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Guide to the Thomas Cripps papers, 1839-2009 and undated, bulk 1940s-2009

Abstract

Retired professor of history at Morgan State University, scholar of the history of African Americans in the motion picture industry, prolific author of books and articles on the subject, and script writer.

The papers of Thomas Cripps date from 1839 to 2009, and are arranged into three divisions: films, photographic stills of African American actors and productions, and professional papers, the largest group. Taken as a whole, the films, movie stills, research files, and publication files document Cripps's investigations into representations of racial and ethnic stereotypes in popular culture, particularly in film, but also touch on other issues such as gender in popular culture, portrayal of race in Nazi Germany, and the social dimensions of African American life in the U.S. during the 20th century. Other materials stem from college-level courses taught by Cripps on these same topics, and include many of the visual resources he used in his classes. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Cripps, Thomas
Title
Thomas Cripps papers, 1839-2009 and undated, bulk 1940s-2009
Language of Material
English
Extent
87.7 Linear Feet, Approximately 62,475 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The Thomas Cripps collection dates from approximately 1839 to 2009, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1940-2009, and is arranged into three main divisions: films, photographic stills of African American actors and productions, and professional papers, which is the largest group of the three (closed pending processing). The materials as a whole can be used to study a variety of themes and subjects: racial or ethnic stereotypes in popular culture (chiefly African American, but also Jewish, Irish, and Asian); American and European television culture, broadcasting, and advertising; African American artists; African American film-makers, most notably Oscar Micheaux; U.S. political and social events in the 20th century, including the Depression and the Civil Rights Movement; educational institutions for African Americans; and the teaching of African American history in U.S. higher education. There are significant research materials on Nazi Germany propaganda and the portrayal of race in the party's films.

The thirty-seven films found in the Films Series consist of film shorts, clips from feature films, newsreels, "Soundies," and television commercials, and were collected by Cripps for their portrayals of African Americans, performance by African Americans, or production by African Americans from the turn of the century into the late 1960s 1970s. He also collected filmic materials reflecting other racial and ethnic stereotypes, as seen in the Ethnic Films reel. There are viewing copies for all films.

The Still Photographs Series consists of hundreds of publicity stills and other images taken from U.S. and British feature films featuring African American actors from the silent film era through the 1970s. Many entries, which have been retained from the original envelope labels, carry titles from individual films, but other prints were arranged by Cripps into topical categories such as "Black Athletes," "Jungle Pix," "Silent Films," and "Exotic Primitives."

Cripps's professional papers, a very large group, are closed to access pending processing. They are currently loosely arranged into these series: Correspondence, Dissertation and Research, Morgan State University, Other Papers and AV Materials, Subject Files, and Writings. Beyond the topics discussed above, the materials also document grant proposals written by Cripps; his early dissertation work; coursework in a variety of settings; and his many publication projects.

Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

The films and movie stills are open to use. However, the remaining series are closed to access pending processing.

In addition, original audiovisual materials are closed to patron use. Use copies are available in the collection.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Correspondence is foldered by organization and topic and arranged alphabetically by folder title. Series includes correspondence regarding project ideas with major contemporary African American Studies figures such as Henry Louis Gates, Jr., John Blassingame, and Leon Litwack. "Fan Mail" folder contains international responses spanning from Sweden to Ghana to Nigeria. Original titles have been retained. Larger record storage containers are designated "RS."

Series is closed pending processing.

General correspondence, 1974-2007 and undated
Box C1-C5
Grant proposal information
Box C1-C5
Correspondence, 1970s-1980s
Box C6
Conferences and foundations materials
Box C6
Journal correspondence
Box C7 (RS)
Publishing and writings correspondence
Box C7 (RS)
Miscellaneous correspondence, 1971-1974
Box C7 (RS)
Correspondence, 1978-1979, 1983, 1988-1989, and undated
Box C7 (RS)
Research/writing
Box C8 (RS)
Consulting projects
Box C8 (RS)
Glory- 54th, 1999
Box C8 (RS)

Records document Cripps's research leading to his dissertation on African Americans in film and popular culture. There are also related materials in Box P12. Original titles have been retained. Larger record storage containers are designated "RS."

Series is closed pending processing.

Notecards for dissertation
Box DS1-DS5
Research for dissertation
Box DS6-DS7
Drafts of dissertation
Box DS8-DS9
Research notecards - Movies, 1930s
Box DS10-DS11
Research and methods
Box DS12 (RS)
Notecards for research (includes some MA notes)
Box DS13 (RS)
Notecards
Box DS14 (RS)
Archives and addresses
Box DS14 (RS)
Black film and music articles
Box DS14 (RS)
Research correspondence
Box DS14 (RS)
MA thesis and dissertation
Box DS14 (RS)
Research notecards
Box DS15 (RS)
Research notecards
Box DS16-DS17
Dissertation notes
Box DS16-DS17

Films Series, circa 1898-1968

(40 reels or rolls)

Original films collected by Thomas Cripps; primarily black and white, silent, and 16mm. Early films, some from as early as 1898 and 1900, feature the cityscapes of New York, Baltimore, and San Francisco, and other urban centers. Some films portray African Americans in several wars, including the Spanish-American War, World War II, and the Korean War. Others document civil rights era events. Recorded political events include a Harry Truman speech concerning the Civil Rights Commission report, and a Lyndon Johnson speech on civil rights. Among the many notable actors and performers in the films are Duke Ellington, Jesse Owen, Louis Armstrong, Lincoln Perry ("Stepin Fetchit"), and Bert Williams. The entry for "Paisan - the Black Story" refers to Rossellini's film on the relations between Italians and American GIs during World War II, "Paisan," in which one episode centers on an African American GI and a Neapolitan street urchin. Arranged as received.

