Physical, political, and social harassment of Penn School workers
Again, the theme of a reactionary press recurs as Elizabeth Siceloff describes how the South Carolina press excoriated Penn School workers with accusations of Communist ties. The interviewer shares a personal encounter with the Ku Klux Klan and how they watched outside reporters carefully.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Elizabeth and Courtney Siceloff, July 8, 1985. Interview F-0039. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
The Charleston News had an editorial about the composition of the South
Carolina Advisory Committee, when it was announced. They could say
nothing good, of course, about the committee, or about the membership.
They started off with Courtney. They said he had been brought in from
Texas to head up the Community Services Program.
It sounded like he was some sort of dangerous alien that had been
smuggled across the--. They organized a special meeting of
the Klan. The purpose was to expose Courtney as a communist. They had to
announce at the meeting that they hadn't completed their research and
they didn't have any . . .
I went to a Klan meeting one time with a Presbyterian minister up in
Greenville, Alabama. One of the speakers gave the Biblical basis of
segregation. He spent about 15 minutes, and then closed out by saying,
"Of course, I'm not a religious person myself." The
next speaker said, "Let us not substitute intelligence for
Everybody else was wearing a sheet?
Well, yeah. Not really that large a gathering. About 100 feet from where
the cross was being burned there was a black family cabin. All the kids
were sitting out on the porch just watching the show. They weren't
threatened the least. While we were sitting down, and I was jotting
down notes, someone walked up behind us and asked us if we were with the
press. They were in their robes. They stayed behind us the rest of the
They kept an eye on you.
Yeah. But they were very interesting folks...