that "probably the place where I've affected more women is representing them in divorces and not charging them an arm and a leg and, you know, trying to, in one way that I could, help them get through that process with their dignity intact".In addition, Dunn worked as a lay minister at the Circular Church from 1999 to 2009. She explains that her church community is very important for her. Finally, Dunn reflects about her life as a mother and professional, and about what it means to her to be a feminist and a southern woman.
Robert “Rabbit” Lockwood grew up on the South Battery in Charleston, South Carolina. In his interview, Lockwood describes his long and rich family history, which dates back to the earliest Europeans in South Carolina, including two family members who were blockade runners for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Lockwood’s family tradition of seafarers includes his grandfather and great-uncle who were harbor pilots in Charleston. During his early years, he attended Gaud School for Boys and Charleston High before majoring in Civil Engineering at The Citadel. After graduation, Lockwood became an apprentice harbor pilot, working at the Charleston Harbor until he retired at the age of seventy. In his reflections, Lockwood considers himself lucky to have been able to keep this job and avoid the fate of many of his classmates, who served in Vietnam. He also shares some of his more memorable experiences as a harbor pilot.
Charles Moore, a member and business manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 776, was born in Florence, South Carolina, on July 19th, 1961. Soon after, his family moved to the Isle of Palms, where he spent his youth. Directly after graduating from high school, Moore joined the Marine Corps and served from 1979 to 1983. He spent most of his service time overseas, first in Japan and later in Korea. After completing his years of service at the age of twenty, Moore attended Embry-Riddle College in Daytona, Florida, aspiring to become a helicopter pilot. However, he returned to South Carolina before finishing his training and, needing a steady job, decided pursue a civilian job and continued on to join the local union. He explains that transitioning from military life to the union was not difficult, as both systems provided similar structure and order. Moore talks about IBEW, the union which represents electricians and workers of the communication and broadcasting industries, and describes its role in negotiating with contractors and ensuring benefits for the workers. His pride in his work with the union, in his trade, and in the Charleston-based projects on which he has participated is evident. He says proudly, “I can walk around here and see every building I worked in. I’m a part of the community. I love being a part of the community. My children get tired of it because every time we ride around, [I say], ‘Yeah, I built that. I built that.’”
"Herbert Lee Frazier was born at the Charleston Naval Base Hospital. The son of a Navy cook, Herbert grew up wandering King Street, enjoying cartoons, and maturing under the love and support of his close-knit family. Frazier also describes his youth and the neighborhood he grew up in, including the damage it suffered from Hurricane Hugo and the following gentrification. Frazier attended The University of South Carolina, majoring in journalism. Although he gravitated towards an advertising career, he found himself working as an intern at The Post and Courier in a newly integrated news room. Frazier notes that his career in journalism allowed him to “follow his curiosity.” Frazier went on to work at papers such as The State Newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Louisiana, The Dallas Times-Herald, in Dallas, Texas, and The Charlotte Observer in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1990, he was named the journalist of the year by the South Carolina Press Association in recognition of his work with the South Carolina Association of Black Journalists. Frazier also recalls such experiences as teaching at Rhodes University in South Africa, participating in journalism organizations, and leading training sessions in developing countries with the State Department. In the interview, Frazier reflects on the ethics, integrity, and technological advancements in journalism . He also talks about the challenges he faced as an African American journalist and remembers some of the most interesting stories he wrote. "
Bill Carson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in October of 1976, and when he was ten years old his family relocated to James Island, South Carolina. It was around this time that Carson become interested in playing guitar. Carson talks about his formative years, the music that inspired him, and the people who supported him. He reminices how the Jump Little Children’s band members trained and nurtured him and describes them as being “like big brothers” to him and many other young local musicians. Despite participation in a band during his senior year of high school, Carson did not have plans to pursue a music career, and enrolled at the College of Charleston to study philosophy and art. After graduation, Carson began work in a glass shop, but continued playing in different bands in his free time. He remembers his first show, an opening for the band The Groovy Cools which drew a laughably small audience, and his first serious show with a band called Bud Collins. Carson recalls some of his best experiences playing in an ensemble, especially his participation in the Groundhog Concert Day at the Halsey Institute, which brought many of his favorite local musicians together. When asked whether he thought Charleston had a special sound, he stated that he considered Charleston to be special due to its sense of community. Carson recalls the instrumental trio he formed with Ron Wiltrout and Nathan Koci, known as The Opposite of Train, and his 2011 project to document indigenous music on Johns Island. Today, Carson is known for a vast career that includes writing, recording, and performing music, as well as for his collaborative projects and commissioned productions. He also finds time to be a full time elementary school teacher in his community.
