William Saunders oral history interview conducted by Kieran Walsh Taylor in Charleston, South Carolina, 2011-06-09.
Summary: William Saunders remembers his childhood on Johns Island, South Carolina, and working with Esau Jenkins, a local civil rights leader. He recalls serving in the army during the Korean War, attending the Highlander Folk School, and working at a mattress factory. He also discusses founding the “Lowcountry Newsletter,” helping the workers in the Charleston Hospital Strike of 1969, and running unsuccessfully for the state senate.
Biographical History: William Saunders was born 1935 in New York, New York, married Henrietta Jenkins, and had 10 children. He attended Southern Business College, Southern Illinois University Vocational Education, and the University of Nevada. He worked as a politician and CEO of Committee on Better Racial Assurance Human Services Agency.
Acquisition Note: The Civil Rights History Project is a joint project of the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture to collect video and audio recordings of personal histories and testimonials of individuals who participated in the Civil Rights movement.
Existence and Location of Copies: Copies of items are also held at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (U.S.).
Conditions Governing Access: Collection is open for research. Access to recordings may be restricted. To request materials, please contact the Folklife Reading Room at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.afc/folklife.contact.
Related Archival Materials: Artifacts associated with the interview are at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.