I was looking up my coworker’s previous education and found “Elloree Training School”, so I looked it up and it turns out it’s a big piece of South Carolina’s Black civil rights history:
[…]On May 17, 1956, The T&D reported “Negro Teachers Resign From Elloree Positions”: “At least 21 Negro teachers at the Elloree Training School will not resume their duties here this fall when the colored school begins its September term. The announcement was made today by the Board of Trustees.
“What apparently prompted the trustees’ decision was the report of refusal of some teachers to express their personal views concerning integrated schools and NAACP membership. This was partly substantiated by the trustees.
[…]The action taken by black teachers at Elloree was for that time was considerably rare. Many black teachers dropped their membership in the NAACP in droves and sometimes cut off total involvement in civil rights activities. Following through with their commitment, the teachers in Elloree paid a very high price for the position they decided upon. Not finding teaching positions in the next school term brought about financial hardships and mental stress and certainly the feeling of not being supported by their own race transmitted into a feeling of abandonment.
The “Elloree 21” won the battle for the constitutional rights of every black teacher in the state of South Carolina and should be recognized and honored in the highest manner for such contribution to our state and especially to the black educators.
(FULL ARTICLE HERE)
I thought to share it because there are so many things that we consider “little” or insignificant that mean more than we know… I highly doubt those teachers knew that choosing an NAACP membership over their jobs would lead to a court case that almost made it to the US Supreme Court and ended in the state of SC repealing the law that supported the schools in firing Black teachers who claiming connection to the NAACP.