The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
CredoResearch digital collections in Credo

Collecting area: African American

Quakers of Color

Quakers of Color International Archive

2019
14 interviews
Call no.: MS 1095

Launched by Harold D. Weaver in 2019, the Quakers of Color International Archive is part of a global initiative to document the beliefs, experiences, and contributions of people of color within the Society of Friends. Supported collaboratively by the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends and the archives at UMass Amherst and Haverford College, the archive uses oral history and other approaches to document as fully as possible, the range of ideas and practices from all faith traditions within the Society.

An on-going project, the oral histories comprising the archive were conducted by Weaver and associates beginning in 2019. Representing Friends from several Yearly Meetings, the interviews include discussions of faith background and spiritual growth, theological orientation, Quaker identity, relations with monthly and yearly meetings, and the conduct of Quaker “business.”

Subjects

African American QuakersQuakers--Religious lifeSociety of Friends--BoliviaSociety of Friends--HistorySociety of Friends--KenyaSociety of Friends--MaineSociety of Friends--MassachusettsSociety of Friends--Pennsylvania

Contributors

Lapsansky-Werner, EmmaWeaver, Harold D.

Types of material

Motion pictures (Visual works)Oral histories (Literary works)
Roxbury Action Program

Roxbury Action Program Collection

1944-1975 Bulk: 1966-1974
2 boxes 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 765
Depiction of Ernest Hamilton, <em>Black Power: What is it?</em> (1966)
Ernest Hamilton, Black Power: What is it? (1966)

The Roxbury Action Program and Black Panther Party of Boston were both founded in the Roxbury section of Boston following the riots of 1968. RAP pursued community revitalization through Black self-determination and enjoyed success in its housing initiatives and in providing social services ranging from support for Black businesses to Black draft counseling, health and legal referrals, a Black library, and community awareness program.

Although the exact provenance of this small collection is uncertain, the materials appear to have been collected by an individual, possibly a woman, associated with the early days of the Roxbury Action Program and Boston branch of the Black Panther Party. Steeped in Black Power ideology, the collection includes publications of the Black Panther Party, the Nation of Islam, and other organizations, as well as an insightful series of transcripts of Roxbury Action Program meetings held during its first few months of operation.

Gift of Ken Gloss, Jan. 2013

Subjects

African Americans--Massachusetts--BostonBlack Panther PartyBlack powerHousing--Massachusetts--BostonNation of Islam (Chicago, Ill.)Roxbury (Boston, Mass.)--History

Contributors

Morrison, George

Types of material

NewspapersPhotographs
Ryan, Christina

Christina Ryan Collection

ca.1978-1995
15 boxes 8 linear feet
Call no.: MS 523

The collection includes publications, ephemera, periodicals, and other communications from a range of radical groups. Much of the collection relates to the sedition trial of Raymond Luc Levasseur and the Ohio Seven, but ranges into related topics, including political prisoners, Communist and revolutionary action, Puerto Rican independence, African liberation movements, and anti-Klan and antiracist activity. It is organized into six series: Ohio Seven (3 boxes), Political Prisoners (2 boxes), John Brown Anti-Klan Committee (1 box), Subject Files (5 boxes), and Radical Periodicals (4 boxes).

Gift of Christina Ryan, Nov. 2006

Subjects

Activists--MassachusettsAfrican Americans--Civil rightsAnti-imperialist movements--Massachusetts--AmherstBlack PowerCommunism--United States--HistoryLevasseur, Raymond LucPolitical activists--MassachusettsPolitical prisoners--United StatesRacismRadicalism--United StatesRevolutionaries--Puerto RicoSedition

Contributors

Ryan, Christina
Salah-El, Tiyo Attallah

Tiyo Attallah Salah-El Papers

1890-2018
26 boxes 16.67 linear feet
Call no.: MS 590
Depiction of Tiyo Attallah Salah-El playing saxophone in high school
Tiyo Attallah Salah-El playing saxophone in high school

While serving a life sentence in a Pennsylvania prison, Tiyo Attallah Salah-El transformed himself into an activist, scholar, and advocate for the abolition of prisons. An accomplished jazz musician, Salah-El has distinguished himself for educational and scholarly work, his musical career, his close relationship with activists and educators, and for the non-profit organization he founded, The Coalition for the Abolition of Prisons (CAP).

The Papers of Tiyo Attallah Salah-El document his experience in the State Correctional Institution in Dallas, Pennsylvania, from 1977 until his death in 2018 at the age of 85, providing information on his education, teaching, and activism. The bulk of the collection consists of his extensive correspondence with educators, musicians, and activists. Other highlights include a manuscript copy of his autobiography and the founding documents of the The Coalition for the Abolition of Prisons.