[Original recordings are closed to use. Viewing copies are available for all films.]

Reel 1, 16 mm positive print

North Star on Morgan State University News; man walking down street

(100')
Box 1
Reel 2, 16 mm positive print

March on Washington crowds, 1963

(75')
Box 1
Reel 3, 16 mm positive print

Black cavalry marching home from Spanish-American War

(50')
Box 1
Reel 4, 16 mm positive print

Madison Square, NYC, 1898

(25')
Box 1
Reel 5, 16 mm negative

Truman on Civil Rights Commission report and News in Brief (negative)

(150')
Box 1
Reel 6, 16 mm positive print

Los Angeles Riots, 1968; Selma March

(150')
Box 1
Reel 7, 16 mm positive print

Footage of various historically black colleges (Morgan Footage)

(600')
Box 1
Reel 8, 16 mm positive print

Baltimore fire of l904; vote against Daylight Savings; volunteer information for WWII

(450')
Box 1
Reel 9, 16 mm positive print

World War II footage with African American soldiers; Newsreel footage ­"Mrs. Roosevelt helps dedicate Negro Boys Club"; "Robot Cotton Picker"

(100')
Box 1
Reel 10, 16 mm positive print

Street scenes ­1900s; black soldiers disembarking, Spanish-American War; Eisenhower/Kennedy/LBJ plead for race equality

(300')
Box 1
Reel 11, 16 mm positive print

Duke Ellington and his Symphony in Black

(350')
Box 1
Reel 12, 16 mm positive print

Uncle Tom's Cabin (Edison)

(500')
Box 2
Reel 13, 16 mm positive print

St. Louis Blues

(600')
Box 2
Reel 14, 16 mm positive print

Jesse Owens Footage; Signal Corps; Unidentified speaker with several takes; Living conditions ­ Great Depression, l930s

(550')
Box 2
Reel 15, 16 mm positive print

Students at Booker T. Washington Institute; WWII: Tuskegee Airmen

(150')
Box 2
Reel 16, 16 mm positive print

Various Scenes from New York City: Military Procession; Arrival of Immigrants, Ellis Island; Panorama from the Times Building, NYC: Sorting Refuse at an incinerating plant, NYC; Union Iron Works; Harlem Street Scenes; Elevated Railroad, NYC; Bargain day, 14th St.; Dick Croker leaving Tammany Hall; Cardinal Gibbons.

(600')
Box 2
Reel 17, 16 mm positive print

Ethnic Films:The Black Hand (Biograph); Romance of a Jewess (Or A Jewish Tragedy) (Biograph); The Heathen Chinese and the Sunday School Teacher (Biograph); Cohen's Fire Sale; Alfonse and Gaston Helping an Irishman

(800')
Box 2
Reel 18, 16 mm positive print

His Trust and His Trust Fulfilled

(800')
Box 2
Reel 19, 16 mm positive print

"Soundies": Ellington, Fats Waller, Wingy Manone, Jimmy Rushing, Count Basie, Satchmo

(900')
Box 2
Reel 20, 16 mm positive print

Sunday on the River

(1200')
Box 2
Reel 21, 16 mm positive print

Mr. Blabbermouth

(700')
Box 3
Reel 22, 16 mm positive print

Misc. Seventies TV commercials

(50')
Box 3
Reel 23, 16 mm positive print

Misc. Seventies TV commercials

(1300')
Reel 23
Reel 24, 16 mm positive print

The Negro Soldier

(1400')
Reel 24
Reel 25, 16 mm positive print

Black Shadows on a Silver Screen

(1700')
Reel 25
Reel 26, 8mm

A Natural Born Gambler

(length unknown)
Box 3
Reel 27, 16 mm positive print

Spying the Spy (l9l9) - silent

(350')
Box 3
Reel 28, 16 mm positive print

Thurgood Marshall joining the Supreme Court (newsreel); Selma - Montgomery March (Universal Newsreel); LBJ speech

(50')
Box 3
Reel 29, 16 mm positive print

Sidney Poiter accepts Oscar; Negro Youth Administration footage, l930s

(200')
Box 3
Reel 30, 16 mm positive print

LBJ greets troops; News in Brief ­ Social Security; Black troops, Korean War

(150')
Box 3
Reel 31, 16 mm positive print

City Scenes: New York City scenes, circa l900; Star theater; NY skyscrapers from North River; 1st Avenue - Seattle, Washington; San Francisco from balloon; Battery Park, NY; Cotton spinning

(300')
Box 3
Reel 32, 16 mm positive print

Paisan - The Black Story

(400')
Box 3
Reel 33, 16 mm positive print

Watermelon Contest, Gator and the Picka-ninnie, A Bucket of Cream Ale, silent

(200')
Box 3
Reel 34, 16 mm positive print

Open the Door, Richard, with Lincoln Perry ("Stepin Fetchit")

