Guide to the Chuck Stone Papers, 1931-2007 and undated
Charles Sumner (Chuck) Stone is a prominent African-American journalist, with a career spanning from his early days at the New York Age (1958-1959) to his position as editor and columnist at the Philadelphia Daily News (1972-1991). Between 1965 and 1967 he was special assistant and press secretary to New York representative Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. He served as mediator between the police and suspected criminals for over 20 years, most notably in his negotiation of the Graterford Prison hostage crisis in 1981. He is the author of multiple books, from political analyses to a novel about his time with Powell and (in 2003) a children's book. He was also an educator for many years, as Professor of English at the University of Delaware from 1985-1991 and Walter Spearman Professor of Journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill from 1991 to 2005, when he retired. The collection contains clippings, correspondence, writings, scrapbooks, photographs, research files, and printed materials pertaining to the life and career of Chuck Stone. The papers span the years 1931-2007 and document Stone's journalism career and writings, his political career and relationship with Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., and his role as an educator.
- Collection Number
- Chuck Stone papers
- 1931-2007 and undated
- Stone, Chuck
- 36.2 Linear Feet, 18,650 items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Material in English
- Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Congressional Series, 1959-1998 and undated, bulk 1961-1967
- Clippings Series, 1945-2007 and undated
- Correspondence Series, 1961-2005 and undated
- Other Writings Series, 1931-2003 and undated, bulk 1963-2003
- Scrapbooks Series, 1951-1969, 1975, 1985-1990, bulk 1958-1969
- St. Louis Series, 1968, 1986-1997 and undated, bulk 1991-1997
- Subject Files Series, 1941-2005 and undated, bulk 1968-2005
- Teaching Materials Series, 1969-2005 and undated, bulk 1990-2005
- Audiovisual Materials Series, circa 1940s-2005 and undated
- Unprocessed Addition (2009-0009), 1963-2005
The Chuck Stone Papers span the years 1931 to 2007. The collection consists of clippings and other print materials, correspondence, writings, scrapbooks, photographs, a videotape, research files, and diplomas and certificates pertaining to the life and career of Chuck Stone. Of the subject areas documented here are Stone's career as a prominent African-American journalist, his political career and relationship with Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (including Powell's time as head of the Congressional Committee on Education and Labor), his role as a mediator between suspects and the criminal justice system, and his involvement in civil rights struggles in the United States. Also represented, but to a much lesser extent, is his teaching career at the University of Delaware and UNC-Chapel Hill. The collection is divided into nine series, each described below. Of these, the largest by far are the Clippings and the Subject Files series, which document respectively Stone's journalistic writings (especially during his time at the Philadelphia Daily News) and his research interests over the years, including racial politics in the U.S., African-Americans in the media, the criminal justice system, censorship and free speech, and standardized testing. The collection was acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Collection of African and African-American Documentation.
The Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Congressional Series documents Stone's time as press secretary and special assistant to Powell. It contains office and business correspondence both to and from Stone; clippings and other printed materials about Powell or the Committee on Education and Labor; office files on individual members of congress (notably Florida Democrat Sam Gibbons, partly responsible for the campaign to remove Powell from his position as head of the Committee); files related to the workings of the Committee; press releases written by Stone; and a number of papers relating to Powell's exclusion from Congress in 1967. This series should be useful both for those interested in the career of Powell, since Stone worked for him during a pivotal time in his career, and for those interested in the workings of the Committee on Education and Labor during that time.
The Clippings Series is made up predominantly of Stone's columns from the Philadelphia Daily News and the NEA Viewpoint (a Newspaper Enterprise Association column syndicated by United Media), as well as articles about Stone from various newspapers, and some writings by Stone appearing in other newspapers. Topics addressed by Stone in his columns include racial politics in the U.S., Philadelphia politics, the media, Ireland, Stone's travels in Africa, women's issues and feminism, the criminal justice system, and standardized testing. Researchers interested in Stone's journalism career prior to 1972 will find some earlier clippings here, but should consult the Scrapbooks Series for more extensive materials and clippings from that period.
The Correspondence Series contains correspondence to and from Stone relating to business and personal matters. The majority of this series is made up of general correspondence or correspondence relating to Stone's position as editor and columnist of the Philadelphia Daily News. The remainder of the series comprises topical folders of correspondence, such as the correspondence between Stone and Edward M. Ryder, an inmate at Graterford Prison. Other such correspondence can be found in the "Criminal justice system" subsection of the Subject Files Series.