"Longshoreman and civil rights unionist Leonard Riley, Jr. was born on August 27th, 1952, in Charleston, South Carolina. A lifelong resident of West Ashley, Riley’s family owned several acres of land which they farmed. To supplement the income from farming, his father worked seasonal jobs to be able to provide for his five children. It was in these seasonal jobs that Leonard Riley, Sr., became the first family member to work the waterfront. Later, his sons, Leonard and Kenneth, followed in his footsteps and would later become union leaders at the ILA local 1422. Riley relays his own introduction to longshoring, describing how he began at the age of eighteen, during the summer before his first year of college. His first day at work left an indelible memory. Riley recalls, ""Yeah, that was—that first day was unbelievable. I thought I was going to die, literally, cramping—all the bottoms of your feet cramping. I'll never forget that day: hands chafed out by getting blisters on the hands. But these guys were used to it, so it didn't bother them. They dragged me through that day."" After beginning his studies at the College of Charleston the following fall, Riley worked at the docks each summer. Though he earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology, after graduation Riley realized he truly enjoyed his job at the port. In addition to providing a good income, the job helped him to emerge as a young leader among his co-workers. Reflecting on years past, Riley stresses how drastically the maritime industry has changed due to automatization and stresses the union's crucial role in protecting the workers in a changing landscape. Amongst his memories, the 2002 strike against Nordana shipping stands out. Riley tells of the national and international attention- and international assistance- the conflict generated. He describes how the clash was resolved with the help and solidarity of Spanish dockworkers who forced the company to negotiate. Riley concludes and explains that longshoring has historically been a black industry that can be traced through the years back to slavery."
Jacquelyn Elaine Venning was born in Charleston, South Carolina, where she spent most of her life. Venning describes being raised in a Christian family and her experience in private schools, including Sacred Heart Catholic School and Bishop England, where she was educated until eleventh grade. Venning graduated from Burke High School in 1983. Venning recalls her first job as a shampoo girl, which she got in sixth grade and continued to work at through her schooling. After high school, Venning relates how she fell in love and got married. Her husband then joined the military, which relocated them around the world. Venning describes her experience living internationally in Germany, and in Texas and Georgia before returning to Charleston in 1992. Since then, she has been working with Aramark at The Citadel, first serving in the Mess Hall and later serving as a supervisor in the Daniel Library Java City. In her interview, Venning recalls her apprehension of working in The Citadel’s male-only environment. But she states that her fears quickly dissipated and describes the cadets as having always been gentle and respectful with her and her job enjoyable. Venning recounts the many institutional changes she has experienced during her than twenty-plus years working at The Citadel, including the deeply controversial admission of Sharon Faulkner to the school and later the full inclusion of women to the Corps. Venning concludes with how the food industry has changed over the years and the attempts to unionize The Citadel food workers.
