Post-World War II Era: Civil Rights and Beyond

The library's holdings in the post-World War II era encompass a number of major themes including, the Civil Rights Movement, Black Power, Black Arts movement, and modern public intellectuals. Conerstone collections representative from this era include the papers of Dr. John Hope Franklin, Asa and Elna Spaulding and the Leroy T. Walker Africa News Serivce.

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African Americans in Film: Collection of Press Books, Campaign Books, Advertising Manuals, etc. 1919-2000

The collection contains 238 separate press books, campaign books, advertising manuals, supplements and other ephemeral promotional booklets, broadsides or single sheet publications, and posters designed for the use of theater distributors. The collection also includes some souvenir program booklets sold at theaters, and two published hardcover books.

William M. Banks papers, 1980-1981.

Collection comprises 66 cassette tapes containing oral history interviews with prominent African Americans, conducted for Banks' book BLACK INTELLECTUALS: RACE AND RESPONSIBILITY IN AMERICAN LIFE (1996), co-authored with John Hope Franklin. Included among the interviewees are such notables as Gwendolyn Brooks and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Lionel C. Barrow papers, 1940-2008.

Dean of Howard University School of Communications, 1975-1985; founder of the Minorities and Communications Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. A significant portion of the collection is Barrow's newspaper clippings and subject files, dating largely from the 1960s-2000s. Another notable component of the collection is the section of materials from Barrow's mother, Wilhelmina Barrow, who served as an American Red Cross Girl in Europe during World War II and the post-war period.

Bedford-Stuyvesant Community Cooperative Reel-to-reel Audio Tapes, ca. 1966-1967.

Racially integrated cooperative, the purpose of which was to provide food, generic brand medicines, child care; to ensure local employment; and to provide goods and services at nominal cost. Tapes of meetings, interviews, and car trips to Boston and Washington DC, of various directors and committee members of the cooperative. Issues discussed include internal dissension, employment and firings, theft, the cooperative's finances, local violence and gang fights, drugs, students, and black and white division of labor.

Blunt Family papers, 1943-1965.

The correspondence, financial papers, clippings, printed material, and photographs in this collection relate to the Blunt family of Tidewater Virginia, and document the migration of various family members to points North, South, and West. Topics attended to in the correspondence include family relations, health, courtship, financial matters, and domestic issues. Some letters from the family seat detail the workings of the House of Ruth Lodge, a women's benevolent society in which one family member maintained membership after her departure from Virginia.

James Boykin papers, 1950s-2001.

The collection includes Boykin's manuscripts, drafts, and writings on various subjects including African American history, Black Power, AIDS, and North Carolina history. The collection also contains a number of books from Boykin's personal library, covering topics such as African American history and culture, politics, and teaching techniques.

William Henry Chafe Oral History Collection, 1933-1978.

Tapes and transcripts of 71 interviews conducted by William Chafe, professor of history at Duke, in preparation for his book on the civil rights movement in Greensboro, North Carolina: Civilities and Civil Rights. Interviewees include various members of Greensboro black community, including teachers and former students of Bennett College and North Carolina A. and T., and others involved in local sit-ins.

Thomas Cripps photographs and papers, 1898-1976.

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 Thomas Cripps Film Collection dates from approximately 1898 to 1976, and is arranged into two divisions: films, and official studio publicity photographic stills of African American actors and productions.

Davis Family papers, 1876-2007.

The collection includes photograph albums, loose photographs, and writings documenting the history of the African American Davis family in Hampton, Virginia from the 1930s to the 1950s as well as family members at later points; it also includes materials related to family history and genealogy that span the period from 1876 to the 1920s.

Griffith J. Davis papers, 1947-1991.

Films and photographs of Atlantan Griffith J. Davis, U.S. Technical Assistant to Liberia and agent to the Liberian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Among the negatives, films, and videotapes that form the core of this collection are images of Charlotte Hawkins Brown and the Palmer Memorial Institute, a private junior and senior high school for blacks in Sedalia, North Carolina. Also included are documentary and personal films shot in Liberia in the 1950s; among them a birthday party for the daughter of a middle-class family, a film on Liberian industry and life narrated by Sidney Poitier and funded by the U.S. Point IV program, and shots of Liberian masquerades and stilt dancers.

