Guide to the Boyte Family Papers, 1941-1981
The Boyte Family Papers chiefly contain printed material, including photocopies produced for meetings, conventions, and other group activities; periodicals, flyers, brochures, pamphlets, posters and booklets; correspondence; and reports, minutes, notes and other organizational records. Also included are drafts of essays and articles, photographs, notebooks, and audio tapes. The collection focuses on the careers of Harry C. Boyte, political organizer and writer, in the 1960s and 1970s, and to a lesser extent his father, Harry G. Boyte, in the 1950s and 1960s.
- Collection Number
- Boyte Family papers
- 14.8 Linear Feet
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Harry C. Boyte was involved in the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and New American Movement, a national socialist organization with a Chapel Hill-Durham, North Carolina chapter. He was a member of the National Interim Committee for NAM, a steering committee for local groups. He wrote regularly for NAM and other socialist publications on socialist theory and organization. The Boyte Family Papers, 1941-1981 (bulk 1968-1977), chiefly contain printed material, including photocopies produced for meetings, conventions, and other group activities; periodicals, flyers, brochures, pamphlets, posters and booklets; correspondence; and reports, minutes, notes and other organizational records. Also included are drafts of essays and articles, photographs, notebooks, and audio tapes. While useful for a study of political and social activism and community organizing in post-World War II United States at local, regional and national levels, the collection contains little on the personal lives of the Boyte family. The collection focuses on the careers of Harry C. Boyte, political organizer and writer, in the 1960s and 1970s, and to a lesser extent his father, Harry G. Boyte, in the 1950s and 1960s. Social action organizations represented prominently in the collection include the New American Movement (NAM), the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC), and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
Harry C. Boyte was involved in the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and New American Movement, a national socialist organization with a Chapel Hill-Durham, North Carolina chapter. He was a member of the National Interim Committee for NAM, a steering committee for local groups. Literature from these and other groups with which Harry C. Boyte was affiliated, such as ACT in Durham, the New University Conference, the Southern Student Organizing Committee and Students for a Democratic Society is located in the Subject Files of the Harry C. Boyte Series. Together with publications in the early 1970s from other groups in the Printed Material subseries, these files represent issues including the Vietnam War and conscientious objection, socialism, feminism, labor rights, civil rights, gay and lesbian rights and the impeachment of Richard M. Nixon.
Harry C. Boyte wrote regularly for NAM and other socialist publications on socialist theory and organization. Drafts of some of his articles, along with correspondence containing critiques by his associates can be found throughout the NAM and DSOC files in the Harry C. Boyte Series. Correspondence in those files and in the National Democratic Left Relations folder between Boyte and his associates contains discussion of the implementation of socialist theories in contemporary American society. These exchanges were conducted more formally through Discussion Bulletins, contained in the files.
Papers in the Harry C. Boyte Series also relate to local organizing efforts in Chapel Hill and Durham, N.C., concerning health care, welfare, industrial safety and inflation. The information is contained in folders titled ACT, Health Care, Occupational Health, People's Association for a Cooperative Commonwealth, Utilities and Tenants' Rights. A small amount of material relates to student activism at Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
There is some material on the women's movement and the career of Boyte's wife, Sara Evans Boyte, who received a Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and became a professor of women's history. She was involved in a Chapel Hill women's group called Lollipop Power, a folder for which exists in the Harry C. Boyte Series. There is also material scattered through the NAM files about the Charlotte Perkins Gilman chapter, a socialist feminist group. Examples of feminist literature can be found in the Printed Material subseries and in the Robert P. McMahon Series.
Harry C. Boyte's father, Harry G. Boyte, left the American Red Cross to work in race relations. Eventually he was appointed the first white man on the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference under Martin Luther King, Jr. Boyte's job search is documented by correspondence in the Harry G. Boyte Series. Contacts included the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Friends Service Committee, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Urban League, SCLC, the Southern Conference Education Fund, and the Southern Regional Council. The letters provide background information on Boyte's previous experience in Civil Rights projects. While on the staff of SCLC, he headed Operation Dialogue. There is material in the Correspondence and SCLC files of this series about this program intended to foster interracial communication.
Correspondence in the Harry G. Boyte Series also covers the later years of Boyte's Red Cross career and his initial involvement in desegregation efforts in Atlanta. He served as chairman of HOPE, Inc. (Help Our Public Schools) and as Executive Director of the Greater Atlanta Council on Human Relations. He was also instrumental in organizing an Atlanta chapter of the Unitarian Service Committee. The bulk of the Education files of this series is comprised of material relating to Harry G. Boyte's work for the American Friends Service Committee.
There is material in the Clippings, Correspondence and Racial files of the Harry G. Boyte Series regarding civil unrest in Monroe, N.C., in the late 1950s and early 1960s. During his short stay there, Boyte and his family hosted Freedom Riders and lent support to local NAACP leaders. Racial files include material relating to other Civil Rights programs and events in North Carolina and Georgia conducted by groups such as the Southern Regional Council, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and SCLC. There is also some literature from CORE in a separate folder.