Lutheran Pastor Thulisiwe "Thulie" Beresford was born in Vryheid, South Africa on February 2, 1962. The third of seven children, she grew up in a devoted Lutheran family under the racist system of the apartheid. At age of nine, Beresford and one of her brothers were sent to Swaziland to live with their maternal grandmother and continue their education. Beresford excelled in math and science and in 1984 she graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Biology and a concurrent Diploma in Education. She taught for two years in South Africa and after receiving a scholarship moved to the United States to study at Ohio University in Athens where she earned a Master Degree in Biology. She went back to South Africa for two years and returned to USA to attend the seminary. In this interview, Beresford explains the policies of racial segregation imposed for the apartheid and how they impacted the life of her family and community. She also recalls episodes of violence, persecution, and repression she witnessed when growing up. Beresford also describes her experiences as a South African immigrant in USA. Finally, she tells about her call to become a Lutheran minister and reflects about balancing her roles as a pastor, mother, and wife.
Anthony Wright, renowned locally as "Tony the Peanut Man" was born in Savannah, Georgia on December 12, 1952. He grew up in the segregated Maryville community with his mother and five siblings. He attended Wallace High School and following school integration he went to Moultrie High. He was suspended for a year because he fought with a Caucasian student. He decided to quit school and instead earn his GED. In 1973 enlisted in the United States Army. After his service, Wright was employed by Gulfstream Aerospace in Savannah, and Lockheed in Charleston. When Lockheed closed, Wright struggled to get a good paying job. Mr. Marion Howard encouraged him to try selling peanuts in the Charleston market. Reluctantly, he decided to give it a try. At the beginning he was shy and other sellers in the market urged him to "be more like Mr. Ben," who was old and beloved peanut seller. Wright created a song and dance that helped him to increase sales. Wright sang, "I got some boiled and I got some toasted, got some stewed and I got some roasted. Oh, yeah, peanut man, uh-huh, catch him if you can because I got the right one baby, uh-huh." Wright's friendly and personable style made him successful and lead to appearances on television and a film. Moreover, his attitude and community involvement earned him the love and recognition of his fellow Charlestonians. Wright's entrepreneur spirit took him to write a comic book, Peanut Man. He used it as a tool to persuade children to follow their dreams. He also looked for ways to expand his business. In the interview he describes his struggles as an African-American vendor to be allowed to sell peanuts at The Citadel, Joe Riley Stadium, and the Daniel Island stadium and also the challenges he experienced when a fire destroyed his business and when a deal to sell can peanuts ended badly. In the interview he asserts being grateful for his life experiences and looking at the future with enthusiasm, "my goal is to be the number one peanut man in the world ... I just want to leave something behind that people can appreciate."
Erin McKee was born in Brooklyn, New York. Right after college, Mckee started her career as a flight attendant with National Airlines. When this company went bankrupt she joined Tower Air. In this interview, Mckee recalls some of the most dangerous, most difficult, and most satisfying moments she experienced working on international flights. In the ‘80s when she started working with the airline industry, flight attendants were expected to look attractive, they have to be slim, have their nails done, and their her hair up. It took time and work to change the requirements for applicants to meet the real focus of the position ‘the main reason that a flight attendant is on the airplane is if there's an emergency, to get you out of that airplane safely. It's not to look good. It's not to serve you meals really. You're there by law, federal regulations, to get people out of a plane in a certain amount of time if there's an emergency." At the end of '80s early '90s McKee and her coworkers organized a union to demand better regulations regarding the scheduling and number of hours they were forced to work. She became the secretary/treasurer of her union and was part of the negotiating committee. Because of her experience, she went to Washington, D. C. to testify before a legislative subcommittee about duty time legislation. Mckee moved to Charleston in 1996 and around 1998 Tower Air closed and she was out of work. She thought that her vast experience with unions would help her to find a job quickly but her background was not seen as an asset in a right to work state. She finally started working with American Income Life Insurance and then with Electrical Workers' Building Trades Local IBEW776. In 2013 she became the President of the State Labor Council (AFL- CIO).
