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Guide to the Sam Reed papers, 1973-2001 and undated

Summary

Collection pertains to Reed's political and community activism, the civil rights movement, and race and labor relations issues in the South. Consists of the records of the Durham, N.C. organization founded by Reed, Trumpet of Conscience, and a run of the newsletter of the same name, 1987-2000. Other papers include correspondence, chiefly to Reed; photographs; obituaries, interviews, speeches, and new articles by and about Sam Reed; fliers, invitations, and other items stemming from community events; and awards. Topics covered or touched on by these materials include the history of race relations in Durham, N.C.; Durham politics; activism in North Carolina and Durham; the involvement of Duke University and North Carolina Central students, faculty, and administration in local events; labor issues and unions; and, more generally, human rights issues in the South. A selection of materials from the collection have been digitized and are available in Duke Digital Collections. Acquired by the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.01075
Title
Sam Reed papers
Date
1973-2001 and undated
Creator
Reed, Sam, d. 1999
Extent
2.0 Linear Feet, 3 boxes, Approximately 700 Items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Material in English

Collection Overview

The collection pertains to the life and political activism of Sam Reed of Durham, North Carolina, particularly in connection with the civil rights movement and race and labor relations in the South. The records of the organization founded by Reed, Trumpet of Conscience, include a nearly complete run of the newsletter of the same name, 1987-2000; meeting notes, agendas, and speeches; mission and goal statements; ideas for community events and fund-raising; and financial items, chiefly printing bills for the newsletter. A folder also contains fliers, programs, invitations, and notes on Trumpet of Conscience events, which were held in the Hayti Center, Duke Chapel, and N.C. Mutual Life Insurance offices, among other locations.

Other papers include correspondence to Reed, chiefly relating to the Trumpet of Conscience’s work; obituaries, tributes, interviews, speeches, and news articles, by and about Sam Reed; photographs of Reed and his wife, other activists, supporters, and local politicians, and gatherings; and awards honoring Reed and the organization he founded. An oral history of Sam Reed’s life is present in the form of transcripts from four interviews conducted in 1996-1997.

Topics covered or touched on by these materials include Sam Reed's life as a memeber of a Jewish family who emigrated from the Ukraine; the U.S. Depression and political activism in the U.S.; the history of race relations in Durham, North Carolina; civil rights actions in North Carolina and Durham; Durham politics and politicians; the involvement of Duke University and North Carolina Central students, faculty, and administration in various local events; political action by Durham citizens groups; labor issues and unions; and, more generally, human rights issues in the South.

A selection of materials from the collection have been digitized and are available in Duke Digital Collections. Original audiovisual materials are closed to use; for access, please consult with a reference archivist before coming to use the collection. Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access to the Collection

Collection is open for research.

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

Original audiovisual materials are closed to use. Use of these materials may require production of listening or viewing copies.

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.

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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.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Sam Reed Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Contents of the Collection

Articles collected by Sam Reed, 1973-1999

A small collection of articles and clippings on various subjects, including Durham race relations, labor issues, welfare reform, Native American society, and choosing a Durham school superintendent.

Box 1
Audio recordings, 1997, 2008

Original media is closed to use; listening copies must be made for access to content. Please contact the Rubenstein Library Research Services before coming to use this material.

DVD: speech by Sam Reed for the 12th annual MLK Jr. celebration, 1997 Jan. 17
Box 1
Audiocassette: Sam Reed, Operation Goodwill, WFTK radio, 1997
Box 1
CD-ROM: Trumpet of Conscience interviews; Sam Reed biography; Trumpet of Conscience overview; interview by Lois Deloatch, 2008 June

[Files transferred to library server. Use copy must be made for access.]

Awards and honorary plaques, 1986-2001
Box 3
Awards and proclamations, Durham, 1986-1997
Box 1
Dorothy Brokaw papers, 1990s, 2000

Brokaw, a Durham resident and supporter of the Trumpet of Conscience group, passed along this folder of papers for inclusion in the collection as it was being assembled. Items include Trumpet of Conscience issues (refiled in the collection), articles and clippings on race and labor, notes on a community gathering, and a reprint of a poem about Martin Luther King, Jr.

Box 1
Bill Chafe speech, 1997 April 3

Speech on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., given by Duke University Professor of History William Chafe, in the form of a 51-page draft with edits and annotations.

Box 1
Correspondence, 1997 August 12-1999 June 23 and undated

Chiefly correspondence to Sam Reed containing several responses to Trumpet of Conscience articles, letters from similar organizations, contributions and congratulations, and routine business notes. Also contains two outgoing items written by Reed: a letter to the editor and a note to a staff member.