(350')
Box 3
Reel 35, 16 mm positive print

Panorama, Union Square, San Francisco; Cardinal Gibbons; Cake Walk; Cavalry Troops; NY Street Scene; Gesture Fight on Hester Street (Part 1)

(250')
Box 3
Reel 36, 16 mm positive print

Panorama, Union Square, San Francisco; Cardinal Gibbons; Cake Walk; Cavalry Troops; NY Street Scene; Gesture Fight on Hester Street (Part 2)

(150')
Box 3
Reel 37, 16 mm positive print

The Fights of Nations, silent

(300')
Box 3
Reel 38, 16 mm positive print

Rhapsody in Black and Blue with Louis Armstrong (Satchmo), directed by Aubrey Scotto

(350')
Box 3
Reel 39, 16 mm positive print

Buck Dance, Broken Doll, silent

(500')
Box 3
Reel 40, 16 mm positive print

(unfinished) Spying the Spy,

(300')
Box 3

An extensive set of files related to television programming, publicity, and teaching material generated from Cripps's position at Morgan State. Series includes lesson plans, notes, and list of accompanying images for a variety of class topics based on African American history such as "Blacks and the Presidency," "From Colonization to Nationalism," "Latin American Comparisons," and "Jazz Tradition." Some files cover a short film script Cripps wrote for Anacostia Museum concerning 1920s Black Renaissance and film, Maryland Committee for the Humanities materials, and course exams and notes for "The Social History of American Broadcasting" course at MSU. All relevant information is listed in folders marked "Group W, referring to the television news company, Westinghouse, which refers to their series of television networks in major cities as "Group W."

A large component of the series relates to a television program Cripps hosted in the 1970s, The 'Negro' In United States History, an educational series for the general public created through the collaboration of several instructors. It was broadcast Saturday and Sunday mornings. The in-class lecture ran every Saturday from 11:00am-1:00pm for those registered. Cripps offered the syllabus for free upon request for interested, unregistered viewers. The audience who wrote in came from many segments of the community, included the incarcerated. The primary text for this book was John Hope Franklin's From Slavery to Freedom.

Included in the "Fan Mail" folder is a 1975 letter from Roosevelt Drummond. Drummond was convicted on charges stemming from robbery and drug dealing during his youth. In prison, he became a member of the Black Guerilla Family (BGF), a national gang founded by Soledad Brother George Jackson. During his time in prison, Drummond made a number of escape attempts, which he references in the letter to Cripps. In 2009, he was indicted alongside other BGF members and prison officials for drug conspiracy. Drummond made a final escape just prior to the indictment and has been a federal fugitive since.

Original titles have been retained. Boxes designated "RS" are larger record storage cartons.

Series is closed pending processing.

American Cinema telecourse
Box MSU 1
Photo stills
Box MSU 1
Baltimore TV
Box MSU 1
North Star
Box MSU 2
NEH Black Baltimore proposal
Box MSU 2
Programs and proposals, 1974-1975
Box MSU 3
Black Baltimore
Box MSU 4
Group W.
Box MSU 5
Proposals
Box MSU 5
Group W.
Box MSU 6
History of Broadcasting course
Box MSU 6
Budget
Box MSU 7
Memos
Box MSU 7
Mail
Box MSU 7
Publicity
Box MSU 8
Permissions
Box MSU 8
Scripts
Box MSU 8
"Negro in the U.S."
Box MSU 8
Anacostia Museum
Box MSU 9
Maryland Commission for Humanities
Box MSU 9
Public broadcasting
Box MSU 9
Programs on African Americans (TV)

These last two boxes included this description by Cripps: "This box constitutes a Morgan movement toward affecting TV racially at its source - the studio and the booth. Professors Dates (now Dean of the [?] School at Howard) and Cripps (now Distinguished Professor Emeritus) together and separately developed, hosted, wrote, consulted on almost 2 decades of TV in concert with Post-Newsweek, WJZ, WBAL, many other projects or consultants - this at a crucial moment from 1963-1976."

Box MSU 10-MSU 11
History dept., etc.
Box MSU 12
Teaching correspondence (including re: grades)
Box MSU 12
Dept. business
Box MSU 13
Graduate committee
Box MSU 13
Faculty recruitment
Box MSU 13
Ph.D. Program, 1977-1991
Box MSU 14
History Dept. restructuring
Box MSU 14
Teacher evaluations
Box MSU 15
Salary
Box MSU 15
Social studies evaluations
Box MSU 15
Programming (TV)
Box MSU 16
Lawsuit against Cripps and others, re: public broadcasting, 1974-1975
Box MSU 17
Course development (including Harvard)
Box MSU 18 (RS)
Conferences
Box MSU 18 (RS)
Professional organizations (fellowships, awards)
Box MSU 18 (RS)
TV
Box MSU 19 (RS)
Career experiences - trips, nominations, reference requests
Box MSU 19 (RS)
Correspondence
Box MSU 19 (RS)
Publicity
Box MSU 19 (RS)
Teaching materials
Box MSU 19 (RS)
Publicity
Box MSU 20 (RS)
Fellowships
Box MSU 20 (RS)
Teaching appointments
Box MSU 20 (RS)
Contracts
Box MSU 20 (RS)
Broadcasting
Box MSU 20 (RS)
Employee materials
Box MSU 20 (RS)

Contains an assortment of uncategorized working files, chiefly concerning grant proposals, teaching positions, Cripps's own coursework as a student, and a series of audiovisual recordings. Larger record storage cartons are designated "RS."

