Guide to the Gordon Blaine Hancock Papers, 1928-1970

Collection Overview

The papers of Gordon Blaine Hancock, clergyman, journalist, educator, and civil rights spokesman, span the years 1928-1970, and include five series: Correspondence; Southern Regional Council; Clippings/Writings; Miscellany; and Photographs. The collection relates primarily to Hancock's efforts to increase opportunities for Blacks.

Among those efforts was a course he organized on race relations at Virginia Union University in 1922, which is believed to have been the first course of its kind in America. In the 1930's and 1940's, Hancock became an outspoken leader in the struggle for racial equality, speaking at over 40 black and white colleges and universities. He launched a one-man crusade under his "double-duty dollar" philosophy in 1933, contending that blacks should create an economy within their own communities, thereby providing jobs and better economic opportunities. In 1942, with P. B. Young, editor of the Norfolk Journal and Guide and black historian Luther P. Jackson of Virginia State College, he helped organize the Southern Conference on Race Relations. The conference was held in Durham, N.C., Oct. 10, 1942, and brought together black leaders from across the South. As a result of the conference, the group issued the "Durham Manifesto" in which they set forth the "articles of cooperation." The articles stated what blacks wanted and expected from the post war South and from the nation in the areas of political and civil rights, employment, education, agriculture, military service, and social welfare and health.

The Southern Regional Council series provides several references to this conference and to two that followed in Atlanta, Ga. and Richmond, Va. in 1943. Included is information about the conferences' early leaders and printed information issued as a result of the conferences. The series also contains correspondence and background information about the origins of the Council, and its relationship to the conferences, and to its predecessor organization, the Commission on Interracial Cooperation. Correspondents include P. B. Young, James E. Shepard, Benjamin E. Mays, Guy B. Johnson, Howard W. Odum, Jessie Daniel Ames, and Virginius Dabney.

The Writings/Clippings Series forms the bulk of the collection and consists primarily of photocopied newsclippings from Hancock's weekly syndicated news column "Between the Lines," which he wrote for the Associated Negro Press from 1928 to 1965. The column appeared in 114 black newspapers throughout the United States. The articles chiefly articulate the concerns of blacks in American society in the areas of politics, desegregation, economics, and black leadership, though a few relate to broader social and political issues. This series also contains poems, songs, and music composed by Hancock.

The few letters in the Correspondence Series, primarily relate to voting registration irregularities in Northampton County, N.C., and to Hancock's efforts to further social and economic justice for blacks.

The Miscellany Series includes writings and newsclippings about Hancock, a few written after his death; a statement reciting the history of the Richmond Urban League; a biographical sketch of P. B. Young; news columns by Luther P. Jackson; a few of Hancock's sermons and sermon notes; information relating to the history of Moore Street Baptist Church, where Hancock served as minister (1925-1963); and a few other papers. The Photograph series consists chiefly of two packets of souvenir photographs from Versailles, Vienna, and Berlin.

Descriptive Summary

Gordon Blaine Hancock papers 1928-1970
Hancock, Gordon Blaine, 1884-1970
0.8 Linear Feet, 525 Items
Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

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Collection is open for research.

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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 status of copyright interests in these papers is unknown. For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Letters relating to Hancock's work in the field of civil rights. Arranged chronologically.

Correspondence, 1929-1969
Box 1

Correspondence, printed material, reports, and minutes, concerning the Council's origins and its relationship with the Southern Conference on Race Relations held in Durham, N.C., in1942, and its predecessor organization, the Commission on Interracial Cooperation. Arranged chronologically.

Southern Regional Council materials
Box 1

Chiefly photocopies of Hancock's syndicated news column, "Between the Lines." Also a few poems, songs, and music composed by Hancock. Arranged chiefly by topic.

Black Leadership
Box 1
Box 1
Box 1
Box 1
Race Relations
Box 1
Box 1
War, Cold War, Peace
Box 2
Warnings to Blacks
Box 2
(3 folders)
Box 2

Divided into two sub-series Other Writings and Religion. Other Writings, 1937-1970 and undated includes newsclippings, printed material, and other papers about Hancock, P. B. Young, Luther P. Jackson, and the Richmond Urban League. Religion, 1933 and undated includes sermons, sermon notes, and a history of Moore Street Baptist Church. Arranged chronologically within each series.

Other Writings, 1937-1970
Box 2
Box 2

Chiefly souvenir photographs of Europe.

Box 2

Historical Note

1884, June 23Born, Ninety-Six, South Carolina.
1911A.B., Benedict College, Columbia, S.C.
1911Married Florence Marie Dickson.
1912B.D., Benedict College, Columbia, S.C.
1912-1918Principal, Seneca Institute, Seneca, S.C.
1919A.B., Colgate University.
1921M.A., Harvard University.
1921-1952Professor of economics and sociology Virginia Union University, Richmond, Va.
1925-1963Pastor, Moore Street Baptist Church, Richmond, Va.
1928-1965Wrote syndicated weekly column for Associated Negro Press, Between the Lines.
1931Organized the Torrance School of Race Relations at Virginia Union University.
1942Helped organize the Southern Conference on Race Relations, held in Durham, N.C.
1944Helped found the Southern Regional Council.
1952LL.D., Benedict College, Columbia, S.C.
1962LL.D., Virginia Union University.
1970, July 24Died, Richmond, Va.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], The Papers of Gordon Blaine Hancock, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.


The papers of Gordon Blaine Hancock, clergyman, educator, journalist, and civil rights spokesman, of Richmond, Va., were acquired by the Rubenstein Library through a gift in 1986.

Processing Information

Processed by: Janie Morris

Completed Sept. 16, 1987

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.