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Thomas Barnwell

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Information about Thomas Barnwell

Profile image of Thomas Barnwell

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Social Activist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
It Must Be Done As Quickly As Possible.

Birthplace

Born:
6/2/1935
Birth Location:
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Social Activist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
It Must Be Done As Quickly As Possible.

Birthplace

Born:
6/2/1935
Birth Location:
Hilton Head Island
See how Thomas Barnwell is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Thomas Curtis Barnwell, Jr. was born on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina on June 2, 1935. His parents were Hannah White, a schoolteacher, and Thomas Barnwell, a farmer. Barnwell grew up on Hilton Head Island when the only transportation on and off the island was by boat. The native islanders were self sufficient by growing fresh vegetables, raising cows and hogs, fishing, catching shrimp and crabs and hunting deer, rabbit and raccoon. Barnwell graduated from St. Helena High School on St. Helena Island, South Carolina in 1954 and enrolled in Clafin College in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

After one year at Clafin College, Barnwell joined the United States Air Force. In 1959, he received an honorable discharge and enrolled at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama. In 1960, he began working as a longshoreman, Local 1414 in Savannah, Georgia.

Barnwell traveled extensively to continue his education. He studied sociology at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee in 1961; community development at the University of West Indies in 1963; group dynamics at the University of Ontario in Bethel, Maine in 1964 and community development and community education at the University of Puerto Rico.

Barnwell began his work in community service at Penn Community Service, Inc. While at the Penn Center, he worked in community organization, program planning, federal program orientation and implementation. His community service work continued as he held positions as Assistant Director for Beaufort-Jasper Hampton Economic Opportunity Commission, Executive Director of Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Services, Inc. and the Regional Director of National Consumer Cooperative Bank, Charleston South Carolina branch. Barnwell is a former board member of the Bluffton Oyster Cooperative and the Hilton Head Fishing Cooperative. He testified before the United States Committee on Hunger and Malnutrition and Human Needs in 1969, and participated in President John F. Kennedy’s To Fulfill These Rights Committee.

Barnwell, who was involved in securing affordable housing, healthcare and employment for the natives of Hilton Head Island, is a land developer and a private business owner of rental properties.

Barnwell is married to Susan, his wife of over forty years. They have three adult children.

Barnwell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 30, 2007.

See how Thomas Barnwell is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Thomas Barnwell interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Thomas Barnwell lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Thomas Barnwell describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Thomas Barnwell talks about his maternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Thomas Barnwell describes his mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Thomas Barnwell describes his mother's role in the community
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Thomas Barnwell remembers his paternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Thomas Barnwell describes his paternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Thomas Barnwell describes the food traditions on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Thomas Barnwell describes his father's role in the community
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Thomas Barnwell remembers lessons from his father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Thomas Barnwell describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Thomas Barnwell describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Thomas Barnwell describes his father's occupation
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Thomas Barnwell describes his paternal grandmother's ancestry
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Thomas Barnwell describes the lifestyle on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Thomas Barnwell describes his community on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Thomas Barnwell describes the role of religion on Hilton Head Island
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Thomas Barnwell remembers catching seafood on Hilton Head Island
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Thomas Barnwell remembers hunting on Hilton Head Island
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Thomas Barnwell remembers hunting wild turkeys on Pinckney Island, South Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Thomas Barnwell describes the methods of catching crabs on the Sea Islands of South Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Thomas Barnwell describes the transportation on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Thomas Barnwell describes the law enforcement on Hilton Head Island
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Thomas Barnwell lists the churches on Hilton Head Island
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Thomas Barnwell shares the history of Hilton Head Island's schools, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Thomas Barnwell shares the history of Hilton Head Island's schools, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Thomas Barnwell remembers Squire Pope Elementary School on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Thomas Barnwell describes his challenges with dyslexia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Thomas Barnwell recalls his activities at Squire Pope Elementary School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Thomas Barnwell recalls the community's expectations of him
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Thomas Barnwell remembers Robinson Junior High School on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Thomas Barnwell recalls applying to the Penn Normal, Industrial and Agricultural School on St. Helena Island, South Carolina
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Thomas Barnwell describes his experiences at the Penn Normal, Industrial and Agricultural School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Thomas Barnwell remembers his education at the Penn Normal, Industrial and Agricultural School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Thomas Barnwell recalls an influential teacher at the Penn Normal, Industrial and Agricultural School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Thomas Barnwell talks about boarding at the Penn Normal, Industrial and Agricultural School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Thomas Barnwell recalls graduating from St. Helena High School on St. Helena Island, South Carolina
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Thomas Barnwell remembers Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Thomas Barnwell recalls his enlistment in the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Thomas Barnwell remembers training at the Lackland Air Force Base in Texas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Thomas Barnwell recalls serving at the Ramey Air Force Base in Puerto Rico
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Thomas Barnwell describes his experiences of discrimination in the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Thomas Barnwell recalls his return to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Thomas Barnwell recalls his interest in the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Thomas Barnwell remembers his marriage
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Thomas Barnwell describes the Hilton Head NAACP branch
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Thomas Barnwell recalls the problem of land inheritance on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Thomas Barnwell describes his duties at the Penn Center on St. Helena Island, South Carolina
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Thomas Barnwell recalls his conversations with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Thomas Barnwell talks about the communities served by the Penn Center
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Thomas Barnwell remembers his expectations of the March on Washington
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Thomas Barnwell recalls serving on a committee for President John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Thomas Barnwell describes the demographics of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Thomas Barnwell remembers continuing his education
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Thomas Barnwell describes the Beauford Jasper Comprehensive Health Service
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Thomas Barnwell recalls working for the National Consumer Cooperative Bank
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Thomas Barnwell describes his family's property on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Thomas Barnwell describes his property developments on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Thomas Barnwell talks about the loss of land by the native residents of Hilton Head Island
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Thomas Barnwell describes the dispossession of Hilton Head Island's native residents
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Thomas Barnwell describes the history of the tourism industry on Hilton Head Island
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Thomas Barnwell talks about his book manuscript
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Thomas Barnwell describes his hopes and concerns for Hilton Head Island
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Thomas Barnwell talks about his wife
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Thomas Barnwell reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Thomas Barnwell shares a message to future generations
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Thomas Barnwell narrates his photographs