Judge Julius Waties Waring
Judge Julius Waties Waring surmised, “Segregation is per se inequality,” in his dissenting opinion of the landmark school segregation case Briggs v. Elliott after the three-judge panel upon which he sat voted in favor of upholding educational inequality. Judge Waring was a native white Charlestonian who used his privilege and position in the court system to interpret laws fairly for all citizens. Although he was unpopular with other judges, politicians, and many white Charlestonians at the time, Judge Waring was undeterred in his fight for legal and social change. His trailblazing work especially impacted Black South Carolinians for the better.
Judge Thurgood Marshall
Thurgood Marshall was dedicated to justice and equality for all American citizens throughout his sixty-year career in law. The grandson of a formerly enslaved man, Marshall defied the odds by becoming the first African American to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court. One of the biggest cases of his career happened right here in South Carolina: Briggs v. Elliott.
Esau Jenkins was born to Peter and Eva Jenkins on Johns Island, South Carolina on July 3, 1910, and lived most of his life there. Upon completing the fourth grade, he began working on a boat out of Charleston. As a life-long learner, Jenkins continued his through night classes and correspondence courses, becoming a businessman and civil rights leader. Jenkins married Janie Elizabeth Jones in 1926, together they had thirteen children
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 uplifted his community, helping to found the Community Organization Federal Credit Union and serving on many local boards and committees.
Jenkins died in 1972, leaving behind a large family. After his death, many institutions, programs, and a bridge were named for him.