Mahala Ashley Dickerson Papers, 1958-2007.

The personal and business papers of African American lawyer and businesswoman Mahala Ashley Dickerson span the years 1958 to 2007, chiefly consist of correspondence; newspaper clippings; real estate records; programs, letters, and additional items documenting honors, awards, and public appearances; papers concerning her homestead plot in Alaska and other personal and business concerns.

Helen G. Edmonds papers, 1951-1976.

Helen G. Edmonds (1911-1995) was a noted educator, historian, and administrator; active in numerous civic and social organizations; and a stalwart in the Republican Party. The correspondence, speeches, and programs in the collection provide insight into her work as a teacher and scholar. The bulk of the collection, however, documents her work with the National Republican Party, including giving the second nomination of Dwight D. Eisenhower as a candidate for the Presidency; appointments in the Department of State, Department of Defense, National Advisory Council of the Peace Corps; and on several occasions appointments as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations.

Faulkner Family papers, 1893-2001.

African-American family based in Greensboro (Guildford Co.), North Carolina. Waldo C. Falkener served on the Greensboro City Council from 1959-1963. His wife, Margaret, was also politically active. The collection primarily documents the political career of Waldo C. Falkener, and comprises minutes and reports from Greensboro City Council meetings. There are also materials from his campaigns for office and items that document his successes as a council member.

John Hope Franklin papers, 1889-2009.

The John Hope Franklin Papers span the years 1889-1998, and document Franklin's professional career as a historian, as well as his personal life and political interests, focusing especially on his activities since 1970. Items in the collection include correspondence, research material assembled by Franklin, writings by and about Franklin, manuscripts, materials relating to family history, printed material, notebooks, information and multimedia packets, clippings, photographs, video and sound recordings, as well as a few artifacts.

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Milo Guthrie papers, 1962-1990.

The papers of white commercial artist and social activist contains publications from left wing political parties and organizations. Included among them are publications from black activist organizations: The African World (1973), Black Ink (1969), The Black Liberator (1969), and others. The collection contains a three-year run of The Black Panther (1969-1971), the organ of the Black Panther Party.

Gordon Blaine Hancock papers, 1928-1970.

A trailblazer for the modern civil rights movement, Gordon Blaine Hancock was pastor of Moore Street Baptist Church and professor of sociology, economics and religion at Virginia Union University, both in Richmond, Virginia. The bulk of the collection is comprised of photocopied news clippings of Hancock's syndicated weekly column for the Associated Negro Press, "Between the Lines." The collection also includes documentation on Hancock's work as one of the founding members of the Southern Regional Council, an interracial organization dedicated to improving southern race relations.

Rencher Nicholas Harris papers, 1857-1965. [digitized content]

The papers of Rencher Nicholas Harris (1900-1965), a business executive of Durham, North Carolina who held positions with the Banker's Fire Insurance Company, the first black city councilman and the first black member of the local Board of Education. The collection is probably most valuable for those papers related to Harris's career in Durham politics in the 1950s and early 1960s, especially concerning such matters as race relations and civil rights.

Chris D. Howard papers, 1972-1983.

Materials collected by Chris Howard while researching his undergraduate honors thesis: "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: The Black Struggle for Civil Equality in Durham, North Carolina, 1954-1963." Material consists chiefly of research notes and interviews with local informants, including Floyd McKissick, Joycelyn McKissick, W. G. Pearson, Vivian McCoy, Mary Trent Semans, and Ruth Dailey.

David S. King papers, 1963-1968.

David S King was a leader of the Massachusetts unit of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) during the 1960s. He was very active in the civil rights movement, and was arrested and sent to jail during a protest in Williamston, N.C. Collection includes around 80 items, dated 1963 to 1968, that document events surrounding Rev. David S. King and his part in the civil rights movement. Items include letters to King while he was in jail and leading up to his arrest during a protest in Williamston, North Carolina in 1963. In addition, there are numerous membership lists with contact information and clippings of articles about civil rights activities in Amherst, Mass. and Williamston, N.C.