Subjects

Criminal justice, Administration ofJazz musiciansPrisoners--United StatesPrisons--United StatesQuakers

Contributors

Ahrens, LoisNagel, MechthildNeill, MontgomerySalah-El, Tiyo AttallahZinn, Howard, 1922-

Types of material

Letters (Correspondence)Photograph albumsPhotographsSheet music
Shaw, Carolyn Martin, 1944-

Carolyn Martin Shaw Papers

1962-2017 Bulk: 1972-2010
10 boxes 12.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 974
Part of: Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive
Depiction of Carolyn Martin Shaw in Kenya, ca.1972
Carolyn Martin Shaw in Kenya, ca.1972

From a childhood spent in a tenement in Norfolk, Va., Carolyn Martin Shaw went on to enjoy a distinguished career as a pioneer in Black Feminist anthropology. Educated in segregated schools, she was an outstanding student, winning scholarship funding to Michigan State University, where she received both her BS (1966) and PhD (1975). Shaw’s dissertation on Kikuyu kinship morality marked several themes that she developed through subsequent research projects in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Based in the Department of Anthropology at UC Santa Cruz throughout her career, she was a productive scholar, publishing dozens of articles and chapters, and two important monographs, Colonial Inscriptions: Race, Class and Sex in Kenya (1995) and Women and Power in Zimbabwe: Promises of Feminism (2015), and she filled a variety of administrative posts, including department chair, Provost of the Kresge residential college, and Chair of the UC system-wide Committee on Privilege and Tenure. She has received numerous awards in her career, including a Fulbright Fellowship to the University of Zimbabwe in 1983-1984, a Danforth Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and a McHenry Award for Service to the Academic Senate at UCSC. Shaw retired from UCSC in 2010.

Documenting her work in Black feminist anthropology, the Carolyn Martin Shaw collection includes published and unpublished writing, correspondence, and a wealth of information on her research in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Along with her fieldnotes, research data, and photographs, the collection also includes records of her faculty service at USCS, and awards received for teaching and university service.

Gift of Carolyn Martin Shaw, May 2017

Subjects

Anthropologists--CaliforniaEthnology--KenyaEthnology--ZimbabweFeminismUniversity of California Santa Cruz--FacultyWomen--Africa
Smith, Gilbert, b. 1801

Gilbert Smith and Gilbert Smith, Jr. Account Books

1798-1846
2 vols. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 205 bd

Gilbert Smith was a shoemaker and doctor from New Marlborough, Massachusetts, and his son Gilbert Jr. was a prosperous farmer from Sheffield, Massachusetts. Includes merchandise sales, labor accounts, lists of boarders, and documentation of the sale of homemade butter and cheese to local merchants, as well as trade with the substantial rural black community of the region.

Subjects

African Americans--Massachusetts--Economic conditions--19th centuryAgricultural laborers--Massachusetts--History--19th centuryAgricultural wages--Massachusetts--History--19th centuryDairy products--Massachusetts--Marketing--History--19th centuryFamily--Economic aspects--Massachusetts--History--19th centuryFarmers--Massachusetts--Sheffield--History--19th centuryNew Marlborough (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th centurySheffield (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century

Contributors

Smith, Gilbert, 1801-Smith, Gilbert, d. 1804

Types of material

Account books
Social Change Periodicals

Social Change Periodicals Collection

1969-2006
14 boxes 21 linear feet
Call no.: MS 306
Depiction of Peace and Freedom, Mar. 1980
Peace and Freedom, Mar. 1980

Assembled to bring together short and broken runs of periodicals produced by activists and movements for social justice, the Social Change Periodicals Collection touches on a wide variety of topics. Much of the original collection came from subscriptions held by the Everywoman’s Center at UMass Amherst, however the collection has grown to include materials supplied by many other donors. The bulk of periodicals come from the period 1965-1990 and the subjects covered range from feminism to gay rights, and political radicalism, to peace, prison, labor, antiracism, and the counterculture more generally. The collection has been organized thematically into 19 series.

Subjects

African Americans--Suffrage--PeriodicalsCentral America--Politics and government--PeriodicalsDisarmament--PeriodicalsFeminism--PeriodicalsGay liberation movement--PeriodicalsLabor--United States--PeriodicalsLesbians--PeriodicalsNonviolence--PeriodicalsPeace--PeriodicalsPrisons--United States--PeriodicalsRadicalism--United States--PeriodicalsSocialism--PeriodicalWomen--Periodical

Types of material

Periodicals
Stokes, Daniel M. J.