Robert McMahon was associated with Harry C. Boyte after becoming a member of the Chapel Hill-Durham chapter of NAM. He was also involved in the local chapter of the New University Conference and the Chapel Hill Peace Center. While a student at the University of Virginia, McMahon served as President of the Newman Student Federation, and as Chairman of the Southern Student Organizing Committee between the years 1967-1968. The Robert P. McMahon Series contains information on the organization, planning and programs of these two groups. Some documentation of his political involvements can also be found in the Harry C. Boyte Series.
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
Use & Permissions
The copyright interests in the Boyte family papers have not been transferred to Duke University. For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the Special Collections Department.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Boyte Family Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Arranged in Subject Files and Printed Material subseries. About one-half of the Subject Files consists of files, 1970-1982, on the New American Movement. This section consists primarily of typed correspondence and printed material, in equal amounts. Printed material includes drafts of published and unpublished articles, political statements, Discussion Bulletins, booklets, pamphlets and flyers. Also includes organizational records in the form of reports, resolutions, minutes, newsletters, meeting and discussion notes, announcements, agendas and convention packets. Other materials include several notebooks, loose notes, and training manuals. The remainder of the Subject Files consist mainly of a wide variety of printed material produced by left-wing political groups such as flyers, newsletters, typed copies of articles and speeches, fact sheets, booklets, pamphlets, reprints, conference information and reports. Correspondence, mostly to and from Boyte, is scattered throughout. Serials are filed in the folder of the producing organization if a folder exists.
The remainder of the serials are arranged alphabetically by title in the Printed Material subseries. General printed material is arranged chronologically.
Chiefly Subject Files. Contains typed reports, correspondence to and from Boyte, clippings, speeches of Civil Rights leaders, press releases, a small amount of legal papers, and printed material. Printed material includes newsletters, brochures, booklets, announcements, annual reports, typed essays and information produced for meetings and conferences. Administrative records consisting of memos, minutes, agendas, budgets and correspondence which passed through the Atlanta SCLC office. Some correspondence is addressed to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Arranged chronologically in Correspondence files and alphabetically in Subject Files.
Includes records of the Newman Student Federation in the form of correspondence to and from McMahon, notes, position papers, and printed material such as reprints, pamphlets, newsletters, reports and resolutions. Several notebooks with personal and organizational notes. Arranged alphabetically by subject.
|1945, April 26||
Born, Washington, D.C.
Founder, Duke-Durham chapter of Congress of Racial Equality
Field Secretary for Southern Christian Leadership Conference in North Carolina,
Georgia, and Florida
|1966, June 5||
Married Sara Margaret Evans of McCormick, S.C.
Received B.A. with distinction in Psychology from Duke University, Durham,
Attended University of Chicago Divinity School
Community organizer, Operation Breakthrough, Durham, N.C.
Editor, ACTION newspaper
Member of the founding body and National Interim Committee of the New American
Member of the National Board and Executive Committee of the Democratic Socialist
Program advisor, Field Foundation
United States correspondent, Tempo magazine
Published The Backyard Revolution: Understanding the New Citizen Movement
Senior Neighborhoods Policy Analyst, New Careers Training Laboratory, City
University of New York
Director, Citizen Heritage Center
Mr. Boyte, a freelance writer, has one son, Craig and one daughter, Rachel. He is the author or coauthor of numerous articles and books about left wing political and social concerns.Harry G. Boyte
|1911, June 26||
Born Charlotte, N.C.
Married first wife, who died the same year
Served abroad as Assistant Field Director, then Field Director for American Red
Cross Foreign Service
Married Janet Chatten in Evanston, Ill.
Assistant Chief of Personnel Administration for Red Cross Service to U.S. Armed
Forces in Washington, D.C.
Executive Director of American Red Cross of Greater Atlanta
Manager, Atlanta chapter of American Red Cross
Involved with civil rights organizations in Georgia, North Carolina and
Directed community relations project for school desegregation in Prince Edward
County, Va., for American Friends Service Committee
Employed as Special Assistant to Martin Luther King, Jr. for Southern Christian
leadership Conference in Atlanta, Ga.
Director of "Operation Dialogue" program for SCLC
Employed as Technical Assistance Officer, Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission, Atlanta, Ga.
Mr. Boyte is a member of the Society of Friends. He has one son, Harry Chatten Boyte, and one daughter.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- ACT (Durham, N.C.)
- American Friends Service Committee
- Boyte, Harry Chatten, 1945-
- Boyte, Harry G., 1911-
- Boyte, Sara Evans
- Democratic Socialist Orgnizing Committee (U.S.)
- McMahon, Robert Patrick
- New American Movement (organization)
- New University Conference
- Southern Christian Leadership Conference
- Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.)
- Southern Student Organizing Committee (Nashville, Tenn.)
- Community organization
- Civil rights
- Conscientious objectors
- College students -- Political activity -- Virginia
- College students -- Political activity -- North Carolina
- Political participation
- Segregation -- Virginia
- Socialism -- United States
- Social action
- Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975
- Women's rights
The Boyte family papers, 1941-1981, were donated to the Special Collections Department from 1967-1982 by Harry C. Boyte and Sara Evans Boyte.
Processed by Denise Dolan
Completed October 29, 1991
Encoded by Alvin Pollock