Lincoln Hospital Records, 1901-1988.

Durham, N.C. hospital established in 1901 Dr. Aaron Moore, Dr. Stanford Warren, and John Merrick to serve African Americans in the area. The Lincoln  Hospital Records span the years 1901-1998, and primarily comprise the institution's administrative and medical files. The collection as a whole documents the bi-racial cooperation that was involved in establishing, running, and maintaining the institution, and outlines the collaboration between Lincoln Hospital, Watts Hospital, and the Duke University School of Medicine in providing patient care as well as education for African American medical professionals.

J. B. Matthews papers, 1862-1986.

Papers of J. B. Matthews, white Methodist missionary, college professor, and prominent conservative spokesman. Organizations and personalities touched on in his work include the following: the Black Panther Party, the National Negro Labor Council, the Ku Klux Klan, the Afro-American Research Institute, the Harlem Community Council for Housing, the NAACP, Ralph Abernathy, Jessie Jackson, Coretta Scott King and James Baldwin.

Oscar Micheaux Society Records, 1976-2004.

The Oscar Micheaux Society formed in the early 1990s to promote the study of the early African-American film director, writer, and producer Oscar Micheaux. Oscar Micheaux Society newsletters, production files, administrative materials, and correspondence regarding grants, restoration projects, Micheaux-related events and exhibits, and black film scholarship.

Gwendolyn M. Parker papers, 1967-1998.

An attorney and Wall Street manager before dedicating herself to writing, the novelist and essayist Gwendolyn Parker is celebrated for work exploring the situation of middle-class black America--from the slow demise of enforced racial segregation to the nation's careful embrace, even in corporate America, of a kind of multiculturalism. Parker was born and raised for nine years in Durham, North Carolina. The city and its institutions figure prominently in her first novel These Same Long Bones (1994) as well as in her memoir Trespassing: My Sojourn in the Halls of Privilege (1997).

William Gaston Pearson papers, 1913-1976.

Durham, N.C. African-American businessman, educator, philanthropist, and civic leader. Scrapbook of clippings and printed material which reflects the business accomplishments and life of William Pearson, who founded the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co., the Mechanics and Farmers Bank, the Durham Drug Co., and other businesses in Durham, N.C., primarily in banking, credit, and insurance.

John H. Penn Family Photograph Album, 1947-1961.

Collection comprises Penn family photograph albums documenting African-American life in the South during the period of segregation. Includes informal snapshots, formal portraits, and school pictures of family members and friends.

Nell Irvin Painter papers, 1793-2011 and undated, bulk 1876-2007.

Nell Irvin Painter is a scholar, teacher, and writer in 19th- and 20th-century American and African American history,the materials document the breadth and depth of Painter's interests and her intellectual and personal influence on a generation of historians. Painter's research files contain a wealth of information about many topics in American history: biography of African Americans; biography as a literary form; slavery; Reconstruction; the 1870s migration from the South to Kansas; a variety of social reform movements--such as abolition, communism, labor, and women's suffrage.

Richard J. Powell papers, 1960-2011.

The Richard Powell Papers date from 1960 to 2011 and document Powell's career as a prominent scholar of African and Afro-American art and as professor of art history at Duke University. Materials originate from Powell's student years, travels, research, and work at various cultural institutions, including Duke University, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, and the Washington Project for the Arts.

Fannie B. Rosser papers, 1860-1973.

Personal and business papers of Fannie B. Rosser, secretary for the North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company in Durham, North Carolina, and property owner in Durham and Lynchburg, Virginia. To the 1950s, the bulk of the papers concern Rosser's business ventures: property maintenance, loans tendered, and investments made. Material from the 1960s tend to be more personal, consisting of Rosser's correspondence with her daughter Mattie and with her niece June. Nevertheless, items from this later period contain scattered references to the NAACP and other civil rights matters.

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Clydie Fullwood Scarborough papers, 1919-1984.

