Modjeska Monteith Simkins

Motel Simbeth postcard

#TBT: Motel Simbeth + Cornwell Tourist Home

By: Lois Carlisle, Consulting Historian

We’ve talked about the Green Book before in this series, but here’s a refresher: As automobile travel grew increasingly popular from the 1930s through the 1960s, African Americans found themselves faced with what historian Gretchen Sorin called “an uncertain landscape,” much of which was “composed of white spaces where black...

Motel Simbeth matchbooks

Searching for Motel Simbeth

By: Katharine Allen, Research & Archives Manager

On 20 October 1955, Jet, a national weekly digest with a primarily black audience, published the expose “SOUTH CAROLINA’S PLOT TO STARVE NEGROES.” The six-page piece described efforts by White Citizens Councils in Clarendon and Orangeburg counties to create an “economic squeeze” on black community members. The goal of the...

Simkins at Home

Modjeska Monteith Simkins: An Advocate for the People

By: Katharine Allen, Research & Archives Manager

Modjeska Monteith Simkins was born in Columbia, S.C. on December 5, 1899, into a society that legally dispossessed women and people of color of their civil liberties. Over the course of her 92 years, she displayed a courage and perseverance that many argue was unmatched. Today, Simkins is rightfully lauded...