Inventory of the Charleston Five Collection, 1971 - 2008

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Descriptive Summary

Abstract: The Charleston Five, Elijah Ford Jr., Ricky Simmons, Peter Washington, Jason Edgerton and Kenneth Jefferson were brought up on felony riot charges following a confrontation on the Charleston docks with law enforcement.
The Charleston Five Collection contains correspondence, legal documents, financial documents, literary productions, printed materials and video material all pertaining to the published work of Suzan Erem and Paul Durrenberger, On the global waterfront : the fight to free the Charleston 5, 2008. The collection is arranged into four series: Chapters, Supplemental Research Materials, Print Materials and Multimedia.
Title: Charleston Five Collection, 1921 - 2008
Creator: Suzan Erem
Creator: E. Paul Durrenberger
Repository: Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston
Call Number: AMN 1124
Language of Material: Materials in English, Dutch, Italian.
Extent: 2.4 linear feet, including 2 CDs, 1 DVD, 2VHS
(3 Records Cartons),

Historical Note

The Charleston Five, Elijah Ford Jr., Ricky Simmons, Peter Washington, Jason Edgerton and Kenneth Jefferson were brought up on felony riot charges following a confrontation on the Charleston docks with law enforcement. Members of the Local 1422 of the International Longshoremens Association, the Five sparked a local and global controversy on union labor. The encounter began with the use of non-union dock-workers by the Danish shipping company Nordana, which to many in threatened the ILA on a larger level. Following smaller, peaceful demonstrations, then-Attorney General Charles Condon called in 600 law enforcement officers to meet ILA members on the night of January 19th, 2000 setting the stage for the major dispute.

Suzan Erem has worked in the union movement as an organizer, union rep, communications director, and elected officer, mainly in Chicago. She is the author of Labor Pains: Inside America’s New Union Movement (Monthly Review Press). She is now a freelance writer.

E. Paul Durrenberger is a professor of anthropology at Pennsylvania State University. Together Erem and Durrenberger wrote Class Acts: An Anthropology of Service Workers and Their Union and Anthropology Unbound: A Field Guide to the 21st Century. They are married and live in Pennsylvania.


Collection Overview

The Charleston Five Collection contains correspondence, legal documents, financial documents, literary productions, printed materials and video material all pertaining to the published work of Suzan Erem and Paul Durrenberger. The collection is arranged into four series: Chapters, Supplemental Research Materials, Print Materials and Multimedia.

The first series, Chapters, contains materials directly cited in the book and is organized under the chapter headings originally given to us by the authors. Chapters 1-12 and 14 are included, with chapter thirteen lacking an originally designated set of materials. Chapters include sections of police reports, court documents, correspondence and literary productions used in the specific chapters.

The second series, Supplemental Research Materials, contains all other research materials included in the collection that were not included in specific chapters. Materials include police reports, legal documents, correspondence, literary productions and printed materials that relate to the Charleston 5 and the research for the work.

The third series, Print Materials, includes a set of published works included in the collection for their use in the book.

The fourth and final series includes DVDs, VHS and CDs with video and other files used in the production of the Erem/Durrenberger work, which include transcripts of the interviews and earlier drafts of the book.

Collection Arrangement

Collection is arranged in the following series:

1.Chapters

2.Supplemental Research Materials

3.Print Materials

4.Multimedia



Subject Headings

  • African American labor union members--South Carolina--History--20th century.
  • International Longshoremen's Association
  • Longshoremen's Strikes
  • Longshoremen's Unions
  • Police--South Carolina--Charleston.
  • Police-community relations--South Carolina--Charleston.


Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Chapters, 1991-2006.

