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Guide to the Florence Tate Papers, 1960-2006

Summary

Florence Tate (1931-2014) was a civil rights and pan-African activist based in Washington, DC. Involved in activism in support of Angolan independence, she later worked in support of the UNITA faction in the Angolan Civil War. In the United States, she worked as a press secretary for the first mayoral administration of Marion Barry and subsequently for the 1984 presidential campaign of Jesse Jackson.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.11507
Title
Florence Tate papers
Date
1960-2006
Creator
Tate, Florence Lee
Extent
4 Linear Feet
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

The largest series, African Politics, contains material from Tate's activism in support of the Southwestern African nation of Angola. As an organizer of several groups which sought to connect Angolans with African Americans, this series features correspondence, official communiques with the UNITA leadership, government documents, and clippings from African newspapers and journals.

The U.S. Politics series highlights Tate's role as a press secretary for both Mayor Marion Barry and Senator Jesse Jackson, during the latter's 1984 presidential campaign. Of particular importance is her role in organizing and documenting Jackson's 1984 mission to Syria to free downed Navy pilot Robert O. Goodman, shot down by Syrian forces over Lebanon during the height of the Lebanese Civil War.

The Name and Subject series is based on material related to organizations that Tate created and lead. She collected materials related to Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) and Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown), among others. There is also information collected related to Southern African nations of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Personal Materials series features correspondence, photographs, and articles written by Florence Tate. It highlights her career as a journalist in Dayton, Ohio during the mid-1960s, when she was active with local CORE and SNCC organizations.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Arrangement

This collection is organized into four series: Personal Materials, Country and Subject Files, African Politics, and U.S. Politics.

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

Materials in the UNITA subseries of the African Politics Series are open for reading room research but have a view-only status. This means that researchers are not allowed to photograph or request reproductions from the UNITA materials. This restriction will be lifted in 2040.

warning 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.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

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

Contents of the Collection

1. Personal Materials, 1960-2006

This series features personal correspondence, photographs, articles and press releases written by Florence Tate. It contains numerous photocopies of articles from when she was journalist for the Dayton Daily News. It also contains biographical reference sheets, papers related to firm of Florence Tate and Associates, and memorabilia from the 1963 March on Washington and a 1964 civil rights march in Dayton.

Biographical material, 1978-2000

Biographical sheets, funeral program. Oversize certificate for D.C. Arts and Humanities Council appointment, 1997.

Box 1
Box 6
Writings, 1966-2003
(2 folders)

Photocopies of Florence Tate's articles in the Dayton Daily News, from Dayton, Ohio, primarily related to civil rights issues and local politics. Also contains later writing and Op-Eds by Tate.

Box 1
Florence Tate and Associates, 1980

Papers related to the public relations firm of Florence Tate and Associates, which Tate began following the end of her association with the Marion Barry administration until joining Senator Jesse Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign.

Box 1
Photographs, 1960-2000

Personal photographs, some professional, some candid. Includes photos of Queen Mother Audley Moore, Kwame Ture, and Amiri Baraka, and numerous friends and associates from Angola.

Box 1
Correspondence, 1970-2006
(3 folders)

Personal correspondence including Judy Richardson, Chinsole Chitunda, and others.

Box 1
Pamphlets, 1995-2000

Pamphlets related to 1995 film festival and organizations in Washington, DC.

Box 1
Buttons, 1963-1964
(3 buttons)

Two buttons related to the 1963 March on Washington on August 28 and one button related to a Dayton, Ohio March on June 14, 1964.

Box 4
Rolodex, Undated

Personal Rolodex includes names, contacts, addresses, and phone numbers.

Box 5
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom pennant, 1963
Box 6

2. Name Files, 1972-2005

Series primarily organized by Florence Tate featuring materials by and related to named individuals. Material includes correspondence, published and unpublished writing by, poetry, and articles about named individuals.

In the case of Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown), folder includes material related to his 2002 trial and conviction for manslaughter.

