Charleston Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People records
The Charleston Branch of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) collection contains branch and committee correspondence, financial records, materials relating to the events and programs sponsored by the Association, subject files, photographs, and miscellaneous material.
The collection is arranged into six series.
1. Administrative records include the NAACP Constitution, local and regional meeting minutes and agendas, branch correspondence from the National and South Carolina offices, branch election material and executive board rosters, and records from the City Council of Charleston. In addition, there is a subseries arranged in alphabetical order of the Charleston Branch of the NAACP committees, which include Economic/Economic Development and Fair Share, Education, Financial, Housing, Labor and Industry, Legal, Membership, Political Action, Telecommunications, Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committee, and Youth.
2. Programs and Events records reflect the efforts of the NAACP branch to educate and inform individuals about African-American history and culture, such as through the Rediscovering Identity Culture and Heritage (RICH) Program and the NAACP Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympiads (ACT-SO) Program. The Freedom Fund Drive and Gala is one of the biggest fundraising programs that the branch does, and the collection contains records from the 67th to the 78th Freedom Fund (1983-1994). Materials relating to the NAACP National Annual Convention and the South Carolina Annual Convention can also be found within this series.
3. Publications in the collection include the branch newsletters, advertising flyers, branch and national, press releases, copies of The Crisis, newspaper clippings, and brochures from the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, and from related outside organizations.
4. Subject Files cover topics such as the Charleston Police Department, the confederate flag issue, voter education and voter registration campaigns, misrepresentation of African Americans and the branch in the media, and materials relating to the NAACP involvement regarding anti-South African Apartheid.
5. Photographs are of the 1992 Charleston Branch of the NAACP Congressional Forum, the NAACP Spring Golf tournament, buildings in Charleston relating to where one would go for help with economic or legal problems (i.e. Charleston City Hall, Charleston County Judicial Building Economic, the Citadel, and the South Carolina Employment Security Commission office), and of Haig Point Plantation on Daufuskie Island.
6. Miscellaneous contains records relating to Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity; former Charleston NAACP president Dwight James' Trident Tech computer classes, and promotional material.
- 1920-1995, undated
- Majority of material found within 1973-1994
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Charleston Branch (Charleston, S.C.) (Organization)
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The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was started on February 12, 1909, partly in response to the prevalence of lynching of African-Americans in America and the 1908 race riot that occurred in Springfield, Illinois. The African-Americans that were founding members included W.E.B. DuBois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and Mary Church Terrell. The Association has been involved in pivotal moments in civil rights history in America.
The Association has organized into regions and branches to serve the needs of local communities. South Carolina is located in region five. In 1939, Charleston, Cheraw, Florence, Georgetown, Greenville, and Sumter branches combined to form the South Carolina Conference of Branches.
The Charleston Branch of the NAACP was created in February 1917, and one of the founders and the first president was artist Edwin Harleston. Harleston knew W.E.B. DuBois from attending Atlanta University and saw himself as one of the
Talented Tenth. Approximately, twenty-nine African-Americans participated in the founding of the branch; most were Harleston's family members, but they were able to recruit other members in large part to DuBois' 1917 appearance in Charleston. In 1919, Harleston and the NAACP successfully led a petition campaign to allow African-American teachers to teach on the Charleston peninsula. Other issues that were of importance included getting African American women jobs at Charleston's Navy Yard and the 1919 riot of Caucasian sailors and residents who attacked African-American businesses.
In 1956, educator Septima Poinsette Clark served as Vice-President of the Charleston NAACP Branch, and due to her participation she lost her job as a teacher. This was a consequence of the 1956 South Carolina general and permanent law that stated that no National Association for the Advancement of Colored People member can be employed by the state. Clark was one of many who were persecuted due to their participation in the Association.
Some of the issues that the Charleston branch was heavily involved with in the 1980s and 1990s were the representation of African-Americans in Congress and on Charleston's school board; the confederate flag in South Carolina and Georgia; and racism in secondary schools and institutions of higher learning.
