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Steve Estes papers

Identifier: AMN 1055

Scope and Contents

Separated in three small series, these papers contain information on various aspects of the Hospital Workers Strike of 1969, in Charleston, S.C., used by Steve Estes in writing his master’s thesis. The interviews were recorded by Estes and Leon Fink, and their transcripts generally relate information on the Charleston hospital workers’ strike and Memphis sanitation workers’ strike. In regards to the Charleston strike, individuals interviewed address the Union 1199B, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), local activists’ involvement, the response of the community to the strike, violence associated with the strike, and the effect it had on the city and the strikers. Those interviewed include Rev. Hosea Williams (referring to Dr. Martin Luther King, Ralph D. Abernathy and gender issues in the Civil Rights movement); Rev R. B. Cottonreader (re the assassination of Martin Luther King; Black Muslims and the SCLC and the Poor People’s Campaign); William Saunders; Andrew Young; Mary Moultrie (noting the roles of William Saunders and Isaiah Bennett); Jessie Jefferson ( noting conditions and segregation at the Medical College of SC, later the Medical University of SC, and the impact of Coretta Scott King); Isaiah Bennett; Naomi White (on the experience of picketing and economic boycott of Charleston); and others. The printed materials include a paper written by Steve Estes on the subject, a ca. 1969 pamphlet entitled “Letters from Charleston Jail” written by Dr. Ralph Abernathy of SCLC, FBI files on the SCLC and the strike, and various articles on the subject. Copies of newspaper articles relate stories about the Charleston hospital workers’ strike from April- June 1969 and in 1994 with a series from Herb Frazier.


  • Creation: 1967-1996


Biographical Note

Steve Estes, associate professor of History at Sonoma State University, was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1972. He was raised in Charleston, where he graduated from Porter Gaud School in 1990. He earned a BA in history and economics at Rice University in 1994, an MA in history at the University of Georgia in 1996 and a PhD in history from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2001. His master’s thesis compared the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike of 1968 and the Charleston hospital workers’ strike of 1969. His doctoral thesis was published as, “ I AM a Man”: Race, Masculinity, and the Struggle for Civil Rights which charts the influence of the civil rights movement on Black and White conceptions of masculinity from 1950s to 1970s.


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Language of Materials



The collection consists of primary and secondary sources used by Steve Estes to write his master’s thesis drawing comparison from the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike of 1968 and Charleston Hospital workers’ strike of 1969. Estes interviewed people who were closely associated with these movements and also consists of an analysis of newspaper clippings that capture these movements.

Steve Estes papers
Sarah Berry
April 2020
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Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture Repository

125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States