[Original audiovisual materials are closed to use. Use of these materials may require production of listening or viewing copies. Please contact a reference archivist before coming to use this collection.]

Pedagogical files

Cripps's schoolwork, and courses taught by Cripps at MSU.

Box P1-P4
Clippings (some grant proposals)
Box P4-P6
Grant proposals

Foldered by proposal and labeled with the name of the funding source and the project for which funding was solicited.

Box P7-P9
Johns Hopkins University
Box P10 (RS)
CD Project
Box P10 (RS)
Harvard visiting appointment
Box P10 (RS)
Audiocassette tapes and slides
Box P11 (RS)
Notecards (belongs with DS series)
Box P12 (RS)
VHS cassette recording
Box P12 (RS)
Reel-to-reel recordings
Box P12 (RS)

Consists of hundreds of black and white publicity stills and other images collected by Thomas Cripps over many years, taken from films featuring African American actors or African American producers and directors from the silent film era through the 1970s. Almost all derive from American-made films, but there is also a large group of stills originating from British films. One significant group contains images from pioneer African American director Oscar Micheaux's movies. Titles refer either to individual films, or to broad subjects.

To improve housing, contents of original envelopes have been refoldered, but Cripps's content lists which provide fuller descriptive access to individual images have been photocopied and placed in each folder with its corresponding group of stills. A few folders include other film publicity or correspondence. Arranged as received, in alphabetical order by film title or topical heading. Original folder titles retained. Dates added by staff are in brackets.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1960
Box ST1
All About Eve, 1950
Box ST1
Battle of Algiers, 1968
Box ST1
Birth of a Nation, 1915
Box ST1
Black Like Me, [1964]
Box ST1
Born to Sing, 1942
Box ST1
The Breaking Point, 1950; To Have, to Have Not, [1944]
Box ST1
Bright Road, 1953
Box ST1
A Bucket of Cream Ale, 1904
Box ST1
Burning Cross, [1947]
Box ST1
Cabin in the Sky, 1943
(2 folders)
Box ST1
The Cardinal, 1963
Box ST1
Carib Gold, [1957]
Box ST1
Carmen Jones, 1955
Box ST1
Casablanca, [1942]
Box ST1
Ciné Club Nine, undated
Box ST1
The Color Purple, [1985]
Box ST1
The Cool World, 1964
Box ST1
The Cosby Show, 1984
Box ST1
Defiant Ones, 1958
Box ST1
Demetrius and the Gladiators, [1954]
Box ST1
Detective Story, [1951]
Box ST1
Dutchman, 1967
Box ST1
Edge of the City, [1957]
Box ST1
Emperor Jones, 1933
Box ST1
Glory Alley, 1947
Box ST1
The Gorgeous Hussy, 1936
Box ST1
The Great White Hope, 1969
Box ST1
Green Pastures, [1936]
Box ST1
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?, 1967
Box ST1
Hallelujah!, 1929
Box ST1
Hallelujah-Hearts in Dixie, [1929]
Box ST1
Hearts and Flags, 1911
Box ST1
His Trust and His Trust Fulfilled, 1911
Box ST1
Home of the Brave, 1949
Box ST1
Hot From Harlem (stage), Goin' to Town (stage), The Big Broadcast of 1935
Box ST1
Imitation of Life, 1959
Box ST1
The Interns, 1962; The New Interns, 1964
Box ST1
Intruder in the Dust, [1949]
Box ST2
Island in the Sun, 1957
Box ST2
I Spy, 1965
Box ST2
It Happened in Springfield, [1945]
Box ST2
Jim Comes to Jo'burg, 1949
Box ST2
Joanna, 1968
(2 folders)
Box ST2
The Joe Louis Story, 1953
Box ST2
Jungle Drums of America (12-episode serial), 1953
Box ST2
Key Largo, 1947
Box ST2
Lilies of the Field, 1963
Box ST2
Lost Boundaries, [1949]
Box ST2
Lydia Bailey, 1952
Box ST2
The Magic Garden, undated
Box ST2
The Maltese Falcon, 1941
Box ST2
Marie Antoinette, [1938]
Box ST2
Mark of the Hawk, 1957
Box ST2
A Member of the Wedding, [1952]
Box ST2
Moan and Groan [1929]
Box ST2
Moonrise, circa 1948
Box ST2
Native Son, [1951]
Box ST2
The Negro Soldier, [1944]
Box ST2
Network, 1976
Box ST2
Nothing But A Man, 1960
Box ST2
No Way Out, 1950
Box ST2
Odds Against Tomorrow, 1959
Box ST2
Our Daily Bread, 1933
Box ST2
Panther Girl of the Kongo, 1955
Box ST2
The Pawnbroker, 1965
Box ST2
Pinky, 1949
Box ST2
Porgy and Bess, 1959
Box ST2
Potash and Perlmutter, 1923
Box ST2
Proud Valley, [1940]
Box ST2
The Quiet One, [1948]
Box ST2
A Raisin in the Sun, 1960
Box ST2
Real Glory, [1939]
Box ST2
Sergeant Rutledge, [1960]
Box ST2
The Set Up, 1949
Box ST2
Shaft, 1971-1972
Box ST3
Shock Corridor, [1963]
Box ST3
Simba, [1955]
Box ST3
Song of Freedom, [1936]
Box ST3
Song of the South, 1944
Box ST3
So Red the Rose, [1935]
Box ST3
Sounder, 1972
Box ST3
Sounder/Learning Tree, [1969-1972]
Box ST3
Stars in My Crown, 1950
Box ST3
St. Louis Blues, 1957
Box ST3
Stormy Weather, 1943
Box ST3
Sundown, [1941]
Box ST3
Sweetback, 1970
Box ST3
Take a Giant Step, 1959
Box ST3
Thermidor, Gentleman's Agreement, etc., undated
Box ST3
Topsy and Eva, 1928
Box ST3
Trader Horn, 1929
Box ST3
To Live In Peace [1947; TV version, 1951]
Box ST3
Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1902
Box ST3
Watermelon Man, 1970
Box ST3
Way Down South, [1939]
Box ST3
The Well, 1951
Box ST3
The World, The Flesh, and The Devil, 1958
(2 folders)
Box ST3
Young Man with a Horn, 1950
Box ST3
The Young One (Great Britain title: Island of Shame), 1960
Box ST3
Youth Will be Served, 1940
Box ST3

