In August of 1965 the Pineville community of Berkeley County, SC, held a meeting — without any of us, though the woman who arranged to have SCOPE workers was there and probably ran the meeting. Her name was Martha Prioleau Simmons.
The grammar school had been set on fire, the FBI had visited, SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division) came to find out what we had done to lead to the school fire. There were some beatings of local community folks and other things listed. At this meeting the local folks decided to boycott St. Stephen, the local white town. They formed the Committee of Berkeley County.
There really were no services in Pineville, so the folks there had to travel the 5 miles to St. Stephen to grocery shop — clothes and other items, too. This list is the list of demands that the Pineville committee developed. The boycott was to last until all the items were met.
I personally know it lasted into December, because I was there. George Simmons, the husband of Ms.Martha, was chosen as the first black officer in the county as a result of this boycott and list.
Sherie Labedis, SCOPE volunteer.
Read the letter.