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Sun Jun 16, 2019, 07:54 AM

Legacy of 1969 Charleston hospital workers strike 'often overlooked,' some say

The only physical remembrance at the Medical University of South Carolina of the 1969 hospital workers strike is a silver-and-black historic marker that stands modestly along a pedestrian entrance to the campus.

It describes, succinctly, what happened that spring. But on a recent weekday afternoon, few stopped to read it, few used this entrance, few walked along this stretch of Ashley Avenue where the marker, nestled in some foliage, is visible in front of the College of Dental Medicine.

On this particular day, only one or two employees sat nearby on a bench to eat lunch, lost in their private thoughts, seemingly unconcerned about an event that took place 50 years ago.

Nevertheless, the strike was one of the most significant episodes of the civil rights movement. It was the last large-scale civil rights march of the 1960s. It came in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination a year earlier and revitalized King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. It helped extend King’s Poor People’s Campaign, which focused on economic justice issues. It galvanized Charleston’s health care workers and put their supervisors on notice.

Read more: https://www.postandcourier.com/news/local_state_news/legacy-of-charleston-hospital-workers-strike-often-overlooked-some-say/article_246939ce-8608-11e9-a5cf-5786273935cf.html
(Charleston Post and Courier)

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Reply Legacy of 1969 Charleston hospital workers strike 'often overlooked,' some say (Original post)
TexasTowelie Jun 2019 OP
Sancho Jun 2019 #1
TexasTowelie Jun 2019 #2
Sancho Jun 2019 #3

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 11:18 PM

1. I remember this well...

my father was an MD teaching at MUSC at the time.

Our family had many dinner time arguments about this strike.

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Response to Sancho (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 11:56 PM

2. Oh wow.

I'm glad that I found the article then. I wasn't aware of the incident myself so I appreciate learning about the nurses strike.

I hope that the family finally came to some type of resolution.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 17, 2019, 12:48 PM

3. ...there was lots of drama in the 60s and 70s for us..

Dad was an army Major, GI bill, MD during Korea...Charleston was the Deep South. I went with the family and met Nixon (VP) for Mark Clark's retirement from the Citadel in Charleston. Dad loved Nixon and I thought he was a crook.

As baby-boomers, us kids and parents fought from the mid-60s until well into the mid-70s with Dad (Mom was more sympathetic). I was 1A in the draft (but never got called due to college deferments), I protested against the war, introduced Carter at a rally, and I often declared that I'd leave the US before going to Vietnam.

There were years that I was pretty much disowned - no communication with home - despite being an otherwise "good kid" (college, teacher, married), etc. It was all over my firm belief that the GOP were crooks and war mongers.

My sister is a nurse and still lives in Charleston, and is still part of the anti-black, support-tRump-at-all-costs, anti-immigrant crowd. We rarely talk - in fact, my sister and I have never visited (except family funerals) in 40 years - but we don't fight. My brothers and I get along well, and the boys all left SC. My view is that much of SC is still "Archie Bunker" racist.

The "previous" generation were clearly racists (in my view), scared of communism (or socialism), and paranoid. We had a bomb shelter built in the back yard (really) in the 60s. It's hard for me to rationalize the "greatest generation" with my memories of racism, militarism, sexism, and intolerance.

The strike and "equal wages" for black nurses were part of many changes that resulted in my father leaving the teaching staff of MUSC. He was anti-union, and saw no reason that minorities or women should be paid the same as whites or men. He railed against medicare as the beginning of "socialized medicine" and communism.

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