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South Carolina - Charleston: Myrtle Glascoe Interviewee [Part 1]
Dent, Thomas C.
Tom Dent interviews Myrtle Glascoe, director of the Avery Research Center, in Charleston, South Carolina. She talks about Esau Jenkins. Dent tells Glascoe about his interview with Mary Moultrie, who told him about how her time working at a restaurant for Jenkins influenced her to go to college. Glascoe talks about Jenkins' way of opening people up to the potential within themselves, despite limited opportunities in Charleston. She explains his vision for Highlander Folk School. He used to give people rides and talk to them about voter registration. His restaurant and motel buildings were taken and a federal building was built in their place. His wife is in good health and his children are involved in spin-offs of his work. Glascoe discusses black political progress in Charleston. She was when she arrived in Charleston, where Judge Ernest Adolphus Finney had just been appointed to the South Carolina Supreme Court, that they were still focused on black "firsts," and not on what to do with their influence. Antebellum divisions are still active in the city, particularly "connections people made by their relationships to white people." There is a division between the people who consider themselves native to the city and the blacks who live on the islands. Jenkins gave students from Johns Island rides to Burke High School and succeeded in getting the first high school on the island built. She talks about the Avery people, who are graduates of the school and established the development of Avery Research Center, being taken aback by the reaction to preaching at a program for a photo exhibit. She does not see a possibility of a grass roots political movement in the city because people are so caught up in connections to the city's power structure. Glascoe talks about the Brown Fellowship Society and prominent families in the city. Glascoe herself is somewhat isolated in the city for not buying in to the power structures within Charleston. She found when she came to work for the Avery Center that the people there were trying to preserve the elitism of their school and were unclear on how to branch out to be more inclusive. She discusses the funding of the Center and what her perspective as director brings to it. She discusses the lack of jobs and job programs for African Americans in Charleston, although she says that this is not something she pays close attention to. They discuss the influence of the churches, black sororities and fraternities, and culture in Charleston. She talks about the ways people become "elite" in Charleston, and the book Lemon Swamp and Other Place by Mamie Garvin Fields and Karen Fields.
Civil rights demonstrations
Dent, Thomas C.
Fields, Karen E. (Karen Elise), 1945-
Fields, Mamie Garvin, 1888-1987
Glascoe, Myrtle Gonza
Jenkins, Esau, 1910-1972
Tulane University Digital Library
Box 148, Item 4, Side 1, 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.