Esau Jenkins Bus

CONTACT Paul Saylors

Preservation Society of Charleston

(843) 722-4630

Corie Hipp

(843) 327-2213

EVENT “Love is Progress, Hate is Expensive” The Esau Jenkins Bus Send-off Sunday, June 1, 2014 from 4 PM until 6 PM, FREE to the public Corner of Calhoun and Concord Streets, across from the SC Aquarium

CHARLESTON, SC – On Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 4:00 PM on the corner of Calhoun and Concord Streets, at the proposed site for the International African American Museum and in conjunction with Piccolo Spoleto, the family of late civil rights activist Esau Jenkins and the Thomas Mayhem Pinckney Alliance of the Preservation Society of Charleston will host an event to celebrate the departure of a portion of his iconic VW bus to its new home in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

Sponsored by Fielding Home for Funerals, the Jenkins Family and the Preservation Society of Charleston, the event will feature the Mt. Zion Spiritual Singers; reflections on Jenkins and the civil rights movement in Charleston; photographs and articles pertaining to Jenkins’ life and work; and light refreshments.

Esau Jenkins (1910–1972) was a civil rights activist who was born on Johns Island, SC in 1910 and lived most of his life there. With very little formal education, he became a businessman and civil rights leader. Jenkins founded the Progressive Club in 1948, which encouraged local African Americans to register to vote, through the aid of Citizenship Schools, a topic he was educated in by his attendance at Highlander Folk Center in Tennessee. In 1959, he organized the Citizens’ Committee of Charleston County dedicated to the economic, cultural and political improvement of local African Americans. With a personal motto of “Love is Progress, Hate is Expensive” (seen on the back of his bus) Jenkins prospered his community, helping to found the Community Organization Federal Credit Union and serving on many local boards and committees. The father of a large family, he died in 1972, and after his death many institutions, programs and a bridge were named for him.

The Thomas Mayhem Pinckney Alliance is committed to supporting the Preservation Society of Charleston in identifying and preserving historic African American “built environments” in the Lowcountry. This includes those sites built by, occupied by and utilized for activities significant to the African American experience. Thomas Mayhem Pinckney Alliance Chair and Preservation Society Board Member, Julia-Ellen Craft Davis says “the bus on exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture is important because it represents national recognition of the work of Esau Jenkins who is a role model for working selflessly with others to meet a need in a community.” The alliance includes Dr. Millicent E. Brown, Alphonso Brown, Julia-Ellen Craft Davis, Corie Hipp, Ray Huff, Minerva King, Ramona LaRoche, Dr. Ade Ofunniyun, Leila Potts-Campbell, and Paul Saylors.

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