Jenkins, Esau, 1910-1972


Esau Jenkins was born on Johns Island, South Carolna in 1910 and lived most of his life there. With very little formal education, he became a businessman and civil rights leader. Jenkins founded the Progressive Club in 1948, which encouraged local African Americans to register to vote, through the aid of Citizenship Schools, a topic he was educated in by his attendance at Highlander Folk Center in Tennessee. In 1959, he organized the Citizens' Committee of Charleston County dedicated to the economic, cultural and political improvement of local African Americans. With a personal motto "Hate is Expensive, Love is Progress," Jenkins prospered his community, helping to found the Community Organization Federal Credit Union and serving on many local boards and committees. The father of a large family, he died in 1972, and after his death many institutions, programs and a bridge were named for him. From:

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