A Dissertation Chapter Workshop with Aaron Colston
Paper Abstract: This chapter examines community organizing on the South Carolina Sea Islands in the years before prominent civil rights organizations were recognized for the same strategy. The community organizing effort led by Septima Clark (then Director of Workshops of Highlander Folk School) formed a citizenship program in 1957 which, in turn, provided a model for voter education in the grassroots struggle for African-American citizenship in the decade which followed. This chapter posits, however, that a concern more fundamental than voter education-development-cohered literacy instruction, cooperatives, and health initiatives into a total program of community organizing on the Sea Islands. In the same way, the Sea Islands were neither isolated from the South Carolina mainland or the Atlantic World in the age of colonization, slavery and emancipation, the Sea Islands were not isolated from ongoing discourse or debates about modes of societal development that were part and parcel of Cold War political culture.