(0.5 Linear feet)
Box 1   Folder 1
Chapter 1, The Provocation, undated
Box 1   Folder 2
Chapter 2, Storm Rising, 1999-2004
Box 1   Folder 3
Chapter 3, Condon and the "Christians", 2000-2005
Box 1   Folder 4
Chapter 4, Taking Up Positions, 2000-2005
Box 1   Folder 5
Chapter 5, On the Waterfront, 1991-2005
Box 1   Folder 6
Chapter 5, On the Waterfront (cont.), 1991-2005
Box 1   Folder 7
Chapter 6, Nordana Bows to Global Pressure, 2000
Box 1   Folder 8
Chapter 7, Black Lonshoremen: When Race and Class Collide, 2001-2005
Box 1   Folder 9
Chapter 8, Condon and Riley Launch Their Campaigns, 1999-2005
Box 1   Folder 10
Chapter 9, The Tide States to Turn, 2001-2004
Box 1   Folder 11
Chapter 10, Free the Charleston 5!, 2000-2001
Box 1   Folder 12
Chapter 11, Countdown to Trial, 2000-2001
Box 1   Folder 13
Chapter 12, Victory!, 2001-2004
Box 1   Folder 14
Chapter 14, Not Just Another Labor Story, 2002-2006

2. Supplemental Research Materials, 1921-2008.

(1.5 Linear feet)
Box 1   Folder 15
Interviews, 2004-2005
Box 1   Folder 16
Left-Wing Coverage, 2000-2004
Box 1   Folder 17
Liverpool Materials, 1997-2006
Box 1   Folder 18
Think Pieces, 1921-2004
Box 1   Folder 19
Think Pieces, 1921-2004
Box 1   Folder 20
Port of Charleston Publications, 2004-2006
Box 1   Folder 21
Labor Conference Materials, 2002-2006
Box 2   Folder 1
SLED Report, 2001
Box 2   Folder 2
SLED Report, 2001
Box 2   Folder 3
SPA Report, 2001
Box 2   Folder 4
SPA Report, 2001
Box 2   Folder 5
SC Department of Corrections Report, 2000
Box 2   Folder 6
City Police Report, 2001
Box 2   Folder 7
City Police Report, 2001
Box 2   Folder 8
Legal Documents, 1971-2006
Box 2   Folder 9
Legal Documents, 1971-2006
Box 2   Folder 10
Legal Documents, 1971-2006
Box 2   Folder 11
Legal Documents, 1971-2006
Box 2   Folder 12
Correspondence, 2000-2005
Box 2   Folder 13
Newspaper Articles, 1999-2008
Box 2   Folder 14
ILWU Report, undated
Box 2   Folder 15
Labor Theses, 2005-2006
Box 2   Folder 16
General Materials, 2000-2006
Box 2   Folder 17
Journals, undated
Box 2   Folder 18
Journals, undated

3. Print Materials, 1964-2005.

(0.4 Linear feet)
Box 3
Eaton, Clement. The Freedom-Of-Thought Struggle in the Old South, 1964
Box 3
Pilcher, William W. The Portland Longshoremen: A Dispersed Urban Community, 1972
Box 3
The South Carolina State Ports Authority. History of the South Carolina State Ports Authority, 1992
Box 3
Herod, Andrew John. Towards A Labor Geography: The Production of Space and the Politics of Scale in the East Coast Longshore Industry, 1953-1990. Dissertation for Department of Geology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey., 1992
Box 3
Moredock, Will. Banana Republic: A Year In the Heart of Myrtle Beach, 2003
Box 3
Dubofsky, Melvyn and McCartin, Joseph A. (eds.). American Labor: A Documentary Collection, 2004
Box 3
Reid, Charles F., (ed.) South Carolina 2005 Legislative Manual, 2005

4. Multimedia, 2003, undated.

(2 CDs, 1 DVD, 2 VHS)
Box 3   Data CD 1
2003 Competitiveness Study -- SC, 2003
Box 3   Data CD 2
Chapter Files, Interviews and Research, undated
Box 3   DVD 3
Charleston Footage, undated
Box 3   Videotape 1
Police Tapes and News Tapes, undated
Box 3   Videotape 2
African-American History Monument Dedication, undated


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Charleston Five Collection, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.

Acquisitions Information

All materials were donated to the Avery Research Center Archives by Suzan Erem.

Processing Information

Processed by Milton Achelpohl, 07/2013

Encoded by Milton Achelpohl, 07/2013

Edited by Aaron Spelbring, 07/2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

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