Dedicated to providing effective and healthy day-care for African American children in Durham, especially those from poor families, Clydie Fullwood Scarborough (d. 1989) managed the Scarborough Nursery School for over fifty years. The Scarborough Nursery School is the oldest licensed, black-owned day care center in North Carolina, and in the main the collection contains correspondence, financial reports, legal and administrative papers, clippings, writings, programs, flyers, and photographs pertaining to the operation of the school. The papers also provide some insight into the Scarborough's civic activities, including information about the North Carolina Daycare Association, the United Fund Agency, and St. Joseph's AME Church.

Joseph A. Sinsheimer papers, 1983-1986.

Manuscript of interview conducted by Sinsheimer with Robert Parris Moses concerning the origin, participants, organization, and activities of the voter registration movement from 1962-1964 in Mississippi. Moses was an early member and leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and program director for the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO). Interview includes discussions about recruiting student workers from Stanford, Yale, and Harvard; opposition within SNCC to the Summer Project for voter registration; financial sources; conflicts between blacks and whites within SNCC; and possession of firearms.

Asa And Elna Spaulding papers, 1909-1997.

Asa T. Spaulding was an activist in civil rights, education, employment, and an insurance executive in the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company for almost thirty-five years, beginning as its actuary in 1933 and serving as its fifth president from 1958 through 1967. Elna Bridgeforth Spaulding was an activist in civil rights for minorities and women and involved in local politics in Durham, serving as a Durham County Commissioner for five terms, from 1974 through 1984. The Asa and Elna Spaulding Papers, 1909-1997, document an African American family's lifelong involvement in the business, political, educational, religious, and social life of Durham.

Chuck Stone papers, 1937-2007.

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). 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. Between 1965 and 1967 he was special assistant and press secretary to New York representative Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.

Earl E. Thorpe papers, 1942-1990.

Earl E. Thorpe (1924-1989), historian, educator, and ordained minister, was a key player in the Black Studies Renaissance of the 1970s. Much of the Thorpe papers focus on his teaching career and duties as a faculty member and administrator. Of interest are the letters between Thorpe and Ewart Gunier, chair of the black studies program at Harvard University, discussing the challenges in developing a viable Afro-American studies program. The bulk of the collection consists of Thorpe's professional correspondence, but personal correspondence with family and students, and material reflective of Thorpe's life in the ministry are scattered throughout.

Andrew Spencer Turnipseed papers, 1902-2002.

Collection consists primarily of manuscripts and research materials related to Turnipseed's writings (1902-1960s), in particular his multivolume, unpublished autobiography I Tried: An Autobiography of Andrew Spencer Turnipseed. The collection documents Turnipseed's ancestry, early life, and roles as a theologian and activist. Includes many folders of personal and professional correspondence (1929-1980s); lectures and sermons (including 13 audio cassettes); course materials; and travel files.

The Leroy T. Walker Africa News Service Archive, 1952-1998.

The archive is an extensive resource file of clippings, press releases, newsletters, brochures, and reports assembled over a twenty-five year period by Africa News Service based in Durham, North Carolina. Many of the materials are ephemeral and difficult to find elsewhere, including publications of non-governmental organizations and grass roots groups from all over the world. The collection documents a broad array of topics about mid-to-late twentieth century African history, with emphases on foreign and internal relations, economic trends, independence and other political movements, as well as cultural developments, women's issues, health, education, and environmental concerns.

Women-In-Action For The Prevention Of Violence and Its Causes , Inc. Durham Chapter Records, 1968-1998.

Women-in-Action for the Prevention of Violence and Its Causes is a bi-racial community development and charitable organization in Durham, North Carolina. Civic leader Elna B. Spaulding founded the organization after attending a 1968 national conference on "What Women Can Do to End Violence in America." In 1970, Women-in-Action played a prominent role in smoothing the way for court-ordered school desegregation in Durham. The collection is comprised of correspondence, by-laws, meeting agendas and minutes, budgets, articles of incorporation, photographs, videos tapes, certificates and news articles documenting the organization's activities and structure.