Baraka, Amiri, 1972-1999

Articles and writing by Amiri Baraka (aka LeRoi Jones)

Box 1
Brown, H. Rap, 1998-2002

Articles about and papers related to activism in support of Brown aka Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin

Box 1
Chaka, Malik, 1972-1976

Articles, correspondence, and photographs by Malik Chaka

Box 1
Cobb, Jr., Charles, 2005

Article by Charles Cobb

Box 1
Cox, Courtland, 1975-1976

Scholarship and articles by Courtland Cox related to Southern Africa

Box 1
Fernandes, Antonio da Costa, 1975-1990

Correspondence with Tony Fernandes, biographical information

Box 1
Fletcher, Marilyn Lowen, 1969

Correspondence with Marilyn Fletcher, poetry

Box 1
Fundanga, Kapesi, Undated
(2 folders)

Manuscript entitled "Both Sides Winds of Change in Angola"

Box 1
Savimbi, Jonas, 1979

Book entitled "Angola a resistencia em busa de uma nova nacao" (Angola the resistance in search of a new nation)

Box 1
Shipinga, G., 1974

Multiple copies of draft manuscript "I am a Brown Man"

Box 1
Ture, Kwame, 1995-1998
(3 folders)

Correspondence, newspaper clippings, and photographs related to medical treatment and death of Kwame Ture (aka Stokely Carmichael)

Box 1

3. African Politics, 1968-1992

This series covers Florence Tate's advocacy, interest in, and organizing in support of African political movements, primarily related to Angola, but covering other states and groups in Southwestern Africa between the late 1960s and early 1990s.

Materials in the UNITA subseries of the African Politics Series are open for reading room research but have a view-only status. This means that researchers are not allowed to photograph or request reproductions from the UNITA materials. This restriction will be lifted in 2040.

African Liberation Day, 1972-1976

Material related to the first African Liberation Day which organized simultaneous rallies in dozens of United States and Canadian cities on May 27, 1972.

Includes correspondence, press releases, research, and promotional material related to the event and to the African Liberation Day Coordinating Committee (ALDCC), based in Washington, DC and headed by Florence Tate.

Background Material, 1972
Box 1
Correspondence and Press Releases, 1972-1974
Box 1
Articles, 1972-1974
Box 1
Magazine, 1975-1976

Detroit Committee for the Liberation of Africa Vol. 2 No. 2 1975-1976

Box 1
Check Register, 1972

Check register for the African Liberation Day Coordinating Committee (ALDCC). Contains check stubs for checks written by the ALDCC for promotional materials for African Liberation Day.

Box 1

Friends of Angola, 1974-1977

Materials related to the Friends of Angola organization, an advocacy group based in Washington, DC. Begun in support of Angolan independence, it shifted into advocacy of the UNITA faction following the Portuguese withdrawl and outbreak of civil war.

Sub-series organized by Tate, someoverlap with other sub-series, including African Services Bureau, Medical Project, and UNITA.

General Material, 1974-1976
Box 1
Press Releases, 1974-1975
Box 1
News Clippings, 1974-1976
Box 1
Correspondence, 1974-1976

Includes correspondence with Richard Gibson and Jeremias Chitunda

Box 1
Mailing Lists, Undated
Box 1

African Services Bureau, 1974-1978

Materials related to the African Services Bureau, a short-lived organization that advocated for African nationalist movements in the United States press.

Sub-series organized by Tate, someoverlap with other sub-series, including Friends of Angola, Medical Project, and UNITA.

General Material, 1974-1976
Box 1
Correspondence, 1974-1978
Box 1
News Clippings, 1974
Box 1

Medical Project, 1974-1975

Materials related to the Angolan Medical Project, an effort to bring doctors from the United States and Caribbean to Angola. Material includes résumés by applicants, correspondence with Angolans about requests, and informational materials about medical needs in Angola and Southwestern Africa.

Sub-series organized by Tate, someoverlap with other sub-series, including Friends of Angola, African Services Bureau, and UNITA.

