[wind rustling] (female speaker) Modjka!
♪ ["Give aamn"] (Spanky anOur Gang) ♪ And it mit begin to reach you ♪ ♪ why you need to give a da about your fellow man.
♪ ♪ And it might ben to teach you ♪ ♪ [humming to music] I always say, "I nsed on my mother's milk."
My mother and father were frless, and were reared that way.
Wasn't a scad bone in my body at no tim Go to church, and th dish out almost anything.. ller, stomp, look up like ty see God.
God ain't up the... nobody knows where He is except in your heart, if y got it.
you get pushed in a corner, like I have been sometimes, you've got to fight ur way out.
If you don'tyou going to be there all at time.
I alwa said I would join working th anybody going my way.
but if he's going my way I work with him.
You tching hell here on earth, but theyelling you how to get to heen.
I've had a running ght with them feby the people becag and clothed by theeople, d got good cars they ridinaround in thateople helped 'em to buy.
Busometimes when it comes tothem, they say, "Pray ild... the Lord will take car" Well, I don't y that junk.
Second Calvary Chuh was organized in my andparents' home, right behindthe Governor's, buI don't buy that "Look to Goand He'll take care of you."
You got to do some of that for yourself.
I don't...I wo because I feel need.
I don't know...
I burd myself in causes.
there's ceain things , like an inner sasfaction.
It may be a type o selfishness--I don't know- but you do thing that give you satisfaction d it gives you a happiness and a nse of, uh... peac ♪ ["Give a Damn"] (Ber Dakers) Mary Modjeska Moeith es was born December 5, 18, Her life chronicles ths It is a fe marked by change, challee, triumph, and trying.
becausover the course of the 1890 there had en some 1600 lynchings.
The Wilmingtonace riot took place in 1898 e New Orleans race riot 1900.
It was the perio of disenfranchisement.
t what makes it so strikg is that blacks were losinground that h been gained before.
In the 20th century, e civil rights struggle we f as bghng a steady, uphill march If you're livi in the 1890s, you rememb what's been lost.
I was born in the town ofolumbia, in the city.
My father's mother, who's th good-looking, old black man up there on that mantlpiece, she was workinin the home of a well-too white family.
lks said the daddy of theamily ruined her, d then my daddy was a good- looking, brown-skinned man.
My daddy n er got over--he was a man strong character-- he never g over the fact of his orig.
So hbecame--and at that time, l Negro girls had to do, if they made a littlextra change, was to work in whi homes.
So he decid he didn't want that.
He bough this piece of land.
He said- I can remember his words that "want to raise my childre sohey know the value of work and the value of a dollar."
So my mother o had been a public school acher before I was born and reared in wt they called a high-class Negro home, e high-class society, That's the way I cam, lening the value of work anthe value of a dollar.
Well, she was mo like a boy.
She was more lika leader than anything el, which she s brought up to be.
We h remarkable parents.
greadisciplinarians, They w, too some of their work.
(Dakers) For the Monteith children, each day brought an aenture into town, taking a trolley in ordero attend school.
Modjeska had enter Benedict Institute at age ve.
She was a student there til 1921, when s graduated and received t A.B.
Withhose Yankees over there, youad to know... you know, yohad to learn to appreciate terature.
First riod in the morning, 45 minus, everybody Benedict College had Bibl and you paed in it, like you did in igonometry or anything else I was taught tt But later I became a udent of religions... And then I came to rlize that there's nothing wng wi the philosophy of the Chrtian religion, justike there's nothing wrong th lye, but you ait supposed to do nothing buwash with it.
to dri it.
Yod Modjeska entered the teachi profession.
The first year I was out ofchool, I couldn get into high schools, becausI wanted to teach mathemati, and they had opening.
I taught aient history at Benedict Colle and one or t other courses, but particarly my field was ancient hiory.
I meanmy field of interest.
I wanted to ach mathematics.
I...I was alys interested in anything-n exactness.
Book T. Washington School.
k to Andrew Whiteld Simkins Jr., I was familiar with her would pick her up, take h home.
I would go out to eir home in the country anhave meals and things.
So I knew it mt have been something goinon.
Whenhe married my father, at Bker Washington.he losb to be married They didn'u and aching at Booker Washingtont the time.
