Item Details

Interview With Modjeska Simkins

Elwood, William A; Kulish, Mykola
Online; Online Video; Video
2006; 1987-09-19
Part one. Civil rights activist Modjeska Simkins discusses her childhood in South Carolina and the influence of her grandmother, who was a slave. She tells vivid stories of her family's ordeals with slavery and post-Civil War freedom and discrimination. Part two. Ms. Simkins shares stories about her family's experience with racial discrimination. She talks about people using the Bible to support their prejudices and why she quit the church. She explains the power structure among rich white people, poor white people, and African Americans. She recalls when NAACP lawyers like Thurgood Marshall would come down to South Carolina to try a case and stay in her house because they couldn't stay in any hotels. She tells how African American schools didn't have buses or fuel for heat. Part three. Ms. Simkins talks about her education. She recalls encounters with the Ku Klux Klan and her fearless attitude toward the Klan. She returns to a discussion of the power structure in the South, both when she was a child and in 1985. She expresses her opinion of Robert Bork. Part four. Ms. Simkins talks about her work with the NAACP. She talks about the salary case, transportation case, and the vote case in South Carolina. Her home was the center of South Carolina civil rights legislation in a way because out-of-town African Americans could only stay in private homes. The militia was called out in South Carolina; she remembers cannons on Statehouse grounds. She chats about Judge J. Waites Waring and Thurgood Marshall.
Elwood, William A
Kulish, Mykola
Simkins, Modjeska Monteith, 1899-1992
Digitized by: Cincinnati, Ohio : The PPS Group, 2006.
Source footage for the documentary, The road to Brown : the untold story of “the man who killed Jim Crow” (California Newsreel, 1990), about the life of Charles Hamilton Houston, his crusade for civil rights, and the events that led to Brown v. the Board of Education, the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared the doctrine of separate but equal to be illegal.
Title supplied by cataloger.
Recorded at Columbia, South Carolina.
William A. Elwood Civil Rights Lawyers Project
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Road to Brown : the untold story of "the man who killed Jim Crow."
William A. Elwood Civil Rights Lawyers Project
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