Born in Newberry, South Carolina on August 21, 1933, Marlene O'Bryant-Seabrook calls herself "an educator who quilts". In 1975, Seabrook became the first African American and second women to join The Citadel as full time faculty and in 2009 she was one of the forty-four fiber artists chosen to participate in an exhibition to honor president Obama's first inauguration. Her quilt entitled "They Paved the Way" and many others she has created are featured in national and international publications and exhibits. A third generation educator, in this interview, she asserts that growing up among teachers left a indelible mark on her which guided her career choices and shaped her attitude towards life's challenges. "If I'm prepared to do something, then the rest of it does not make any difference. It never occurred to me that my being black or female should have stopped me from doing something." Seabrook attended Avery Normal Institute and then pursued higher education at South Carolina State, The Citadel, and finally the University of South Carolina where she completed her Ph.D. During her tenure at The Citadel, she was treated with respect. However,she taught mostly graduate students and only after a year of employment she was allowed to work with cadets, which she did in a very limited fashion. After leaving The Citadel in 1980, she returned to Charleston County Public School System where she worked until she retired "from employment but not from work."
Gerald G. Mishoe was born in Conway, South Carolina in 1949. He was the son of Conway firefighter Julian Grant Mishoe, who sparked Gerald Mishoe’s love of firefighting. He spent much of his childhood with his father at the firehouse and watching him fight fires. Mishoe moved to Charleston, South Carolina in 1964. After graduating from high school he joined the St. Andrews Parish fire department to work with his father. After retiring and since the death of nine Charleston firefighters at the Sofa Superstore in 2007, Mishoe has been working with the Lowcountry Firefighter Support Team, which helps firefighters cope with the emotional burden associated with their profession. The team has supported nearly six thousand firefighters and their family members. In the interview, Mishoe tells about fires that stand out in his memory, the occasions he felt his life was in danger, and the changes he has witnessed over decades in the firefighting practice. He explains advances in technology have driven some changes, but others have been driven by tragedies, such us the Sofa Super Store fire in Charleston. He details things that went wrong during the fatal 2007 store fire. He states that a thorough evaluation of those failures has lead to improvements in safety protocols, accountability, equipment, and training. Mishoe also reflects on his journey learning to acknowledge his feelings and the effects of untreated trauma on himself and his family. He states that the ‘machismo’ common among first responders constitutes a huge risk for them. He asserts the importance of the work that Lowcountry Firefighter Support Team is doing, helping firefighters to stay in the job and increasing the quality of life. Mishoe’s son carries on the family tradition as a Charleston firefighter.
This panel brought together for the first time in the City of Charleston a group of Jewish Cadets who shared their memories in a public forum (September 29, 2013). The program was possible thanks to the collaboration between the Jewish Studies Program at The College of Charleston and The Citadel. Martin Perlmutter introduced the program and Dr. Sam Hines introduced the moderator, Dr. Joelle Neulander. The event was dedicated to the memory of Maurice Fox, Citadel Class 1953. The panelists recall their experiences as Jewish cadets at The Citadel and reflect on how those experiences shaped their lives when they left the institution. All together the panelists experience span over seven decades. They provide a glimpse into the history of The Citadel from the WWII years to the present. The panelist include, Bernard Warshaw, Class of 1942, Bernard Solomon, Class of 1947, Les Bergen, Class of 1969, Steve Josias, Class of 1970, Alan Reyner, Class of 1972 and Jonathan Rosen, Class of 2014.
Fotografía en color de Juana Torres y sus hijos con una quinceañera en la iglesia Blessed Sacrament. / Color photograph of Juana Torres and her sons with a quinceañera at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.
Langhorne A. “Tony” Motley was born 5 June 1938 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is the former United States Ambassador to Brazil (1981–83) and Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs (1983–85). In this interview, he reflects on growing up in Brazil as the son of an American oil executive who died in an airplane crash when Motley was twelve. A graduate of The Citadel (1960), Motley discusses the hazing he and his classmates experienced and remembers that, “we made a pledge that we weren’t going to do that, and I think we held it up.” While in the Air Force, Motley was stationed at Feltwell in England, Walker Air Force Base in New Mexico, Albrook Air Force Base in Panama, Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, and Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska. He resigned from the Air Force in June of 1970 to accept a job in Alaska in real estate development. Subsequent interviews on June 4, 2012 and June 9, 2012 explore Motley’s diplomatic career as well as his ongoing relationship to The Citadel.
