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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Elizabeth and Courtney Siceloff, July 8, 1985. Interview F-0039. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

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

ELIZABETH SICELOFF 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 . . . DALLAS BLANCHARD 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 ignorance." ELIZABETH SICELOFF Everybody else was wearing a sheet? DALLAS BLANCHARD 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 night. ELIZABETH SICELOFF They kept an eye on you. DALLAS BLANCHARD Yeah. But they were very interesting folks...