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Marjorie Amos-Frazier papers

 Collection
Identifier: AMN 1166

Scope and Contents

Series 1: Biographical Documents - 1977-2010, and undated Contains biographical sketches, personal correspondence, a student dissertation in which Amos-Frazier was interviewed and mentioned in, the Voting Rights Act case in which Amos-Frazier was a plaintiff; the Civil Rights Act (USA v Charleston County) court case (2001-2003) which contains an extensive deposition of Amos-Frazier detailing her work at the American Tobacco Company, and political career with the Charleston County Council and South Carolina Public Service Commission; retirement event with guest books (1993); and program of her wake service (2010).

Series 2: Professional and Political Career - 1970s-1994, and undated Contains professional head images of Amos-Frazier; student paper entitled, "A Profile of Women in South Carolina Politics," Charleston County Council documents: certification, board member group photographs, certificates, and typescripts; South Carolina Public Service Commission documents: correspondence, official listings, group photographs, photocopied newspaper clippings, retirement certificates; State Ethics Commission correspondence and statements which includes Southern Bell correspondence, typescripts, and press releases; Nelson, Mullins, Riley and Scarborough correspondence regarding Amos-Frazier's Southern Bell consulting and lobbying work; and images of former President Jimmy Carter with Amos-Frazier with others.

Series 3: Organizational and Religious Affiliations - 1973-2002, and undated Contains photocopied newspaper articles, newsletter, event programs from the National Council of Negro Women, Incorporated and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); documents from Amos-Frazier's "Visit to Israel:" itinerary booklet, handwritten notes, with World Methodist Council report booklets and pamphlet; The Joseph P. Riley Jr. Institute for Urban Affairs and Policy Studies documents pertaining to Amos-Frazier's tenure as an Advisory Board Member: correspondence, proposals, and Advisory Board Members spiral bound manual; and Amos-Fraizer's trip to Nairobi, Kenya (Africa), attending the Fifteenth World Methodist Conference, holding correspondence, tour itineraries, newsletter, and pamphlets; and a color photograph of the "Board of A.M.E. Bishops and Districts World Wide," (1992-1996).

Series 4: Speeches and Writings - 1979-1983, and undated Holds handwritten and typescripts of speeches and addresses by Amos-Frazier on various topics including professional as a Charleston County Council Chairperson and South Carolina Public Service Commissioner; tributes to community citizens; Amos-Frazier's political speeches and writings; women in politics and addresses given at churches. Includes speeches by others: Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. with the National Urban League (1976) and remarks by Lieutenant Governor Nancy Stevenson (1982).

Series 5: Certificates and Awards - 1974-2002, and undated Contains resolutions, certificates, medals and plaques (dismantled and unassembled) noting Amos-Frazier's professional, civic and personal achievements. Organized by date.

Series 6: Various Documents and Materials - 1992-1999, and undated Holds funeral program with highlights of The Reverend Doctor James G. Black and various poems.

Dates

  • 1970s-2010, and undated

Creator

Copyright Notice

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Biographical Note

Marjorie Rhodes Amos-Frazier (1926-2010) was born in Manning, South Carolina. She attended Manning Training School (high school) and graduated in 1941. She worked at the American Tobacco Company plant for more than 20 years, resigning in January 1971. Amos-Frazier continued her education through taking correspondence courses through the American Schools in Chicago, Illinois (1971). Amos married Harmon Frazier and had five children.

During her tenure at American Tobacco Company, Amos-Frazier developed political savvy becoming active in the plant union to assist others. She served as shop steward negotiating more than five contracts and enlisting new union members.

In 1947, she convinced Black Charlestonians to register to vote, taking them to the polls. As financial secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Amos-Frazier worked with others for 110 days straight, planning ways to integrate the Charleston restaurants, theaters and other public places.

"Politics”, she said, was a key to improve the lives of people. You had to find a way to get on the inside to know what was available to help people."

During the 1950s-1960s, Amos-Frazier held various secretarial positions within the Charleston Branch of the NAACP (membership, financial and secretary of the branch.) Worked the Community Relations Committee, a group formed to ease racial tensions resulting from the 1968 Hospital Workers Strike.

Working with Bill Ackerman in the 1960s, Amos-Frazier assisted in organizing the Alliance of Concerned Citizens for Better Government, a bi-racial initiative, in which she was elected director. The Alliance was designed to improve the lives of Black Charlestonians. During her tenure she was awarded the first contract by HUD for 237 Housing Counseling Program. She was the Alliance director from 1972-1976.

Amos-Frazier was also the first woman elected to serve on the Charleston County Council (1974). Serving as a Chairperson of the Human Services Committee and spearheading the negotiations between Charleston County and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) for indigent health care. She was also instrumental in establishing the county Senior Citizens' Center, in keeping the public defender's office funding and providing county substance abuse programs at McClennan Banks Hospital. She served for six years.

In June 1980, the South Carolina General Assembly elected Amos-Frazier to the South Carolina State Public Service Commission. As an elected commissioner she experienced a number of groundbreaking firsts as a non-legislator, African-American and woman. In July 1988, Amos-Frazier became the Vice Chairman of the Commission and in July 1990, she became the Chairman. Governor Richard W. Riley appointed her to the Governor's Tasks Force on Critical Human Needs. Amos-Frazier retired from this Commission in 1993 after serving 13 years.

Additional accomplishments include serving as co-chairperson of State Steering Committee to elect Jimmy Carter, President of the United States (1977-1981) and serving on the Dispute Resolution Committee for the United States Justice Department. Amos-Frazier was invited to the White House twice for President Briefings during Jimmy Carter's administration.

Amos-Frazier was a member of Morris Brown AME Church, the National Council of Negro Women, the Charleston Branch of the NAACP, among other organizations.

Among her numerous honors and accolades, Amos-Frazier has received the Distinguished Service Award from South Carolina State University (1994); the naming of a portion of Interstate Highway 26; South Carolina Service Certificate Award from Governor Carroll Campbell (1993); inductee into the Charleston Federation of Women Club's Hall of Fame (1991)-the first African-American to receive this honor; and a Honorary Doctorate from Allen University (1994).

Amos-Frazier passed away in 2010.

Extent

7.27 linear feet (6 boxes) ; (11x14 and 11x17)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Marjorie Amos-Frazier (1926-2010) was a Civil Rights activist and politician in Charleston, South Carolina. She was the first woman elected to serve on the Charleston County Council in 1974. Six years later Amos-Frazier became the first non-legislator, woman and African-American to serve on the South Carolina Public Service Commission (1980-1993).

Amos-Frazier's papers hold biographical, professional and political career, organizational and religious affiliation documents and photographs, in addition with Amos-Frazier's speech transcripts and various writings.

Collection Arrangement

Arranged in six series:

  1. Biographical Documents, 1977-2010, and undated
  2. Professional and Political Career, 1970s-1994, and undated
  3. Organizational and Religious Affiliations, 1973-2002, and undated
  4. Speeches and Writings, 1979-1983, and undated
  5. Certificates and Awards, 1974-2002, and undated
  6. Various Documents and Materials, 1992-1999, and undated

Related Materials

From Septima Pointsette Clark papers: event program "A Tribute Dinner For Marjorie Amos (First Woman on County Council)," March 1, 1975. AMN 1000 Box 12 Folder 07"

Processing Information

Processed by Georgette Mayo, 2023

Title
Inventory of Marjorie Amos-Frazier papers
Status
Completed
Author
By Georgette Mayo, 2023
Date
2023
Description rules
Dacs
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

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

Contact:
125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States
843-953-7608