Daniel M. J. and Joyce Stokes Papers

1984-1996
3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 661

From 1987 through early 1988, Daniel and Joyce Stokes published Into the Night, “a newsletter for freedom for political prisoners held in the United States.” Based in Brooklyn, N.Y., this simply-produced publication offered updates and commentary on Americans imprisoned for politically-motivated acts. Reflecting both the legacy of 1960s radicalism and the resurgent activism associated with U.S. imperialism in Central America, Into the Night offered news on the Ohio 7 sedition trial, the MOVE organization, and the fate of Plowshares war resisters.

The Stokes collection contains correspondence from subscribers and supporters of Into the Night, fleshing out their political philosophy and the conditions of imprisonment. Drawn from groups including the MOVE organization, the United Freedom Front, Black Liberation Army, and Plowshares, the correspondents include Ramona Africa, Alberto Aranda, Philip Berrigan, Marilyn Buck, Carl Kabat, Ray Luc Levasseur, Ruchell Cinque Magee, and Carol Manning. The collection also includes copies of other radical publications and a complete run of Into the Night itself.

Subjects

African American prisonersAfrican American radicalsAnti-imperialist movementsCommunistsInto the NightMOVE (Group)Ohio 7PlowsharesPolitical prisonersPrisonersRadicalsRevolutionariesUnited Freedom Front

Contributors

Africa, RamonaAranda, AlbertoBerrigan, PhilipBuck, MarilynGelabert, Ana LuciaHernandez, Alvaro LKabat, CarlLevasseur, Ray LucMagee, Ruchell CinqueStokes, Daniel M. J.Stokes, Joyce

Types of material

Newsletters
Strickland, William, 1937-

William Strickland Papers

1988-1997
4 boxes 4 linear feet
Call no.: FS 159

A native of Boston and graduate of Boston Latin School and Harvard, Bill Strickland was a scholar, activist, and longtime member of the Department of Afro-American Studies at UMass Amherst. After fulfilling his service with the Marine Corps, Strickland became active in civil rights and Black liberation work, serving as Executive Director of the Northern Student Movement, working in Mississippi for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and then as Northern Coordinator of the Party’s Congressional Challenge. He was a founding member of Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity in 1964 and in 1969, was also a founding member of the Institute of the Black World in Atlanta. An exacting scholar, Strickland was a key member of the faculty in Afro-American Studies at UMass Amherst teaching history and politics and held a number of important roles, including acting as Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Papers. He retired in 2013.

The Strickland Papers contain materials from two of Strickland’s many commitments during his time at UMass: the presidential campaign of Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow People’s Party in 1988 and an initiative to commemorate the complex life and legacy of Jackie Robinson in 1996-1997. Additional materials for Strickland are included in the records of the Department of Afro-American Studies.

Gift of Bill Strickland, 2013-

Subjects

Elections--United States--1988Jackson, Jesse, 1941-Rainbow People's PartyRobinson, Jackie, 1919-1972
Tillis, Frederick, 1930-

Frederick Tillis Papers

1970-2010
10 boxes 8 linear feet
Call no.: FS 156
Depiction of Fred Tillis, Nov. 23, 1977
Fred Tillis, Nov. 23, 1977

A composer, performer, poet, educator, and arts administrator, Fred Tillis was one of the major influences on the cultural life at UMass Amherst for forty years. Born in Galveston, Texas, in 1930, Tillis began playing jazz trumpet and saxophone even before his teens. A product of segregated schools, he graduated from Wiley College at the age of 19, and received his MA and PhD in music at the University of Iowa. As a performer and composer of unusual breadth, his work spans both the jazz and European traditions, and he has written for piano and voice, orchestra, choral pieces, chamber music, and in the African American spiritual tradition, drawing upon a wide range of cultural references. After teaching at Wiley, Grambling, and Kentucky State in the 1960s, Tillis was recruited to UMass in 1970 by his former adviser at Iowa, Philip Bezanson, to teach music composition and theory. Earning promotion to Professor in 1973, Tillis was appointed Director of the Fine Arts Center in 1978, helping to jump start some of the most successful arts initiatives the university has seen, including the the Afro American Music and Jazz program, the New World Theater, Augusta Savage Gallery, Asian Arts and Culture Program, and Jazz in July. Upon retirement from UMass in 1997, he was appointed Emeritus Director of the Fine Arts and remains active as a musician and poet.

The Tillis papers document an extraordinary career in the arts, focused on Fred Tillis’s work as a composer. Consisting primarily of musical scores along with an assortment of professional correspondence relating to his publishing and miscellaneous notes, the collection offers insight into the evolution of Tillis’s musical vision from the 1970s into the new millennium.

Subjects

African American composersAfrican American musiciansFine Arts Center (University of Massachusetts Amherst)JazzUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Music and Dance

Contributors

Tillis, Frederick, 1930-

Types of material

Scores