General Material, 1974-1975
Box 1
Correspondence, 1974-1975

Correspondence includes applications, resumes, and information about medical personnel who volunteered

Box 1
All-African People's Revolutionary Party, Undated

Position paper from Guinean-based African Liberation Organization associated with Kwame Nkrumah and Kwame Ture

Box 1
African National Congress (ANC), Undated

Paper demanding release of "Pretoria Twelve"

Box 1
Angola, 1968-1979
(2 folders)

Materials related to Angola including 1968 issue of "Noticia"

Box 1
Eritrea and Ethiopia, 1975-1976
Box 1
FESTAC 77, 1977

News clipping related to FESTAC, African Art Festival in Lagos

Box 1
Mozambique, 1975-1980

Includes issue of "Africa Report" from 1975

Box 1
People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), 1974-1979
Box 1
Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania, 1976

Correspondence

Box 1
Pan-African Association of Writers and Journalists in Britain, 1978

Correspondence

Box 1
Sixth Pan-African Congress, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, 1974
Box 1
Southern Africa, 1975
(2 folders)

Two issues of "Ikwezi Journal" on Southwestern Africa, August 1977 and December 1978 and two issues of journal "Southern Africa" December 1975 and October 1977

Box 1
Zambia, 1979-1980
Box 1
Zimbabwe, 1976-1977

Report of the Special International Commission on the Assassination of Herbert Chitepo, Zimbabwean revolutionary

Box 1

Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), 1974-1982

The Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Portuguese: União Nacional Independência da Angola--UNITA) was a nationalist organization organized under Portuguese colonialism. Sub-series contains a variety of materials relating to UNITA's press campaign in the United States, including press-releases, correspondence, research material, and government communiques in both English and Portuguese.

Sub-series organized by Tate. Contains material that overlaps with other sub-series, including Friends of Angola, Medical Project, and African Services Bureau.

Materials in the UNITA subseries of the African Politics Series are to be open for reading room research only until 2040. This includes view-only status for patron/researchers who are not allowed to photograph or request reproductions from the UNITA materials until 2040.

Pamphlets, 1975-1980
(3 folders)
Box 2
Communiques, 1974-1981
(2 folders)
Box 2
Press Releases, 1974-1976
Box 2
General Material, 1974-1976
Box 2
Correspondence, 1974-1982
(2 folders)
Box 2
UNITA Internal Studies (in Portuguese), 1979

Studies on general administration, women, and students, in Portuguese

Box 2
Notebooks, 1976
(2 folders)

Notebooks possbily belonging to Tate containing handwritten interview notes with Angolan diplomat Jeremias Chitunda and other individuals.

Box 2
Photographs, Undated
(2 folders)

Photographs of UNITA soldiers drilling, fighting, resting, and standing at attention. Some photos feature leading figures in UNITA, Jonas Savimbi and Jeremias Chitunda. Also included are photos of captured MPLA fighters, Angolan non-combatants, and conferences between UNITA and MPLA leadership. Photographs mostly undated and taken by unknown photographer(s).

Box 2
News Clippings, 1974-1981
(10 folders)

Extensive collection of newspaper clippings from United States, European, and African newspapers including the Zambian Daily Mail, Washington Post, and New York Times. Topics include UNITA, MPLA, FNLA, Jonas Savimbi, Portuguese withdrawl, conditions in Angola, outbreak of civil War, Cuban intervention, Soviet imperialism in Southwestern Africa, and South African and U.S. support of UNITA.

Box 2
United States Documents, 1972-1980

Documents produced by the Congress of the United States related to Angola

Box 2
Student Exchange Documents, 1982

Documents related to the exchange of students between Angola and the United States.

Box 2
League of Angolan Women (LIMA), 1974-1978
Box 2
Publications by UNITA, 1983

"The Angolan Road to National Recovery"

Box 2
Buttons and Pins, Undated
(10 buttons)

Includes buttons supporting Nkrumah, Zimbabwe, FRELIMO and PAIGC, UPAC, Addis Ababa, and Third World Causes and one paper badge from Ethiopia

Box 5
Flags, Undated

One full-sized (3' x 5') UNITA flag and one small (4" x 6") UNITA flag

Box 6

4. United States Politics, 1972-1984

Material related to Florence Tate's active role in United States Poltics, especially in the Washington, DC area.