In this interview, Henry Rittenberg, a Citadel Graduate Class 1938, remembers his experiences as a Jewish cadet. At this time, about five hundred young men were part of the Corps of Cadets but only ten or twelve of them were Jewish. Catholics and Protestants were able to express their faith on campus, but Jewish cadets did not have that privilege. There were no organized Jewish services, a rabbi never visited the campus, and Jewish cadets had to request permission to leave for the High Holy Days. Moreover, The Citadel did not offer accommodations for the Jewish cadets to have kosher food or keep the Shabbat. However, Rittenberg reflects that these kind of religious issues were not very concerning among his peers, commenting they were not ignored but rather they were “under the radar”. In the interview, Rittenberg names other Jewish cadets that attended The Citadel in the 1930s and early 40s. Finally, Rittenberg tells about his participation on ad hoc committees for the Board of Visitors during the 1990s. In that role, he participated in important discussions such as the admission of women to the Corps and the filming of the movie Lords of Discipline based on Pat Conroy’s book of the same name.
Norma Hoffman-Davis (1940) was born and lived in Charleston until she left for college in 1957. Hoffman's parents were Ellen Wiley, a school teacher, and Joseph Irvin Hoffman a prominent African American physician who practiced in Charleston until he was in his eighties. In this interview, Hoffman-Davis reflects about growing up in Charleston peninsula, in a time when black and whites lived in the same neighborhoods but all institutions were segregated. She attended a catholic school for blacks, Immaculate Conception, and her family worshiped at St Peter's Catholic Church. Hoffman- Davis remembers the stories of her father, a black doctor, practicing in downtown Charleston and rural Johns Island. She tells about the health care institutions available for black people when she was a child, Cannon Street Hospital and the black section of Roper Hospital and also remembers her father's colleagues. Hoffman-Davis reflects about the mixed results that desegregation brought to the black community in terms of the access to healthcare services, as well as how changes in the healthcare industry have negatively impacted the doctor- patient relationship. Hofmann and her husband Mr. Leonard Davis lived in Detroit Michigan for thirty-eight years. After retirement they move back to the Lowcountry and reside in the house in which her parents used to live.
Rhonda Jones (1970) is a sanitation worker for the City of Charleston, South Carolina. Having grown up in Brooklyn, New York; Rhonda moved south as a teenager to care for her ailing grandparents. A self-described outspoken and aggressive "Northerner," Jones had trouble assimilating into the slowness of life in the Lowcountry. In this interview, she recalls her life as a teenager displaced in Charleston and her efforts to provide for her children. In 2000 Jones applied for employment with the City of Charleston and became one of the first women that worked in sanitation as collector. In a traditionally male dominated environment she faced multiple challenges that included sexual harassment due both being a women and being a lesbian. Furthermore, Jones articulate the struggles that all sanitation workers, regardless their gender, face in their battle for better working conditions and the right to organize a union. At the time of the interview Jones was very involved with Local 1199, an organizing body fighting for the formation of a sanitation workers' union.
Adrian Williams (1970) was born and raised in Charleston, SC. She was among the first female sanitation workers with the City of Charleston. In this interview, Williams recalls her early days growing up in Charleston and Johns Island and asserts that being a sexual abuse survivor made her a strong person who fights for her rights and who understands the sufferings of others. When asked about her source of strength, she affirms that becoming a mother when she was a teenager made her resolute about building a better life for herself and her child. She is particularly grateful for three women that provided support and inspired her: her aunt, her psychotherapist, and an English teacher. After a life crisis, Williams started working as a bus driver with the City of Charleston and later she moved to the sanitation department. She liked it at first. However, soon she discovered the problems that plagued her job which included abusive managers, sexism and sexual harassment, as well as, safety hazards related to the lack of appropriate training and equipment. Williams talks about her experiences as a union organizer, the barriers to engage more workers in the process, and the development of more effective strategies to negotiate with the authorities. This interview brings light to the efforts of the Local 1199C to be recognized by the City of Charleston in 2009.