So she went wi the Tuberculosis Associati (Josh Whe) ♪ I went to the bos at the commissary store.♪ ♪ Folks all srving, please don't close yr door.
♪ ♪ Want more food, a littl more time to pay.... ♪ palleled another momentous ent, thGreat Depression, which apped the country in a cloak of deivation and misery.
♪ ...lostverything they ever had.♪ () ♪ Landlord coming rnd when the rent is due.
♪ ♪ You ain't got the money, ♪ the jority of blacks lived inural areas.
d by poor health condition- such as defit diets, high infant mortity, unchecked maternal dth, and rampant tuberculis-- plagued the ate.
so many of tm died.
th, And of course, the was no medicine for tubercosis.
because a lot of tubercusisIt , was when the by was malnourished... thats, they weren't strongest.
Then they didn know certain things of satation.
If this person had berculosis in the family, they didt know to take his dishes sarate and all.
Sohe family would eat, and nexthing you know, whole familyre died out!
Part of my work s to go in as a special edution worker and get etings together antrain these people how to proct themselves from members of theifamilies that had tuberculos.
(Ders) The state was ill-prared to deal with the massive nuer of cases, Ironally, Modjeska's aunt, Recca Walton, had, over a decade preously, spearheaded e Masons' campaign to bld a black sanatorium.
d Beardsley) Modjeska Simns... reallylayed a key role and a pionring role in bringing puic attention to problems blacks and alsn of black people themselv the problems they had and heing to show them how they could minimizetho.
But the ct is... that was my busine to go in there and sensitize those people.
A lot of them didn'tnow about germs.
She ran into troubleith the director, Ms. McDoell, about some of her Suay meetings... the seminars and stitutes for teachers y to have her alth education meetings durg the week, like the regular anti-TB sociation people did, or the white group did.
Ms. Simkins st, in effect, read her a qck lesson on race relations the South.
She asked MsMcDonnell, "How do you thinthose mothers get to ythr meetings at 10:00 on Wednday morning?"
Ms. McDonnel didn't have any idea.
Mrs. Simkinsaid, "There's some black woma "ting care of their children.
en I can reach my audience, "s and at tends to be weekends."
She waa very practical-minded pern and did her work at time she could catch people (Dakers) A metilous record keeper, Simkinput together statistics the black poor, to put showing the interrelionship of poverty and hlth.
She conducted teher training institutes, involved ministers physicians, the schools, and anyo who would listen in her blic education efforts.
her burgeoning civil righ activities met with restance from her superviso Somebody told her at I was out there talkg about voting and stuff li that, and it got back to he So eventually, aft I'd worked with them abou10 years, they deced it was... it was time for ha to go, which wa all right.
Shwas saying that I, um... she sa she wanted me to go, bushe suggested that I resign.
"Youon't have anything against myork.
I'm not gointo resign... you just put mout."
(Dakers) r ouster from the TB Assiation served as a catalyst, laching Modjeska's complete volvement in the struggle for civil and human rights.
At the time I became aware of her presence, was the secretary ofhe South Carolina Conference Branches of the NAACP.
She worked vy closely with the presiden James N. Hinton, and anher man who was prominenin the movement, JohncCray.
they and oers formed, uh... A, leadership core who adopted the sttegies concerning what tocao and where to do it and w to do it.
(Dakers) The South Calina Conference of the NAAC tHinton and Simkins were ected in 1941.
Following the lead of t national NAACP, the state coerence tackled its first jor lawsuit... equal pay for black teacrs.
Oscea McKaine, a Sumter native was appalled by onomic conditions facinglacks at home.
pported by the Sumter brah, of black tchers, on bef whe salaries were vastly inrior to their white counterpar.
the school that I taught in,te The bigger cldren came after the harvt was taken.
This time of the year, the bigger black kidscould, those in the sixth, venth, and eighth grades.d The little os came early, and sometimes we had to ve the babies on pallets so that the x-year-olds could come to scol.
Across the seet, the road, from where Ias, was a white house, a house that was whitewashed.
There were tee white children and a whe teacher.
That wte teacher made $85 a month There were two teachersin thet and we me $25 a month for a while.
Then later on theyave me, as a teaching prinpal, $35.
and thwhite teacher with her threchildren had $85.
(Dakers) This was the fir of several cases to go before Judge J. Wies Waring of theederal District Court in Crleston.