Marion Barry, 1979-1998

Material related to Florence Tate's role as press secretary to Marion Barry's first mayoral campaign and later his first administration as mayor of Washington, D.C.. Includes correspondence, press releases, and news clippings.

General Material, 1979-1982
Box 3
News Clippings, 1979-1982
Box 3
Framed Photograph, 1980

Photograph of Mayor Barry and Sterling Brown

Box 6
Button from unspecified Marion Barry mayoral campaign, Undated

1 button: Because Every One Matters.

Box 4

Jesse Jackson, 1983-1984

Materials related to Florence Tate's role as the press secretary for Senator Jesse Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign. Includes press materials, news clippings, speeches, position papers, hand-written notebooks, and campaign promotional material.

Campaign Materials, 1983-1984
Box 3
Position Papers, 1984
Box 3
Speeches, 1983-1984
Box 3
Democratic National Convention, 1984
Box 3
Notebooks, 1984
(5 folders)

Notebooks containing handwritten notes from events, including meetings with George Wallace and Sargent Shriver, Edith Austin's funeral, and the Washington Post in the aftermath of "Hymietown" gaffe

Box 3
Campaign stickers, 1984
Box 3
Campaign posters, 1984

"Register to Vote" and "Rainbow Coalition" campaign posters

Box 6
Campaign Buttons, 1984
(22 Buttons, 1 pin, one keychain)

Campaign buttons from both the 1984 and 1988 Jesse Jackson presidential campaigns. Material also includes one pin and one keychain.

Box 4
Correspondence, 1983-1984
Box 3
Schedules, 1984
Box 3
Photographs and Contact Sheets, 1984
(3 folders)

Includes Boston debate, event at Shiloh

Box 3
News Clippings, 1983-1984
(3 folders)
Box 3
Syria Mission, 1983-1984
(6 folders)

Materials related to Florence Tate's involvement in Jesse Jackson's mission to Syria in 1983-1984 to negotiate the release of Black airman Michael O. Goodman. Goodman, a Navy navigator, had been shot down over Syria during a mission related to the Lebaneses Civil War and was held by Syrian forces for several weeks. Jackson, along with a number of other Black religious leaders, petittioned the Syrian government of Hafez Al-Assad to free the airman since the United States and Syria were not at war.

Includes meeting notes, schedules, security arrangements, Embassy materials, news clippings, photographs, and contact sheets from Syria Mission

Box 3
American Political Buttons, Undated

13 buttons related to politics in the United States, including Million Woman March; Black Liberation Day; boycott of Gulf Oil; the Black National Political Convention (1972); Martin Luther King commemorations

Box 4
 

Historical Note

Born in Eads, Tennessee in 1931, Florence L. Tate (née Grinner) grew up in Memphis where she attended public school. After earning a bachelor's degree in English from LeMoyne College, she married Charles Tate, and took a job as a reporter for the Dayton Daily News in Dayton, Ohio. While reporting on politics, courts, and schools for the newspaper, she was also heavily involved in the civil rights movement. In addition to working with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Congress Of Racial Equality (CORE), Florence and Charles Tate founded the Dayton Alliance for Racial Equality (DARE).

In the late 1960s, Florence Tate embraced pan-Africanist causes, writing for the Black News Service. She served as a key organizer in the first African Liberation Day held in May 1972. She later became involved with advocating for Angolan independence. Following Portuguese withdrawl and the nation's takeover by the Soviet-backed People's Movement for Angolan Liberation (MPLA), Tate began to work with the Union for the Total Indepdence of Angola (UNITA), an Angolan nationalist movement lead by Jonas Savimbi.

In 1979, she joined the first Marion Barry Administration in Washington, DC as press secretary and in 1984, she worked on Senator Jesse Jackson's presidential campaign as a press secretary as well.

Following Jackson's loss in the primaries, she was a political communications consultant and active organizer for political causes in and around Washington until her death in 2014.

Related Material

The Rubenstein also holds the Judy Richardson Papers and the Courtland Cox Papers.


Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.

Provenance

The Florence Tate Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 2017.

Processing Information

Processed by David Romine, September 2017

Accessions described in this collection guide: 2017-0071