In his interview with Michael Cooke, Jonas T. Kennedy discusses his experience with the Progressive Democratic Party in South Carolina. Mr. Kennedy details the process and difficulties black people would face in registering and voting during the 1940s and 1950s. Mr. Kennedy also discusses the difficulties and expectations involved with the attempted buying of votes for certain candidates.
Dr. Jonas Thomas Kennedy (1917-2014) was a farmer and philanthropist from Bennettsville, SC. His parents and his two sisters both graduated from Claflin College, a historically black university in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Dr. Kennedy attended Claflin College before transferring to South Carolina State College to study Agriculture from which he graduated. He managed his 1200 acre farm and was a very successful farmer, even being named the 1977 Framer of the Year. Dr. Kennedy maintained a strong relationship with Claflin College and served as a trustee from 1969 to 1983. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in 1975 from Claflin and inducted into the University Hall of Fame in 1993. He also made major donations to Africa University in Zimbabwe which was sponsored by the South Carolina United Methodist Conference. The University has buildings named in his honor. He served his community in several capacities and was the president of the Marlboro County NAACP for eleven years from 1947 to 1958.
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Progressive Democratic Party
Kennedy, Jonas Thomas, "Interview with Jonas Thomas Kennedy" (1986). Browse All Oral History Interviews. OH 265.
LC Subject Headings
Political parties -- Southern States, African Americans -- Political activity -- Southern States