Box 1
Faith stories: interviews, writing, and artwork from young members of Durham's faith communities, circa 1998

Soft-bound book of interfaith narratives in the form of oral histories of people of different faiths, conducted by thirteen young people in Durham, N.C. Contains an interview with Sam Reed. The Faith Stories project was coordinated by interns at Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies.

Box 1
Interviews of Sam Reed, 1996-1997

A set of typewritten transcripts of four sequential interviews with Sam Reed, where he narrates his life story, beginning with his family's origins in the Ukraine. Other topics include early 20th century Russian history, emigration, the Depression, Reed's family and his brother George Power's activism, Durham, N. C. history, and Reed's political and community activism in Durham. The interviews were conducted by an unknown person in 1996 (no date), then on April 27, May 25, and July 13, 1997.

Box 1
Memorial tribute to Sam Reed, Independent Weekly, Durham, 1999 August (oversize sheet)
Box 3
News article on memorial service for Sam Reed, Durham Herald Sun, 1999 August (oversize sheet)
Box 3
News articles, Sam Reed letters to the editor, 1979-1999 and undated

Consists of articles about Sam Reed and the organization Trumpet of Conscience/Concerned Citizens United. Also includes a few letters to the editor written by Sam Reed.

Box 1
Obituaries and tributes, Sam Reed and family, 1973, 1993, 1999

Chiefly photocopies of Durham Herald-Sun newspaper obituaries for Sam Reed; also includes a poem written in 1993 on the death of Sam Reed's wife Georgia Reed, and a long testimonial for Sam Reed's brother and union activist George Powers, 1973.

Box 1
Photographs, circa 1986-1997 and undated

Consists of black-and-white and color photographs in various sizes and types. Subjects include Sam Reed, his wife, Durham politicians and supporters, and others, including the Ciompi Quartet; events such as protests, gatherings, and a display of Trumpet of Conscience publications. Includes a set of negatives and an index print donated by Dorothy Brokaw, Durham resident and supporter, of a gathering with Sam Reed and others at Durham Technical Communicty College in 1997.

Box 1
Photograph, black-and-white reproduction, portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr. (oversize)
Box 3
Race Relations Task Force (History), Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (ERUUF), 1989-1996 (2015)

An outline of the history of the task force, 1989-1996, assembled in 2015 by Bill Mahony, former member of the task force.

Box 1
Trumpet of Conscience: Event fliers, programs, speeches, and ephemera, 1996-1999 and undated

Fliers advertise events supported or sponsored by Sam Reed and the Trumpet of Conscience; locations included the North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company's offices, the Hayti Center, and the Duke Chapel. Other items include cards with sayings, Sam Reed's business card, pages with notes on an event guest list, and correspondence about related events.

Box 1
Trumpet of Conscience: Banner, undated

Cloth banner, approximately 9 3/4 x 96 inches.

Box 3
Trumpet of Conscience: Goals, agendas, endorsements, 1994-1999 and undated

Folder contains a mix of meeting notes, goals, agendas, and jottings by Sam Reed and others for the Trumpet of Conscience organization. Includes a printed mission statement, notes on the Eno River Festival as a vehicle for fund-raising, and ideas for a retreat and a celebration.

Box 1
Trumpet of Conscience: Mailing list and sponsors, 1994-1997 and undated

Loose sheets and tablets with handwritten and typed lists of newsletter subscribers, supporters, a directory of local progressive organizations, and labor union contacts in Durham and North Carolina.

Box 1
Trumpet of Conscience: Newsletters, 1987-1994
Box 2
Trumpet of Conscience: Newsletters, 1995-2000
Box 2
Trumpet of Conscience: Printers' bills, treasurer's notes, 1995-1999
Box 2
 

Historical Note

Chronology List

Date Event(s)
1906 Aug. 20 Born Sam Pobiersky in a small Jewish village in the Ukraine
1923 Emigrated to the United States with family and settled in Minnesota
1925 Changed last name to Reed in honor of John Reed, author of Ten Days that Shook the World, a history of the Bolshevik Revolution
1973 Moved to Durham, N.C.
1987 Founded the Trumpet of Conscience newsletter and organization
1999 Elected vice-president of the Durham chapter of the NAACP
1999 Aug. 3 Passed away at the age of 93 in Durham, N.C.
2000 April Trumpet of Conscience ceased publication

Related Material


Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.

Provenance

The Sam Reed Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 2009, 2012, and 2016.

Processing Information

Processed by Ted Holt, January 2010, and Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, July 2016.

Accession (s) described in this collection guide: 2009-0270, 2012-0244, 2016-0041.