Waring found in far of the plaintiff, Violauval.
With that viory in hand, the South Calina Conference, with Harold Boware as local counsel and Thurgood Marshalheading that national lel staff, began its journey of momentous legal victories r civil rights.
The next targefor the state conference.. dismaning the white primary.
In South Colina, as in all the otheSouthern states, acks were systematicallyxcluded from participati in the Democratic Party d specifically the Democrat Party primary.
that was fectively exclusion There re a couple of Supreme Crt cases that dealt with that point, one out of Texas where the preme Court said itas a violation of the 14th endment.
Then there was a companiocase We decided, in connectn with the local NAACP, that we were going make a test case.
So then-e're still working under whe and 21-- so then we instructepeople to go to the polls in the effort to register, knowing theyery likely would be turned do.
instances in thisfew anon the urgency from the NAA and mae one or two other local orgazations, Negroes went, and somebody at the ll registration place let them through evidtly.
Maybe they had a won on the books, scared by heelf,she was oraybe somebody knew he was aood nigger, and th let him register.
the ca had gone out.But th, It was like the Meads and e Persians in the Bible.
Nobody was to let black register.
So George Elmore wt here under our instructionso register.
That's the reason theycall.
And they turned himown.
He was willing to becomea gu.
When t Texas case was decided, blacks, to participate and vot in the Democratic primary.
The legislature, I thk in 1944, met in a special sessio the state laws deang with the Democratic Par primary.
What they were attemptg to do was to take the ofciality-- if that' the right word-- One of the facs of the Texas ruling was that since the party primaries w this made thos primaries official, part of the ofcial, electoral procedure.
Therefore, the states we violating the 14th Amendme.
even though the United ates Supreme Court had giveus the right, these old catsown here started making otherules that you couldn't vote We had to continue just wrangling around and ssing around down here.
They didn't inte to do anything but run t business.
Like they said"This is a white man's couny."
They had nsed it with their mother's mi, and they intended r it to stay that way.
The NAACP waforced to return to court () The second votinrights case, "Brown versuBaskins," was won in 1948.
South Carolina politics aall levels.
en after the United Statesupreme Court, the Demoatic Party was determined tt Negroes wouldn't be full-fledged members of the state party to be official have official connection because they first-- when it rst went up to the Supre Court, it was e right to vote, but we coun't do anything but vote.
So then carried a second case.
That was the Baskin case ere they gave the right to hold all prileges in the party, and then the pty used subterfuges torevent full participation.
(Daks) One of the most powerfuline utilized during this period wa "The Lighthouse and Inform," a black newspaper eded by John H. McCray.
McCray had med from Charleston to Coluia in 1941.
His newsper became the official voi of activism.
Therwas nothing that escaped us.
The newspaper became actually e voice and much of the black South.
of black South Carolina wato create sentiment in thistate to get Neges fired up to register anvote.
In that first all-oueffort, the records will sw that we registerf 150,000 Negroes in this ste.
Concurrent wh their efforts to securfull voting rights,s) blacks affected another strategy.
earheaded by John McCray d Osceola McKaine, the SoutCarolina Progressive Demoatic Party was formed.
was to organize a party anput their own candidates in e field.
(Dakers) Composed of blks and liberal whites, with McKaine opposin then-Governor Olin D. Joston fo.
(Fowler) Becausblacks were denied effective paicipation in the regular pty, an instrent for activity,ut s not really as an insument of electing anybody.
State litical power structure ase knew it was determined that Neoes would not gain any for in the electionsthat co.
the, um... Progressive Democric Party was one of the most rategic moves ever mad anywhere in the South block of votes, ack votes, s to defeat other white ndidates.
akers) Though not an offial member of the Progressive Democratic Party, Simkins was one the major strategists anadvisors.
she helped dra resolutions, press releas, and ev McKaine's campaign statent.
So...we had a newsper.
We put on this big registration campaign as sn as we got the white primy decision, the decision against the whe primary.
As I told yo in that first big push, we registered 150,000 groes!
when you control th many votes.
but me, John McCray, OsceolMcKaine, and one or two others.
If somebody trieto get them to do something down in Voorhees or iYork, they we gonna call Modjeska Simki or one of us.
one wayor the other, til Mrs. Simkins said that the thing to do.
(Dakers) The caseor equal educational opportity gan with a bus transportaon suit.
