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TALK | Esau Jenkins: Gullah Pioneers of the Civil Rights Era

Join us to hear a talk from the Reverend DeMett E. Jenkins about her grandfather, the late Esau Jenkins: a community activist, civil rights leader and businessman from John's Island. Mr. Jenkins started the influential Progressive Club and chartered the nonprofit, Sea Island Comprehensive Health Care Corporation. He worked closely with Septima P. Clark, as well as Dr. Martin Luther King. Collectively, the Gullah Geechee residents of Johns Island made notable contributions to the Civil Rights movement with their strategies for training teachers and organizing at the grassroots level.  

The contributions of Septima Clark and Esau Jenkins had an undeniable impact on the Civil Rights movement as well as Johns Island and surrounding Sea Island communities. Their efforts, in conjunction with the Highlander Folk School, raised literacy and increased the number of registered Black voters. Supported by cultural values and group cohesion, the strides made on Johns Island were directly responsible for similar movements and achievements, such as the development of citizenship schools, on both Edisto and Wadmalaw Island

In 2016, 60 descendants of Esau and Janie B. Jenkins traveled to the opening of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture which honors Mr. Jenkins in a permanent exhibition on the segregation era.  

Co-sponsored by the Charleston County Public Library and the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission.

Earlier Event: December 5
Un-Wined with Watercolor
Later Event: December 13
Reading Against Racism-Reparations