Ironically and Divinely, many of us that were students of St. Helena School who also grew up working at, going to programs and meetings, and fighting for Penn did not fall into the school to prison pipeline that has been the outgrowth of the lowering of the Gullah/Geechee students’ self-esteem and the lack of income that is directed toward the educational institutions on St. Helena. In fact, we are revolted by the site of penitentiaries! So, when an Anglo woman asked me last week, “Why is a fence going around Penn Center for it to look like a jail over there?,” I felt as if someone had punched me in the stomach. I visualized what she said and then I actually drove by the historic site yesterday and saw how it was now being caged in. I also knew that I was glad to be free and would remain so because I was not going to let anyone imprison me nor my mind because theirs may be!
Mary Moultrie was one of the leaders of the Charleston Hospital Workers’ Strike. She led approximately 400 workers off their jobs at what was then the Medical College of South Carolina Hospital and the nearby Charleston Memorial Hospital in 1969. This group which was predominately Black and Gullah/Geechee women were seeking better working conditions and …