(Simkins) Now sometimes, and work out thclients cording to where you want thease to go.
because their children re walking It wn't they hated the whites It's just they had as mh right, paying taxes like whiteeople.
So they assumed we ought to have riding, which was right and they need state office and nationalffice assistance.
(Euge Montgomery) At that timethe intent was separate butqual.
When we first went to cot, that was when Judge ring said, "Why--" uh, Justice Marshaoc-- "Why do you me in here talking about sepate but equal?
If you want to do anytng, attack the whole syste" (Daks) The South Carolina State Conference agreed to epare a test case.
Twentylaintiffs would be requid fosuch a major effort.
undeook the challenge of securg petitioners.
What you had, who u had bringing the suit... you had some small rmers.
Most of them re poor.
You had sml farmers.
of sharecroprshad a numr whoinsisted their names go on at petition would be virtually impoible for me to tell you justhat some of these people eountered.
Most of them were fmers.
When we began the arendon County movement, they knew that there woulbe pressures, d the only thing that we had for blacks to do at that tim was to eitr teach or preach.
The teachers werafraid to be seen associati with us, so it beca necessary to get salt-of-e-earth people, pele who were not highly ecated but pele who were not highly ecated an they got.
gote Severaof the people who were iolved lost their jobs, hato move away because no onelse would employ them.
We saw a period ofntimidation, Theyeard of this organization that had been orgazed in Mississippi to combat the blacks w wanted to get a better waof life.
Oddly enough, r superintendent of educatn, the late Reverd L. B. McCord, heard of thimovement, went to Mississii, e t all the facts, brought itack, and ganized the White Citizen uncil.
Now every known meer of NAACP was placed oa list.
If you wer a farmer, you could not buy fertilizer for your farm mber of NAACP.
if you wn Cotton ginrefused to gin cotton forur members.
Timber dealersefused to buy timber procts from members.
Some of our members taking tobacco to the market, when iwas discovered who they we, other people were gettg 39 cents a pound for tacco, and their bacco sold for 14 and 15 nts, t of business.
m Banks would notloan mo.
what these gallant men nt through r get our God-given rights American citizens.
that's wha we'll do.
And of course, peoe already made untold sacrices.
Those w that had credit, their crit was cut.
Jo were lost.
me people who were sharecroing had to move.
But...they banded gether, and they survived.
(Ron and Natalie Daise ♪ We'll stand the sto.
♪ ♪ We'll ahor by and by.
♪ ♪ We'll stand the storm.
♪ ♪ It won't be long.
♪ ♪ We'll anchor by andy.
♪♪ (Fleming) The white tizen councils were organid.
The Kulux Klan was revived.
They started soting into our homes.
My funeral homwas shot into six differt times.
They began burning crses.
Thurgood Marshall wag factual reportin New York about conditns, and they were lling him how conditionsere deteriorating and that if he cButinued to press for the arendon case, there would be mass bloodsd in the county, th they thought the time h come when they hato broaden the scope of the st. "Briggs versus Eiott" was one of the five ses and sulted in the decision oMay 1954 in a group of cases, the first which was "Brown versus Brd of Education."
(Dakers) Modjka Simkins also rose to t occasion, on behalf of area citize ct who faced vere economic reprisals.
director of Negro work unr the state TB Association, of ties ready and t that I couldo tie directly into.
remember the long, long res we used to take throh the state when she was makinger speeches at vas and atnot.
As I became older and was le to drive myself, I would go with her to dri her to certain places in e country, such aClarendon, Sumter, Williaburg County.
It was harfor me to believe how Modjea could remember or know how to get to little churches th were so far back off thmain road.
This was the only way weould get to the people.
She was an exclent speaker.
I do remember ve vividly my grandmother a my mother always being conrned wh Modjeska was out of town-- about r safety.
d that she might not come he.
injured or kille She'd e Many tim I know personally, en Levi Pearson didn't have money to buy food on Saturda Modjes Simkins would go into her poet and not loan but give thespeople money for the necessitiesof li.
that didn't quify for bank loans, f you never pay it back, this is well with me anGod."
Always, in a strgle, in a battle, or a movent, ere are people in the spearhe.
So a few ous are in the spearhead, just pushing thishing.
If you d't, the movement will die.
This is a pa of the group of lawyers from all sections of theountry who are here in t Supreme Court for the purposof arguing the school segretion cases.
