The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories
Oral history interview with Dr. Joseph Hoffman
Repository: Avery Research Center
Collection Description (Extant): In this interview, Dr. Joseph Irvin Hoffman discusses his life in Charleston, South Carolina: first as a boy educated at various Charleston schools, then as a professional doctor on Johns Island. He recalls his fathers career as a butcher, his family origins, and details the trade by including his own experiences. Hoffman describes other trades held by prominent blacks of Charleston, as well as the prevalence of white and black doctors. He discusses his education at great length, first at a private school run by Miss Winslow, then St. Peters Catholic School, including his experiences with the nuns and religious influences, and then with his attendance at Burke school, where he mentions the activities of several teachers including Miss Grimke of the infamous Grimke family. Hoffman also details his school days at Avery Institute, including his social and academic experiences and the various black and white teachers he encountered. Of note are several recollections of various speakers, including Thomas E. Miller, a Republican congressman during Reconstruction. Dr. Cox, principal of Avery at the time, is also mentioned with fondness; Hoffman gives descriptions of the programs Cox initiated that caused Avery to become more like a college than a high school. Also of note are the numerous political activities that Hoffman witnessed, noting that blacks were often discouraged from voting. He mentions his presence at Dr. Kings speech in 1963, the hospital strike in Charleston in 1969, and his participation in several sit-ins. Throughout the interview, Hoffman shares his general feelings regarding his awareness of segregation and prejudices from the white community, as well as the effects of having light skin vs. darker skin.
Access Copy Note: Audio and transcript are available online.
Condition Note: The sound recording is hard to understand due to extremely low volume.
Digital Status: Yes
Finding Aid URL: http://lowcountrydigital.library.cofc.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/AOH&CISOPTR=195&CISOBOX=1&REC=2
Interviewees: Joseph Hoffman
Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights
African American doctors
African American schools
African Americans--Civil rights--South Carolina
Civil rights demonstrations--South Carolina
Hospital Workers’ Strike, Charleston, S.C., 1969