Consists of folders arranged in alphabetical order according to topic. Original titles have been retained.

1930s Deviant Pix: Moulin Rouge, undated
Box ST4
1930s Deviant Pix: Abes's Irish Rose, 1946
Box ST4
1930s Deviant Pix: Jazz Singer, undated
Box ST4
1930s Deviant Pix: The Golem, 1921
Box ST4
1930s Deviant Pix: America, America [1963]
Box ST4
1930s Deviant Pix: The Last Hurrah [1958]
Box ST4
1930s Deviant Pix: Humoresque, 1947
Box ST4
1930s Deviant Pix: Sherlock Holmes and Nazis?, 1941
Box ST4
1930s Deviant Pix: Man They Could Not Hang [1939]
Box ST4
1930s Deviant Pix: Ride The Pink Horse, 1947
Box ST4
1930s Deviant Pix: Ride Vaquero, 1953
Box ST4
1930s Deviant Pix: Sweet Rosie O'Grady [1926 or 1943?]
Box ST4
1930s Deviant Pix: Straedy Company (or Cobble Stones), 1932
Box ST4
1930s Deviant Pix: Potash and Perlmutter, 1923
Box ST4
1940s Conventional Themes and Roles
(2 folders)
Box ST4
1945-1949 Pre-Message Movie Intimations
Box ST4
1960s Pre + Blaxploitation Pix
(2 folders)
Box ST4
Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, 1940-1945
Box ST4
Austin, Texas stills, "The Conquering Horde," [1931], 1930s and 1800s

Includes photo reproductions of 19th century images of Austin, and images of movie street sets.

Box ST4
Black Athletes: Jack Johnson, undated
Box ST4
Black Athletes: Easy Living, 1949
Box ST4
Black Athletes: This is the Army, 1943
Box ST4
Black Athletes: Kenny Washington, undated
Box ST4
Black Athletes: None But The Brave, 1965
Box ST4
Black Athletes: The Fiercest Heart, 1961
Box ST4
Black Athletes: Satchel Paige on Rutledge Set
Box ST4
Black Performers as Selves, 1930-1965
Box ST4
Blackface Cycle, Post Sound, 1930
Box ST4
Blackface Roles and Routines, 1920-1950s and undated
Box ST4
Blaxploitation, 1953-1970
Box ST4
Blaxploitation Misc., 1967-1981
Box ST4
Blaxploitation Misc. TV, 1973 and undated
Box ST4
(Pre) Blaxploitation Misc., undated

[Oversize film "While Thousands Cheer" poster with Kenny Washington removed to Ovsz. Box 136.]