As you kw, these cases were set for argument on last June.
believe that the proper ple is in a court annot in the political arena where you atve the probable jurisdiction of differencesf opinion not connected wi the law.
(Dakers) Finally, victory wa.
[gospel music] ♪ ♪ (Perry) The cision itself referred to...racially separa schools and clared that in the field oeducation, the doctrine of sepate but equal has no place.
But, ieffect, the reach of the case s into the entire...fabric activies.
of stad (Natie Daise) ♪ Trouble wl be over.
♪ ♪ Amen.
♪ ♪ Trouble will be over.
♪ ♪ An.
♪ ♪ Troub will be over when I seeesus.
♪ ♪ Trouble will be over.
♪ ♪ Ame ♪♪ (Dakers) As black Carolinns die-hard segregaonists closed ranks.
Blacks, tired of beingd d a segregated system,onomh retaliatedith systematic boycotts otheir own.
They wouldn'sell certain things to blacks and ceain privileges of jobs were ten away.
So then somewhere-- I don't rember now where we got it fr-- Econom freeze was cutting somebo's income.
So then we froze on thetores.
(Jasper Williams) ♪ There's a rough road I st travel trying to get he.
♪ ♪ I g a serious road I must trel trying to get home.
♪ ♪ It's a rough, roc road to.
♪ travel trying toet home.
♪ (Dakers) It was turbulent period througut the deep South, anin South Carolina, fully decade would pass befo the tide began to turn.
(Wliams) ♪ Jesus be my proctor, always by my side.
♪♪ All through the fight, through slavery and the cil rights struggle, coming up until now, ere were whites that didn't beeve in what the power struure was doing.
Yohad to use the expression wer structure were in that realm of thout.
bt (Daks) During the height of h involvement with the NAAin, Modjka was simultaneously invold with aumber of reform movement on regional and nationalevels.
She was one of only ve black women to particite in t historic Durham Conferee.
She was also aember of its offspring.. the Southern Regional Council, the rst major biracial group inhe South.
an important pson in the South Carolina bnch of the Commission Interracial Cooperation, probably the most milint and outspoken member and I assume that that'swh.
commission, Buin any case, out of that Durham meeting came a remarble document for the time.
mein an interracial body in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1946.
Here Paul Robeson sa, and W.E.B.
DuBois gave his fam "Behold the Land" addres and thatostwar youth legislature attrted a thousand delegates black and whit foreign and American.
(me singer) ♪ You call at a brother?
♪ (Dakers) She waa charter member which wate organized in 1938 The uthern Conference for HumaWelfare was organized-- I me, it had its headquarters iBirmingham and s organized to improve condions not just for blacks, but for disaantaged whites in the Sout (Dakers) Recent, the Southern Organizingommittee for Economic d Social Justice anparticipants in those ear efforts met again in Birmingham.
The occasion...ackwledgement of the 51st anversary the Southern Conference r Human Welfare.
[laughter] And she' still pretty.
Give her a hand.
[applaus All right.
(Dakers) She reled the audience with sties of the fst Southern Conference f Human Welfare meeting, when the first lady, Elear Roosevelt, deed the laws of segregation Shsaid, "Bring me a piece ofhalk."
Any of you ihere old enough to remembeMrs.
Roosevelt remember how she taed.
"Bng me a piece of chalk!"
brought the alk.nd they She said "Now bring me a ruler."
And e said, "Now measure fromhis side to that side.
"N mark the midline on thaline that you have, d put an X."
Which they did My friend sa when they did that, Mrs. Rooselt said, "Now bring me a chr."
[laughr] And she said, "Sett directly over that mar" Now, that meanthe middle of that seat othat chair was over that X And Mrs. Roovelt sat there, as I used like to say, with one of her hi on one side of that mark And Mand one of her hipsre, as I the other side.y, Eleanor Roosevel did that in Birmingham!
[applause] would think of her ) as bng a great listener, listeng at all sides, being as oective as she could, but wh it came to speaking her nd, she would do that.
She neverwould hesitate tell what she thought was e truth.
She was a very remarkableoman becausher lack of fear was so greathat she... yoknow, she did it to legislars, and shdid it to congressmen, senato, as a person of directnes to the point.fy her I ink Modjeska comes to the int, speaks to the issue, in any situation which she's involved.
