MYSTERY PHOTO:  Winter wonderland

Here’s a snow picture that we received over the last week, but where is it?  Does it look familiar?  (It should, for a couple of reasons.) Send your best guess – plus your name and hometown – to editor@charlestoncurrents.com.  In the subject line, write: “Mystery Photo guess.”

Last issue’s mystery

The Jan. 1 mystery, “The remains of a day,” showcased the remains of the Progressive Club, a civil rights landmark on Johns Island that is recognized as a start for citizenship schools.  They eventually led to the voter registration of hundreds of thousands of African Americans across the South.

Congratulations to the six people who correctly identified the photo:  Deborah Getter of Johns Island; Chris Brooks of Mount Pleasant; Tom Tindall of Edisto Island; George Graf of Palmyra, Va.; Pete Laurie of Johns Island; and Tom Kulick of Kiawah Island.

Graf provided some more detail:

“The Mystery Photo is linked to your story about Ida Berman’s photos being unveiled at the Charleston County Public Library, 68 Calhoun St., Charleston.  One of those photos is of Esau Jenkins plus others of people working at the Progressive Club.

According to progressiveclub.org, “two African-American Island residents, Esau Jenkins and Joe Williams, organized the Progressive Club in 1948. These two visionaries realized the necessity for an organization such as the Progressive Club when an African-American Johns Island resident, Sammy Grant, was shot by a white man for kicking at the man’s dog in an effort to defend himself from an attack. When the white magistrate refused to issue an indictment against the dog owner, finding that the dog owner ‘had a right’ to shoot Grant, Jenkins and Williams organized island residents to pool their funds to hire an attorney to appeal the magistrate’s decision. The dog owner was eventually tried, convicted and fined for the aggravated assault and battery. From these beginnings, the Progressive Club took shape and came into being. The organization received its Charter #1145 in 1948 from the Secretary of State of South Carolina.”

Tindall provided more context: “The picture is of the remains of the Progressive Club Sea Island Center located at 3377 River Road at the intersection of River Road and Royal Oak Drive on Johns Island. The club is significant for its role as a citizenship school and for its association with events and persons important in the civil rights movement. The club building is also significant for its association with the development of continued adult education, social history, politics, ethnic heritage, recreation and commerce for the African American community of the Sea Islands beginning with the building’s construction in 1963 until the death of the club’s founder Esau Jenkins in 1972.

“While the first citizenship school class at the Progressive Club site was held in January 1957, the citizenship schools became a model for civil rights leaders for similar efforts throughout the South during the late 1950s and continued as classes and workshops at the Progressive Club well into the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The workshops, classes and folk festivals hosted by the Progressive Club were either attended or facilitated by people who were later catapulted to the national stage in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The building was heavily damaged by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and listed in the National Register October 24, 2007.”

Send us a mystery:  If you have a photo that you believe will stump readers, send it along (but make sure to tell us what it is because it may stump us too!)   Send it along to  editor@charlestoncurrents.com.

 

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