Box ST4
Blaxploitation Pix, 1960-1972
(2 folders)
Box ST4
Blaxploitation-Post, 1977-1989
Box ST4
Bojangles As Butler, 1935-1936
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Orfeo Negro, 1959
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Tamango, 1959
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Flame in the Streets, 1961
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Pennywhistles Blues [1952]
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Cairo, 1960s
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Sapphire, 1959
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Sea Wyf [Sea Wife, 1957?]
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Dingaka, 1965
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Stanley Baker, undated
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Woman of Straw [1964]
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Men of Two Worlds [1946]
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Calvert and Adams, undated
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Guns at Batasi [1964]
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Young and Willing [1943?]
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Voice of the Hurricane [1964?]
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Sanders, 1935
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Simba, 1955
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Zulu [1964]
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: The Outcast of the Islands [1952]
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Rhodes of Africa, 1938
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Jew Suss, 1935
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Tiger Bay, 1934
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Proud Valley, 1940
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Timbucktoo, 1937
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Men of Two Worlds, 1946
Box ST4
British Overseas Productions: Guns at Batasi [1964]
Box ST4
Brown, Jim, 1960s-1970s, undated
Box ST4
Dandridge, Dorothy, undated
Box ST4
Documentary Style, 1926-1972 and undated
Box ST4
Ethnix Misc., 1928-1958 and undated
Box ST4
European Ethnic and Immigrant Groups, 1920s-1960s
Box ST4
Exotic Primitives, 1929-1968
Box ST4
Exotic Primitives, 1929-1968
Box ST5
Exotic Primitives (Polynesian), 1941-1954
Box ST5
Stepin Fetchit, 1931 and undated
Box ST5
Foreign, undated
Box ST5
Foreign: Anna's Sin, Respectful Prostitute, John Kutznulter, 1961 and undated
Box ST5
Foreign-British, 1949 and undated
Box ST5
Foreign Non-British Productions, 1920s-1970s
Box ST5
FSA-LC, undated
Box ST5
Harlem Globetrotters, 1953-1954
Box ST5
Harlem ('scape), undated
Box ST5
Hollywood Views (special collections, UCLA), undated
Box ST5
Indians, 1930s-1959
Box ST5
Indians I, undated
Box ST5
Indians I: Van Peebles, et al., 1970s
Box ST5
Integrationism, mid-1960s
Box ST5
Jungle Pix, 1930
Box ST5
Kung Fu Movies, 1973
Box ST5
Lincoln Porters, 1918-1921
Box ST5
Lincoln Motion Picture Co., undated
Box ST5
Maids and Feminine Vieux Ficelles, 1920s-1961
Box ST5
Mantan Moreland, 1940s
Box ST5
Maps, Cartouches, 1971-1976 and undated
Box ST5
Hattie McDaniel, 1939 and undated
Box ST5
Message Movies: Bright Victory (or Lights Out), 1951
Box ST5
Message Movies: Stars In My Crown, 1950
Box ST5
Message Movies: Home of the Brave, 1949
Box ST5
Message Movies: The Intruder [1962]
Box ST5
Message Movies: Lost Boundaries, 1949
Box ST5
Message Movies: Detective Story, 1951
Box ST5
Message Movies: Intruder [1962]
Box ST5
Message Movies: Five, 1951
Box ST5
Messpix, undated
Box ST5
Oscar Micheaux Films: Wages of Sin [1929]
Box ST5
Oscar Micheaux Films: Temptation, 1928
Box ST5
Oscar Micheaux Films: Chorus Line, Temptation, 1928
Box ST5
Oscar Micheaux Films: Underworld [1937]
Box ST5
Oscar Micheaux Films: When Men Betray, 1925
Box ST5
Oscar Micheaux Films: Black King, 1931-1932
Box ST5
Oscar Micheaux Films: Unknown Title with Charlie Moore and Ethel Moses, 1929
Box ST5
Oscar Micheaux Films: Easy Street, 1931
Box ST5
Oscar Micheaux Films: Daughter of the Congo, 1927
Box ST5
Oscar Micheaux Films: Unknown Title with Pearl McCormick and Rex Ingram, 1920s
Box ST5
Oscar Micheaux Films: Millionaire, 1928
Box ST5
Oscar Micheaux Films: The Notorious Elinor Lee [1940]
Box ST5
Oscar Micheaux Films: Harlem After Midnight [1934]
Box ST5
Muse, Misc., 1933 and undated
Box ST5
Musicals: Pre-War, 1920s-1930s
Box ST5
Of Orientals, 1917-1961 and undated
(2 folders)
Box ST5
Orioles-Ruth, undated
Box ST5
Oxford, Volumes I, Ia (foreign): Vanishing Virginian [1942]
Box ST5
Oxford: Four Jacks and a Jill, 1941
Box ST5
Oxford: Belle Starr, 1940
Box ST5
Oxford: Ziegfeld Follies, 1944-1946
Box ST5
Oxford: Oxford: Margie, 1947
Box ST5
Oxford: Duel in the Sun, 1946
Box ST5
Oxford: Texas, 1940
Box ST5
Oxford: Johnny Come Lately, 1947
Box ST5
Oxford: Panama Hattie, 1942
Box ST5
Oxford: Free For All, 1949
Box ST5
Oxford: Dakota, 1946
Box ST5
Oxford: My Brother Talks to Horses, 1947
Box ST5
Oxford: The Music Goes Round [1936?]
Box ST5
Oxford: Three Stooges, 1940s
Box ST5
Oxford: Heaven Can Wait, 1943
Box ST5
Oxford: Major and the Minor, 1942
Box ST5
Oxford: They Won't Believe Me, 1947
Box ST5
Oxford: Duffy's Tavern, 1945
Box ST5
Oxford: Monsieur Beaucaire, 1946
Box ST5
Oxford: Gas House Kids, circa 1950
Box ST5
Oxford: Born to Kill, 1946
Box ST5
Oxford: High Barbaree, 1947
Box ST5
Oxford: Senator Was Indiscreet, 1947
Box ST5
Oxford: Cairo, 1940s
Box ST5
Oxford: Secret of Dr. Kildare [1939]
Box ST5
Oxford: Ghost Breakers, 1940
Box ST5
Oxford: Gorgeous Hussy [1936]
Box ST5
Oxford, Volumes Ib-Ic (foreign), 1930s-1940s
(5 folders)
Box ST6
Personality, 1940 and undated
Box ST6
Poitier, Sidney, 1954-1971
Box ST6
Production Crew Shots, 1929-1973 and undated
(2 folders)
Box ST6
Publicity One-Shots: Movies A-M
(4 folders)
Box ST6
Publicity One-Shots: Movies N-Z
(2 folders)
Box ST6
Publicity One-Shots: Performing
(5 folders)
Box ST6
Publicity One-Shots: Unknown titles
(2 folders)
Box ST6
Racemovies-Micheaux, 1926 and undated
Box ST7
Race Movie Poster Proofs Micheaux plus Lincoln Stills, 1931 and undated
Box ST7
Race Movies-Sound, undated
Box ST7
Race Pix-New 1990s, 1930s-1950s
Box ST7
Race Pix (Reinkens Films), undated