I've always admired her fothat.
anthis will not only show h bravery, but also her... lent for making people mad bringing up an issue.
I was invited to the iversity of South Carolina to me a speech, and she was invitedto in.
So she introduced mey telling me about the terble plight of the pooblack men in South Carolin So she introduced mey telling me about the terble plight grhic statement.
She gavy Well, I was sitting the, my face red, burning, blhing, analso wondering if we were gng to get thrown out, and the younpeople were quite upset, I ink, by what she said Then I had to tell aboutthe lo, but nobody paid mu attention to me after Modjeska's rrific speech.
As you welknow, in the late '40s and ely '50s, there was a al sickness in the country , um... um... very hysterical anti-Communism, ich had very little to dwith Communism, really, because most of thpeople caught up in it didn know Communism from rheatism.
It was a buzzword, acare word that anything waCommunist if it was adcating any kind of change.
All the organizations at tt time were attacked sily because it was a national fort to quiet dissensionagainst.
Not that thewere fighting the governmen.. h government allowed to happ.
federal govement now, Jusn 've had eight years of do-thing under Reagan.
That catat there and acted fool-- he is a fool if he s there for eight years.
The country' retrogressed.
So it was just a se of... moments come up when certain essures come down.
Peoplen the civil rights movementblack and white, who were n afraid of police dogs, going toail, or anything else, but were afrd of being called a traitor..
There's physal courage, moral courage.
I don't think I got ch physical courage.
Some pple had both... Modjeska wasne of them.
I dot think Modjeska was scaredf man or beast!
I belonged to and s connected with, rresponded with, met in meengs with, ople that were said to be Cmunist.
e House Un-American Activies Committee... my name is sitting u!
I guess on that st, there's a hundred ornizations.
Why...because ey didn't follow like sheep in the path of people The peonality of Modjeska is one at sort of encourages you (Dakers) By 1957, the NAACP was beg pressured to purge itsanks of effective leadershi Red-baiting was an espec, and Modjeska Simkins, lnerable.
way offered its slate of candates, Modjeska's namwas conspicuously absent At the following confe, mes Hinton did not offer r reelection as president.
Thus a new era of leadehip emerged.
other words, our tto, our aim (Dakers) Simkins th turned her energies to parallel reform procts, many on the local lel.
equal tohat of any other American cizen.
(Dakers) While e NAACP continued to pre the case for school desegretion across the state, the Richland cizens council hammed away on the Columbia scols.
We worked ve closely with the integrion of the schools here in Richland hool District One.
The first 22 student- 22 black students-- that integrated the school system here, Richland Cnty Citizens Committee speaeaded this.
♪ Kp in mind what they see their faces.
♪ ♪ get in the way of t places.
♪♪ We hadeetings, sitting down, taing with parents, She s the public relations dictor She was laying the pns out, and we were folling them.
Thosplans were very good plans, because the school was tegrated.
(Ders) In 1963, Modjeska Siins was indirectly invold in a suit to integte the University of SoutCarolina.
My sister becca made up her mind in opening that school.
Of course, we rked as a family unit.
Now, my brothe never were-- my mother's ildren the won were the hellcats, t my brothers.
So when Rebecca decidedshe, we planned a lot of the std lot of strategy for the whe civil rights movement in cent years was planned righin this house.
So she decided and she finally said, "If it'sthe last thing I , I'm ing to open that university.
(Dakers) Charges of Communist afliations surfaced once again in 16 when Simkins was invit to appear in a program on behalf of awed Communist Herbert Apeker.
Thisime the detractors were lears So far as actuly knowing he was a Communi, I don't actually ow one, except I know at Aptheker through the yea as Communist and still does.d f I would ve to glean.
Oth, I was in an ganization fighting for thebjective I was interested ihe Didn't matter to me whher he was a Communist or SOB.
I hateo say I have no recollecti of that incident, I do recall, during thateriod of time, there waCommunism involved in the vement, and I ink we all got caught up inhat and we probably ok advantage of the opportuty or this issue, or something like that.
I have in possession a report from the House Un-Amican Activities Committee alging that she was a member oparticipated in over 30 Communi fronts throughout the Unid States.
I think it's high me that the public officials let r citizens throughout this ate know a little bit of the backound of this particular indidual.
