Charleston in Charleston County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Cannon Street Y
What is now the Cannon Street Y was organized under the leadership of Harry W. Thomas in 1866. It was established using the name Charleston Negro YMCA to serve the needs of former slaves, freed by adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1865. Of three Black YMCAs organized during that period, only Cannon Street Y continues to operate independently; i.e. not being taken over by a city or some other agency. This YMCA originally operated its programs from area churches, businesses, meeting halls, offices and private homes of its members. This arrangement continued until 1950 when the present facility was built at 61 Cannon Street.
The dedication plaque above the historical marker reads: “All I am interested in is the privilege of giving the Negro boys of Charleston the same privilege all boys of the world are allowed under the laws of Little League Inc Williamsport, Pa.” —Robert F. Morrison, July 27, 1955
Presented to Cannon Street YMCA in commemoration of the 1955 Cannon Street All-Stars.
Robert F. Morrison, President • Manager: Benjamin Singleton • Secretary: R. H. Penn • Coaches: Walter Burke • A. O. Graham • Rufus Dilligard • Lee J. Bennett
Erected 1997 by The MOJA Arts Festival, City of Charleston.
Location. 32° 47.411′ N, 79° 56.671′ W. Marker is in Charleston, South Carolina, in Charleston County. Marker is on Cannon Street east of Smith Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 61 Cannon St, Charleston SC 29403, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. United Order of Tents Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Calvary Episcopal Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Jonathan Jasper Wright (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Calvary Episcopal Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Cannon Street Hospital / McClennan Banks Memorial Hospital (approx. 0.3 miles away); William Aiken House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Camden Depot (approx. 0.4 miles away); Septima P. Clark Expressway (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Charleston.
Regarding Cannon Street Y. The 1955 Cannon Street All-Stars were unwittingly caught in the Little Leagues of America civil rights desegregation battle that year.
Also see . . .
1. Remember the 1955 Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars. 2014 article by Christoper Lamb on the HuffingtonPost.com. Except: “I hope Little League Baseball remembers the 1955 Cannon Street all-stars, who unwittingly found themselves in the middle of the civil rights movement that was taking root in the United States.” (Submitted on March 8, 2015.)
2. Cannon Street All-Stars snub in 1955 still haunts youth baseball in South Carolina. 2013 article by Gene Sapakoff in the Charleston Post and Courier. “The impact stymied organized baseball activity among black youths in South Carolina, particularly in the Lowcountry, and resonates today. What began as overt racism in 1955 still dilutes baseball interest among blacks.” (Submitted on March 8, 2015.)
Categories. • African Americans • Charity & Public Work •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 8, 2015, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 169 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 8, 2015, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.