Includes two negative slides and letter to Thomas Cripps from Sharon Reinkens.

Box ST7
Sammy Davis Jr., 1950s-1960s
Box ST7
Silent, undated
Box ST7
Silent Pix: A Colored Girl's Love, 1915
Box ST7
Silent Pix: Daughter of Mine, Goldwyn [1919]
Box ST7
Silent Pix: Peter Pan [1924?]
Box ST7
Silent Pix: Smith Baby's Birthday [also known as Baby's Birthday, 1929]
Box ST7
Silent Pix: Lady Rose's Daughter, 1920
Box ST7
Silent Pix: Little Old NY, 1923
Box ST7
Silent Pix: Black Wife (?), 192-
Box ST7
Silent Pix: Smith's Rodeo, undated
Box ST7
Silent Pix: Señor Jim [1936]
Box ST7
Silent Pix: What's Your Husband Doing? [1920]
Box ST7
Silent Pix: Kentucky Colonel [1920]
Box ST7
Silent Pix: Kentucky Derby [1922?]
Box ST7
Silent Pix: The Blind Goddess [1948]
Box ST7
Silent Pix: Day of Faith [1923]
Box ST7
Silent Pix: Al's Troubles [1926]
Box ST7
Silent Pix: His Trust, 1911
Box ST7
Silent Pix: The Perfect Clown [1925]
Box ST7
Silent Pix: Seven Chances, 1925
Box ST7
Silent Pix: Fable of the Galumptious Girl [1915]
Box ST7
Silent Pix: Swim Princess [1928]
Box ST7
Streetscapes, Crowds, Theaters, Termin., 1940s and undated
Box ST7
Thorpe, Jim, undated
Box ST7
Token Integrationism, 1950s
(2 folders)
Box ST7
Trainers and racetracks, 1945 and undated
Box ST7
Unidentified films, undated
(5 folders)
Box ST7
Unidentified stills, undated
Box ST7
Van Peebles, undated
Box ST7
Vietnam news shots [1960s-1970s?]
Box ST7
Wartime message movies, 1940-1945
Box ST7

Various files found with the still photographs, related to Cripps's research. Also includes a few unidentified negatives. Original titles have been retained.

Clippings, media, etc., 1930s-1951 and undated
Box ST8
Graphics - related to race, 1975-1976
Box ST8
Negatives, undated
Box ST8

Assembled and maintained by Cripps in the course of his research, these files typically contain clippings, articles, images, some correspondence, original manuscripts collected by Cripps, and drafts of writings by Cripps. Selected subgroupings are described more fully below. The boxes marked "TV" found throughout are foldered by sub-topic and arranged in alphabetical order; major topics Cripps researched include black broadcasters, television dramas, and individual television shows (such as Roots, Julia, etc.) Original titles have been retained. Arranged in original order as received and minimally processed. Larger record storage cartons are designated as "RS."

Series is closed pending processing.

Nazi Olympics (1936), research

Clippings and photocopies of articles, newspapers, and notes from Cripps's research on the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Subjects covered include the Nazi Party, anti-semitism, racism, Jesse Owens, modernism, German politics and culture, art and architecture, and Olympic themes and history. The culmination of this research appears to be Cripps's unpublished article, The Arts Competition of the Berlin Olympics of 1936. These drafts are available in the Drafts and Proofs series.

Box SF1-SF15
World War II research (pre-war and post-war years), 1971-1991 and undated

Predominately undated. Contents consist chiefly of a considerable amount of research on the NAACP split in Los Angeles; a Negro Soldiers Training Manual, post-WWII, with racist content; and large amounts of clippings used in Cripps's research. There little material on films. More than a folder worth of articles on the 1979 television series Holocaust. opics are organized alphabetically.

Box SF16-SF 22
Race films, 1928-2009 and undated

Includes a folder of fan letters to James Lowe (Title character in Uncle Tom's Cabin) from across the globe. Also, a folder of materials sent from Jimmie Smith (Lowe's manager and publicist) pulled from his personal scrapbook. Scrapbook pages include press photographs, newspaper articles, Lowe and Smith's 1928 tax forms, and other memorabilia.