The Other Writings Series houses Stone's writings not contained in the Clippings Series, such as speeches, sermons, and television transcripts; business documents and research files pertaining to different projects on which Stone worked, such as his attempts to develop his own life or his writings on Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. into a movie, or various uncompleted book projects; and a small subset of writings by others, including an autobiography of Corinne Huff on which Stone worked. It is divided into three subseries to accommodate the restriction on the collection: the Published Writings by Stone Subseries, the Unpublished Writings by Stone Subseries, and the Writings by Others Subseries. Notably absent from this series are manuscripts of Stone's books. Instead, the series contains either shorter published materials, such as publicly delivered speeches, or working documents assembled for the creation of larger works.
The Scrapbooks Series houses the contents of four scrapbooks assembled by Stone during the 1950s and 1960s. They contain a number of clippings, programs, and some correspondence pertaining to his time at the New York Age, the Washington Afro-American, the Chicago Defender, and working for Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. The series is especially useful for documenting Stone's early career and his position as an outspoken African-American journalist and defender of civil rights. Researchers interested in this period in Stone's life should also consult the Clippings Series for more materials from the period in question that are not present in the scrapbooks.
The St. Louis Series is a small series housing clippings and correspondence related to Stone's brief position as ombudsman for the St. Louis Post-Disptach, overseeing their coverage of the 1997 mayoral election. The series is divided into a Published Materials Subseries, which houses clippings from the Post-Dispatch and related newspapers, and an Unpublished Materials Subseries, in which can be found correspondence, business documents, and responses to several readers polls conducted by Stone.
In the Subject Files Series can be found Stone's research files on different subject areas, arranged alphabetically. The files contain primarily clippings, but also some correspondence and notes. Several subcategories that are heavily represented and should be mentioned are the files on censorship and the first amendment, on the criminal justice system, on standardized testing, and on materials relating to his time at UNC-Chapel Hill. There are also numerous files related to racial politics in the U.S., but these files are less discrete than the categories described above and are to be found throughout the series rather than under a specific subheading.
The Teaching Materials Series contains a small amount of material pertaining to Stone's teaching career. The bulk of this series comes from his time at UNC-Chapel Hill, and includes syllabi, exams, assignments, student papers, and other teaching paperwork. Most heavily represented in this regard is Stone's popular class on censorship, for which there are multiple syllabi and exams from different years and semesters.
Finally, the Audiovisual Materials Series collects photographs touching on all aspects of Stone's life, from press photos of Stone and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. to family portraits. Also included in this series are a videotape of a documentary about Powell, press passes and identification badges, and an election pin kept by Stone.
Unprocessed Addition 2009-0009 (50 items; .2 lin. ft.; dated 1963-2005) comprises primarily photographs, but also contains a few letters, clippings, awards, and a dvd-r. The original DVD-R is closed to patron use; however, the information on the disk has been migrated to the electronic records server.
Addition 2012-0099 has been processed and included in the original collection's description as boxes 64-66. Some parts of this addition have been interfiled into existing boxes.
Access to the Collection
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
Original audiovisual materials are closed to patron use. Some use copies are available in the collection. Otherwise, Technical Services staff need to produce use copies before contents can be accessed.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. There may be a 48-hour delay in obtaining these materials.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
Use & Permissions
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.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Chuck Stone Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
This series documents Stone's activities as special assistant to Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. between 1965 and 1967, and includes speeches, press releases, correspondence between Powell and Stone, correspondence to and from other political figures and other members of Powell's staff, files on specific figures and organizations, clippings about Powell, and several folders of correspondence, clippings, and business documents specific to Powell's role as chair of the Committee on Education and Labor. The folders are labelled by topic and arranged alphabetically by title.
Series is comprised of clippings kept by Stone. The bulk of these are Stone's columns in the Philadelphia Daily News (1972-1991) and NEA Viewpoint (1987-1995), which deal with topics such as racial politics in the U.S., Philadelphia politics, the media, Ireland, Stone's travels in Africa, women's issues and feminism, the criminal justice system, and standardized testing, among others. Also included are materials documenting Stone's early journalism career from the New York Age, New York Citizen-Call, Chicago Daily Defender, and Washington Afro-American; clippings from various sources documenting Stone's interests and research; and articles about Stone from various publications. Of interest may also be the selection of clippings from 1972-1974 from the Philadelphia Daily News that Stone made, apparently for a planned sequel to Tell it Like it Is, his 1967 book of selected columns from the Washington Afro-American. These can be found at the end of the clippings from the Daily News, under the subheading " Tellin' it Like it Oughta Be columns."
Arranged alphabetically by folder title, then chronologically by date.
Contains Stone's correspondence from the 1960s to 2005. In keeping with Stone's original arrangement, some folders are categorized by topic, while others simply house general correspondence within a particular span of years.
Of particular interest in the topical folders is the correspondence relating to black political power in America (the topic, not only Stone's book of the same title) and the correspondence with Edward M. Ryder, an inmate at the State Correctional Facility at Graterford, PA from 1973-1993. Also to be found are two folders of correspondence from a number of individuals related to Stone's role as negotiator in the hostage crisis at Graterford in 1981.