The branch has continued to advocate for the rights of African Americans in Charleston and South Carolina. Today as well as in the 1980s and 1990s the NAACP has served as a space for African-Americans to make complaints against discriminatory practices that they witnessed or suffered themselves. Some issues that the branch tackles include school and economic inequalities, school and employment discrimination, media misrepresentation of African-Americans, and police brutality. In addition, they spearheaded voter registration and education campaigns; encourage the celebration of African-American history and culture by everyone, but specifically youth populations; and highlight the contributions of African-Americans on a local and national level.
Other South Carolina branches that were created, but have since been closed, include those in North Charleston, East Cooper, and Edisto, thus leaving Charleston as the sole branch to serve the local community.
As of 2012, the Charleston NAACP Branch president is Dorothy
Dot Scott and the vice president is Joseph Darby.
7.0 linear feet (17 archival boxes)
Language of Materials
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was started on February 12, 1909, partly in response to the prevalence of lynching of African-Americans in America and the 1908 race riot that occurred in Springfield, Illinois. The Charleston Branch of the NAACP was founded in February 1917 by Edwin Harleston. The branch was established to advocate for the rights of African-Americans in South Carolina and Charleston. The Charleston NAACP serves as a space for African-Americans to make complaints against discriminatory practices; and to challenge social and economic inequalities. In addition, they have spearheaded voter registration and education campaigns.
The Charleston Branch of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) collection contains branch and committee correspondence, financial records, materials relating to events and programs sponsored by the Association, subject files, photographs, and miscellaneous material. Additionally, there are discrimination complaints from individuals against various stores and institutions in Charleston. The collection is arranged into six series. Administrative records includes the NAACP Constitution, local and regional meeting minutes and agendas, branch correspondence from the National and South Carolina offices, branch election material, and executive board rosters. The subseries is comprised of Charleston NAACP Branch committees listed in alphabetical order. Programs and Events records reflect the various activities sponsored by the branch. Publications in the collection include the branch newsletters, advertising flyers, and other outreach material. Subject Files cover topics such as the Charleston Police Department, the confederate flag issue, and voter education. The photographs in the collection depict Charleston NAACP branch activities, and miscellaneous records reflect activities of branch members and promotional advertisements.
1. Administrative, 1977-1994, and undated
1.1 Committees, 1977-1995, and undated
2. Programs and Events, 1975-1995 and undated
3. Publications, 1973-1994, and undated
4. Subject Files, 1920, 1960-1994, and undated
5. Photographs, 1992 and undated
6. Miscellaneous, 1987-1994, and undated
- Ball, Edward. The Sweet Hell Inside: A Family History. New York: HarperCollins, 2001.
- Hamer, Fritz P. Charleston Reborn: A Southern City, Its Navy Yard and World War II. Charleston (SC): HistoryPress, 2005.
- Potts-Campbell, Leila. Edwin Augustus Harleston: Artist and Activist in a Changing Era. Charleston (S.C): Avery Research Center, 2006.
Processed by Haykal, Aaisha, 02/2012
Encoded by Haykal, Aaisha, 02/2012
- African American youth
- African Americans -- Civil rights
- African Americans -- Civil rights -- South Carolina
- African Americans -- Politics and government
- African Americans -- South Carolina
- Charleston (S.C.) -- Race relations
- Charleston County (S.C.) -- Race relations
- Discrimination in education -- South Carolina
- Discrimination in employment -- United States
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Charleston Branch (Charleston, S.C.)
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Freedom Fund Program
- Inventory of the Charleston Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People records, 1920-1995 (bulk 1973-1994), and undated AMN 1117
- Finding aid prepared by Processed by: Haykal, Aaisha; machine-readable finding aid created by: Haykal, Aaisha
- Description rules
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English
Part of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture Repository
125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States