Box SF23-SF27
Animation, 1940s-1960s
Box SF28
Various research files
Box SF28
World War II
Box SF29
Spike Lee
Box SF30
Sidney Poitier
Box SF30
NAACP in Hollywood
Box SF31
Thermidor, 1945-1950
Box SF31
Message Pictures
Box SF31
Black culture
Box SF32
Blacklist
Box SF33
World War II
Box SF33
National film society movement
Box SF33
Councils, foundations, etc.
Box SF33
Short articles
Box SF33
Birth of a Nation
Box SF34
Other films
Box SF34
Documentaries
Box SF35
Blaxploitation (films)
Box SF36-SF39
Miscellaneous
Box SF40
Film clippings
Box SF40
African American films
Box SF41
Sidney Poitier
Box SF41
Black culture
Box SF42
Ethnics
Box SF43
Depression
Box SF44
Films
Box SF44
TV, 1967-1980 and undated
Box SF45-SF47
TV (A-Z)
Box SF48-SF51
Visual sources/theory (A-W)
Box SF52-SF55
Visual sources/theory (A-C)
Box SF56-58
African Americans in film (A-C)
Box SF59-SF62
Film history
Box SF62-SF68
"Current Topics"
Box SF69-SF71
Research materials on African American topics (indexes, catalogs, inventories), A-Z
Box SF72
World War II
Box SF73
Nazi Olympics
Box SF73
Film Society movement
Box SF73
African film by Africans
Box SF73
Message Pictures
Box SF74 (RS)
Race films
Box SF74 (RS)
TV
Box SF74 (RS)
Silents
Box SF74 (RS)
Blaxploitation-v. Peebles era
Box SF74 (RS)
Film Society Era
Box SF75 (RS)
Newspaper clippings
Box SF75 (RS)
Film stills
Box SF75 (RS)
World War II
Box SF75 (RS)
Black culture
Box SF75 (RS)
Hollywood
Box SF75 (RS)
Current politics
Box SF75 (RS)
TV
Box SF76 (RS)
Silent film
Box SF77 (RS)
Depression Era
Box SF77 (RS)
Postwar Era
Box SF77 (RS)
Some correspondence
Box SF77 (RS)
Cassette tapes
Box SF77 (RS)
Slides
Box SF77 (RS)
Blacks in early sound
Box SF78 (RS)
Crossover (items on films, e.g. Sounder)
Box SF78 (RS)
Richard Grupenbott - oral history race pix
Box SF78 (RS)
Still pictures
Box SF78 (RS)
Black culture
Box SF78 (RS)
World War II
Box SF78 (RS)
Sidney Poitier
Box SF78 (RS)
Film Society
Box SF78 (RS)
Paul Robeson TV Project
Box SF78 (RS)
University Publications of America
Box SF78 (RS)

Contains drafts, proofs, and supporting files for Cripps's many writing projects and publications, centering around his research on representations of African American in American popular culture, especially his two-volume work on film, Slow Fade to Black and Making Movies Black, 1993. Some materials relate to The Green Pastures, a guide to the black folk film classic (1936) of the same name, edited by Cripps and Tino Balio and published in 1979. Other writings represented in the files include the essay The Negro Soldier (1944): Film Propaganda in Black and White written with David Culbert; and the book Hollywood's High Noon, regarding the formation of Hollywood in the years before television. Original folder titles have been retained; arranged in original order as received. Larger record storage cartons are marked as "RS."

Enter Restrictions Note

Making Movies Black
Box W1-W8
Slow Fade to Black
Box W9-W13
Making Movies Black and Hollywood High Noon, photographs
Box W14
Miscellaneous writing drafts
Box W14
Hollywood High Noon
Box W15-W16
Miscellaneous
Box W17
The Arts Competition of the Berlin Olympics of 1936, drafts
Box W18
Miscellaneous
Box W18
Miscellaneous
Box W19
Negro Soldier and Green Pastures, 1979 and undated
Box W20-W22
Speeches
Box W23
Hollywood High Noon
Box W24-W27
Hollywood High Noon
Box W28 (RS)
Miscellaneous short papers
Box W28 (RS)
Copyright/fair use materials
Box W28 (RS)
Miscellaneous writings and rewrites
Box W29 (RS)

Historical Note

Thomas Cripps is a historian specializing in the portrayal of African Americans in film, and is a retired faculty member of Morgan State University. He has written five books, including Slow Fade to Black: The Negro in American Film, 1900-1942 (Oxford, 1997), as well as many articles and television scripts. In addition, Cripps has contributed to the production of several television series such as American Cinema, Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream, and Richard Wright: Black Boy. Cripps was awarded gold medals in international film festivals for his 1976 script, Black Shadows on a Silver Screen.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Thomas Cripps Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Provenance

The Thomas Cripps papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 2003 and 2011.

Processing Information

Processed by Karen Glynn, Meghan Lyon, Carrie Mills, Katy Terrell, Winnie Tichner, and Matthew Warren, February 2009 and November 2011

Encoded by Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, Katy Terrell, and Matthew Warren, February 2009 and November 2011

Updated by Neale Stokes, April 2010

Accessions 2003-0098, 2011-0125, and 2011-0138 are described in this finding aid.

The films and movie stills have been fully processed and are open for use; the manuscripts portion is closed pending updated housing and description.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.