We are currently at work arranging and describing the papers of retired Columbia College history professor Robert Moore. Bob is one of South Carolina’s premier scholars on the Civil Rights movement. He has focused particularly on Matthew Perry’s leadership in the movement. Years ago, Bob and Judge Perry donated to SCPC recordings of an extensive life history Bob had conducted with the Judge. SCPC transcribed the interview and, with their permission, added the transcript to our website. There, it is available to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
Recently, Bob donated the research he developed in working on a history of Perry and the movement, a book that he has decided he will never complete. Included are cassettes of over twenty interviews he conducted with a variety of major players including many friends of SCPC such as Hayes Mizell, Chief Justice Jean Toal, and former governor John West.
We are in the process of transcribing those interviews and ultimately hope to make them available universally by putting them on our website. We are having to reach out to several of the interview subjects seeking their authorization to do this. That and the labor intensive transcription process assure that this project will require over a year to complete.
We have just mounted to the web Bob’s interview with Isaac W. “Ike” Williams (1945-2008). In the interview, which lasted a bit over an hour, the former NAACP field director and close associate of both I. DeQuincey Newman and Congressman James Clyburn discusses his experiences as a Civil Rights leader, particularly during the 1950s and 1960s.
Ike was a big man in many ways. He had a real presence and played an important role in the movement and on South Carolina’s governance. Talks about creating an Ike Williams collection here at SCPC were cut short by his untimely death in 2008, but I, like all who knew him, will never forget his zest for life, desire to make a difference, and inherent kindness. We are grateful to his widow Evelyn for authorizing us to make his story available to posterity.
By Herb Hartsook