The bulk of the remainder of the series is made up of two categories. One is simply general correspondence. These folders contain correspondence from such figures as Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackie Robinson, Nelson A. Rockefeller, Barry Goldwater, LeRoi Jones, Edward Kennedy, and others, along with family correspondence and business correspondence both to and from Stone from the 1960s to the 2000s. The other is correspondence specific to Stone's position as editor and columnist at the Philadelphia Daily News, which includes internal memos and letters with other staff members, letters from readers, and business letters relevant to his position at the newspaper. Researchers should be aware that these appear to be rough categorizations on Stone's part, and that there are a few letters specific to his role at the Philadelphia Daily News in the general correspondence folders, and some general business correspondence in the Philadelphia Daily News folders.
It should also be noted that correspondence on particular topics can also be found in relevant series. For instance, correspondence with or relating to Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. is to be found in that series. Researchers interested in Stone's role with the Graterford crisis and his correspondence with prison inmates should also consult the Criminal justice system files in the Subject Files Series.
Arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Comprised of materials relating to writing and other media projects beyond the columns found in the Clippings Series. It is divided into three subseries: Published Writings by Stone, Unpublished Writings by Stone, and Writings by Others. Detailed series descriptions follow below.
Contains speeches, sermons, and transcripts of television broadcasts (on WCIU Chicago) by Stone.
Houses unpublished writings by Stone, such as an introduction written for the unpublished volume The Poetry of the Black Revolution, as well as documentation of other projects undertaken by Stone, ranging from book and syndication contracts to research files set aside for use in several uncompleted works, such as Free Speech and Jealous Mistresses and, with Dennis Jackson, Mass Communication Law in Delaware. Also found here are manuscripts of various movie or stage adaptations of Stone's novelization of his time with Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., as well as business documents relating to his attempts to secure a movie deal.
Arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Comprises a graduate student's dissertation manuscript from 2001, and two folders of materials related to the unpublished autobiography of Corinne Huff, former Miss America and mistress to Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Stone assisted Huff in the planning and possibly also the composition of the autobiography, and the files document that process of collaboration.
Arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Series houses the contents of four scrapbooks kept by Stone, disbound for preservation purposes and housed in archival folders. The materials document Stone's media appearances, journalism career, and public relationship with Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. from the 1950s to the end of the 1960s. Each scrapbook deals with a different period of Stone's life, as designated by the bulk dates for each scrapbook, and has been supplied by the archivist with an appropriate name. The first houses clippings, mostly from the New York Age, documenting Stone's time with that newspaper. The second includes clippings, programs, and correspondence collected while Stone was correspondent for and editor of the Washington Afro-American. It also contains several columns by Stone in the New York Citizen-Call, letters by Stone that appeared in the New York Times and The Washington, D.C. Evening Star, and a number of clippings about Stone from various Washington and national newspapers. The third scrapbook houses clippings, programs, leaflets, and a small amount of correspondence documenting Stone's time in Chicago, where he was columnist for and editor of the Chicago Defender and, later, television commentator for WCIU Chicago. The Powell scrapbook documents Stone's activities as press secretary and special assistant to Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and contains clippings, correspondence, programs, leaflets, and flyers, as well as a folder of miscellaneous articles and media appearances by Stone spanning from the 1960s to 1990.
Original order of scrapbook pages maintained within each folder. Scrapbooks are listed in chronological order according to bulk dates.
Folders contain materials related to Stone's position as Readers' Advocate for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where he was hired to oversee their coverage of the mayoral campaign. The series is divided into two subseries, Published Materials and Unpublished Materials, in accordance with the restriction placed on the collection.
Includes clippings from St. Louis newspapers, primarily the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, as well as wire service printouts from the time during and immediately preceding Stone's term as ombudsman.
Arranged alphabetically, then chronologically within.
Includes unpublished documents and correspondence pertaining to Stone's position as Reader's Advocate for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Houses Stone's extensive files in many different subject areas, consisting primarily of clippings, but also containing notes on the topics and some minimal correspondence. The folders have been preserved as closely to their original order as possible, and Stone's titles have been retained. The exception to this is a set of subheadings that were added to four groups of folders that were physically and topically associated by Stone, and which are of particular interest. These are his files on censorship and the first amendment, on which he intended to write a book ( Free Speech and Jealous Mistresses, unpublished) and taught regularly throughout the 1990s; on the criminal justice system, focused around issues of racism within that system and on Stone's activities as a mediator between the police and inmates or suspected criminals; on the politics and racial bias of standardized testing, an issue with which he became involved while working with the Education and Labor Committee under Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.; and files relating to his academic career, activities, and institutional politics at the University of North Carolina. These can be found under the subheadings Censorship, Criminal justice system, Standardized testing, and UNC respectively. The files on censorship are especially numerous (filling six archival boxes) and contain extensive information on censorship law, types of censorship, and individual instances of censorship. Other topics in this series include black political power in the U.S., minority journalists, women's issues and feminism, affirmative action, religion, electoral politics in the U.S., journalism, multiculturalism and political correctness, higher education, gay and lesbian issues, Philadelphia politics and politicians, and racial politics more generally. There are also significant files on such figures as Mumia Abu Jamal, Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr., Camille Paglia, Colin Powell, and Clarence Thomas. Subject files relating specifically to Stone's duties as special assistant to Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. can be found in the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Congressional Series.
Arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Contains documents Stone created or collected relating to his teaching career at the University of Delaware and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. It is made up of syllabi, exams, assignments, and notes on pedagogy and academic subject areas related to journalism. The majority of the series deals with his course on censorship, which he developed at Delaware and refined while at UNC.
Arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Contains black-and-white and color photographs of Stone, family members, friends, and colleagues, including a number of photographs of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Among the more notable figures appearing with Stone in photographs here are Malcolm X, Léopold Senghor, Nelson Rockefeller, Jesse Jackson, Henry Kissinger, Walter Mondale, John Glenn, and Dick Gregory. Also to be found here are postcards collected during a trip to India, several press passes and identification badges, and a videotape of a documentary on Powell from 1977.
[CLOSED: The VHS and audio tape originals are closed to use. No use copies are currently available. Technical Services staff need to produce use copies before contents can be accessed. Please contact Research Services staff before coming to use the collection.]
[Original audiovisual materials are closed to use. Use of these materials may require production of listening or viewing copies. Please contact Research Services before coming to use this collection.]
Comprises primarily (folder 1) photographs, but also contains a few letters, clippings, awards, and a dvd-r. The original DVD-R (folder 2) is closed to patron use; however, the information on the disk has been migrated to the electronic records server.
|1924 July 21||
Born in St. Louis, Mo. to Charles Sumner and Madalene Martha (Chafin) Stone
Attended Springfield College
Drafted, commissioned as a navigator in the U.S. Army Air Corps
Graduated from Wesleyan University, A.B. Degree in political science and economics
Graduated from the University of Chicago, M.A. in sociology
Represented CARE ( Cooperative American Remittances Everywhere) in Egypt and India
Began work as a journalist at the New York Age
|1958 Oct. 4||
Married Georgia Louise Davis
Became Associate Director of the American Committee on Africa
Became White House correspondent and editor of the Washington Afro-African
Became Editor-in-Chief and Columnist for the Chicago Defender
Television commentator for WCIU Chicago
Press secretary and special assistant for New York Congressional Representative Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
Published Tell It Like It Is
Publication of Black Political Power in America
Commentator for The Today Show on NBC
Publication of King Strut
Director of Minority Services for the ETS ( Educational Testing Service)
Senior Editor and Columnist at the Philadelphia Daily News
First president of the National Association of Black Journalists
First president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists
Served as negotiator in the Graterford Prison hostage situation in Graterford, PA
Co-founded FairTest, the National Center for Fair & Open Testing
Became Professor of English at the University of Delaware
Attended Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Appointed Walter Spearman Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication at UNC-Chapel Hill
Served as readers' advocate for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Published Squizzy the Black Squirrel: A Fabulous Tale of Friendship
Retired from teaching
Those interested in Chuck Stone and his life may also wish to consult the Davis Family Papers, also housed at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, which contain materials collected by Stone's wife Louise Davis Stone pertaining to the Davis family and their activities. This collection, cataloged separately from the Chuck Stone Papers, is searchable by title in the Duke University Libraries online catalog.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture
- Powell, Adam Clayton, 1908-1972
- Philadelphia Daily News (Firm)
- Stone, Chuck
- Stone, Chuck
- University of Delaware -- Faculty
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. School of Journalism and Mass Communication -- Faculty
- African Americans -- Politics and government
- African Americans -- Civil rights
- African Americans in mass media
- African American press
- African Americans and mass media -- United States
- African American journalists
- Black-and-white photographs
- Civil rights -- United States -- History -- 20th century
- Criminal justice, Administration of -- United States
- Censorship -- United States -- Case studies
- Educational tests and measurements -- United States
- Mass media and race relations -- United States
- Mass media and culture -- United States -- History -- 20th century
- Minority journalists -- United States
- United States. Congress. House. Committee on Education and Labor
The Chuck Stone Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 2004 and 2007, as part of the John Hope Franklin Center for African and African-American Documentation.
Processed by Alexander Ruch and Lauren Hunt, March 2007
Encoded by Alexander Ruch and Lauren Hunt
Completed April 2007
Accessions 2004-0025 and 2006-0073 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.
Finding aid updated to include unprocessed accession 2009-0009 by Alice Poffinberger in July 2009