“The Letter and the Spirit: Integration of South Carolina’s
Cooperative Extension Service”–March 1 – July 12, 2013
Photographs and documents commemorate the achievements of African American Cooperative Extension Service employees working in segregated South Carolina from 1915 to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Although massively, and unequally, underfunded, and not officially permitted to administer their own programs, dedicated and creative agricultural and home demonstration agents were able to help and encourage thousands of rural South Carolina citizens to improve their farms, homes, health and personal lives.
They also encouraged community groups which fostered leadership techniques, parliamentary rules, organizational procedures, citizenship practices and collective action, skills that African American South Carolinians were not given many other opportunities to learn and practice in a segregated society.
After the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited discrimination in employment and education and outlawed racial segregation in all public places, African American Extension workers faced new challenges as it took several years for the Act to be fully incorporated into the programs and practices of South Carolina’s Cooperative Extension