Fotografía a color de una adolescente, Thalia Orozco, rodeada de dos mujeres y dos hombres. A la derecha, Saul Ramos "El Alacrán" y a la izquierda Samuel Olivera "Cachorro" eran locutores en la estación de radio El Sol 980 AM. En este día, la radio organizaba un concurso de canto del que Thalia fue ganadora. / Color photograph of a teenager, Thalia Orozco, surrounded by two women and two men. The two men were radio hosts at the Spanish Radio Station El Sol 980 AM. On the right, Saul Ramos "El Alacran" and on the left Samuel Olivera "Cachorro." On this day, the radio station organized a singing contest. Thalia Orozco was the winner.
Volante de un evento multicultural en James Island County Park organizado por West Ashley High School el 4 de mayo, 2003. / Flyer of a Multicultural Event in the James Island County Park organized by West Ashley High School on May 4, 2003.
Tarjeta firmada por la hermana Maria Amelia Ferrillo en ocasión de la celebración de sus sesenta años como religiosa de las Hermanas de la Caridad. La tarjeta está dirigida a Lucy y Angel Cordero a quienes agradece por su presencia y contribuciones al evento. / Card signed by Sister Maria Amelia Ferillo in the occasion her sixtieth anniversary as a Sister of Charity. It was dedicated to Angel and Lucy Cordero. She thanks them for their presence and contributions to the event.
Correspondence from Bill Saunders to Frank Wooten, Associated Editor for the Post and Courier, regarding personal and professional matters. Enclosed letter to the editor regarding Stratford High School.
Fotografía en color del chef Rubén García comiendo en su restaurante "Sabatino" junto a su esposa Ana García, sus padres y una amiga. El establecimiento estaba ubicado en Savannah Highway. / Color photograph of chef Ruben Garcia, his wife Ana Garcia, her parents and a female friend eating at Garcia's restaurant "Sabatino" which was located on Savannah Highway.
Volante de Charleston Dorchester Community Mental Health Center anunciando servicios terapéuticos bilingües disponibles para familias con niños pequeños en Johns Island, Wadmalaw Island y comunidades aledañas. / Flyer from the Charleston Dorchester Community Mental Health Department announcing bilingual counseling and therapeutic services to families with young children on Johns Island, Wadmalaw Island, and surrounding communities.
Oral history interview of Millicent Brown regarding her efforts in desegregating Rivers High School in Charleston, SC. The interview is what Dr. Brown labeled as the prototype for the Somebody Had To Do It project, which is designed as a multi-disciplinary study to identify, locate, interview and acknowledge the African American “first children" who desegregated America's schools.
Fotografía en color del grupo de danza Colombia Nuestra Patria en el Festival Internacional de MUSC. Cuatro mujeres y dos hombres van entrando al escenario. El evento fue organizado por el Servicio Estudiantes Internacionales de MUSC. Marcela Escobar Gomez, tercera desde la izquierda, fundó el grupo en 1996. / Color photograph of the Colombian Dance Group, Colombia Nuestra Patria, at the MUSC International Festival. Four women and two men are entering the stage. The event was organized by the MUSC International Students Service. Marcela Escobar Gomez, third from left, founded the group in 1996.
Correspondence from Stephen Hoffius, Director of Publications for the South Carolina Historical Society, to Cleveland Sellers regarding Grace Jordan McFadden interviews with Civil Rights movement participants.
Fotografía en color de María Bordallo y su hija Cindy en el día de su graduación. La fotografía fue tomada frente a la iglesia Blessed Sacrament. / Color photograph of Maria Bordallo with her daughter Cindy on her graduation day. The photograph was taken in front of the Blessed Sacrament Church.