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South Carolina - Charleston: Ethel J. Grimball Interviewee [Part 2]
Dent, Thomas C.
Tom Dent continues to interview Ethel J. Grimball on Johns Island, South Carolina. They continue to discuss her father, Esau Jenkins. She talks about her father's thoughts on the color divide within the black community in the Charleston area. He said, "pigmentation is the least important of all qualities." He stressed that people were people and no one was any less than anyone else. In Charleston, color of skin and money dictates how people view you. Jenkins was interested in Gullah. Grimball talks about Gullah as any other language. Jenkins traveled extensively and may have gone to Africa. He learned not just what issues in the region needed to be addressed, but also how to address them. Grimball says that she and her siblings were unable to work in Charleston county schools because of the forcefulness with which her father worked for all people. She speaks about a conversation she had with Ms. Haynes, the superintendent, about her sister being terminated. She said they were told not to hire then Jenkins children. Dent comments on Jenkins' eloquence. He had a strong Gullah accent and learned Greek in order to sell vegetables to Greek merchants. He had thirteen children in all, and eight lived. He believed in God and encouraged his children to work hard. Grimball is currently working as a Program Coordinator for Our Lady of Mercy, Christian Hope House. She talks about why she chose community work and her own education. She attended Claflin College and took courses at South Carolina State College, Chapel Hill, the University of South Carolina, and The Citadel. She only left the island for school. Dent takes Grimball's photograph and tells her a bit about his own history. They discuss the next steps of his project.
Universities & colleges
Civil rights demonstrations
Dent, Thomas C.
Jenkins, Esau, 1910-1972
Johns Island (S.C.)
Tulane University Digital Library
Box 148, Item 5, Side 2, Tom Dent collection, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
Physical rights are retained by the Amistad Research Center. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.