They weren't concerned aut-- they knew I wasn't Comnist.
but on the other hd, they wanted to shut youmouth... brid you, as they used to say.
(Daker A former stringer for the Associated Negro Press, mkins is prolific in herritings and stl sends out news releaseand editorials as she sees the ed.
Normly your encounters with hewas through the newspapers.
She spoke to you gerally through e media or by writing letts.
I don'doubt the Governor's sincery and voracity.
I just say the Gernor is speaking out of aealth of misinformation d ignorance on the subject.
(Simki, voice-over) I've alwaybeen a creature of confroation.
Ain't no need pe mealymouthing and messing ound.
If this pers can't do it, maybe somebo else can do it.
I guess it ces in that I have never ha certain connecons with the power structure I had to kinof pet.
that I think, toe honest, she-- the term thahas been used, sort of an atator-- an agitator notin the w, but she real agitated even the black learship to be more aggressi.
She prably was as critical of the NssCP fonot being more aggressive as she was for usfor not beinv to her and to theovement.
She's able to se beyond the individual She feels thator a person to be successf She is the opposit of that.
Shis not narrow in her thinkin I ink a lot of people like self-- particularly whi folks in the '60s-- got ind in the movemt because we knew was an evil, Racism and the hypocrisy the institutions thate had been involved in was just shamefuand stupid, and it hurt .
But didn't realize that that wasomething-- been going on for generations.od It wasn't until ter we had gotten involved that then we started to realize s saying these same things, ty standing ithese same places, getting rested.
Those we the people like Modjeska mkins.
She taug me politics, she taught me the newspar business, and she taug me about people.
The fact is, the one tng I learned from her is to never give u and never be defeated and never it.
Mrs. Simkins w the first black person Inow of at was vocally involved the environmental movement.
She had spoke at the fir rallies that we did in the '70s ound the Savannah River Plant and arculated very clearly abouhow its radiation doesn't st seek out rich, white Reblicans and that, all too ofn, the people that find themlves living around environntal hazards are poor, ack people.
During most of the 1970s, I was in prison, a member of the Wilmingtonen.
We we sentenced to a combinetotal of 282 yrs in prison in North Carola for ot in t civil rights movement.
d the... Southern OrganizinCommittee ayed a very invaluable leaderip role.
Modjeska, An Braden, and others courts back.ught the It's very difficult to rerse a conviction in this cntry.
but inorth Carolina, were , You're guilty tillwell, you pre your innocence.
It took usalmost a deca.
We did not win our caseunt.
I spent five years in almo maximum security prisons in North Colina, five different priso.
But no time did I feel alone beuse I knew that Modjeska mkins was out there organizi.
Modjeskaisited me once in prison and I felt very mo.
Even thougwe were talking through on bars, the solirity was there.
Mrs. Simkins is a pele person.
There are thousas of people personally indted to her ound this city, around thistate, and around thisation.
e can't say no to anybody.
If you have a prlem, she'll do whatev it takes to work it out.
(Ders) On three separate ocsions, she has fered for public office.
Each time she's been deated.
I'not sure that city council s ready for Modjeska Simkins.
No, I nevewanted to hold office, because you can raise more ll out here freelancing sitting up the.han you d , I never really wanted to ld office.
I did it more like bng like a gnat or something, a flea or mething, just worrying the liticians.
She's just an extraordina person.
That's all I can say.
Do agree with everything she done?
I thk that she has elevated polical problems or dferences to moral positions I mean they're not racial.
In mt respects, they're not ev political.
ere's just right, and thers wrong, d you feel it!
She feels hepolitics.
I think Moeska, had she been a man she would beight up there with MartiLuther King.
It just wonderful that she wod be there and let me know that I can be 90 yrs old-- I can do this untiI'm 90.
I can stand up ansay, "This has t to change... this is absotely dumb!"
And at's what she does.
[n audio] (Dakers) Throughout e visiblstruggles '70s, and '8,of the '6, Modjeska Simkins ctinued to lend her name, heenergies, Now 90 yea old, Modjeska is still intaining avid interest in world aairs.
frequent guest on televion and radio programs, Simkins is highlsought after on the lectu circuit.
ill seek her endorsement.
s Troubled citizens still ek her aid.
Adsor, confidante, activist, d advocate, for th respected stateswoman, the strule for human rights continu.
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