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

Collecting area: Antiracism

Blum, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Blum Papers

1961-1968
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1136

Named for Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, the “Rebel Girl,” Elizabeth “Liz” Blum has worked to live up to her name through public activism, organizing, and community service in the civil rights, anti-war, women’s, anti-apartheid, co-op, and other movements. After graduating from Bennington College in 1964, Blum went south as a part of the Mississippi Freedom Vote, going door to door in northwestern Mississippi until her house in Tupelo was firebombed, forcing her to relocate to Columbus for the remainder of the registration drive. She continued her work and connections with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in New Haven as a worker for the Freedom School and the Economic Research and Action Program, and additionally lived in New York City and San Francisco before returning to Vermont in 1967 to live in a commune and teach French at Castleton University. There Blum organized an SDS chapter and women’s group before moving to Cambridge, Mass., joining the Boston Women’s Health Collective and helping to edit Our Bodies, Ourselves. A retired Occupational Therapist, Blum is currently county chair of the Vermont Progressive Party, serves on the Board of the Hanover Co-op Food Stores where she heads the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, and continues her diverse advocacy work through personal and community action.

Small in size, but generous in topic and form, the Blum Papers consist of correspondence and two newsletter portions with commentary on numerous events and activist groups during the first half of the 1960s. Personal experiences and reflections on national politics and trends, student and community organizing, and the anti-Vietnam War and civil rights movements, reveal how individuals negotiated and prioritized their thoughts and actions during such turbulent times. Correspondents include Henry M. Aronson, Ike Coleman, Vernon Grizzard, and Mike Miller, and updates from and to Blum are mostly from Mississippi, but also San Francisco, Cambridge, New Haven, and Selma.

Gift of Liz Blum, 2020.

Subjects

Activists--United States

Types of material

Correspondence
Bond, Horace Mann, 1904-1972

Horace Mann Bond Papers

1830-1979
169 boxes 84.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 411
Depiction of Horace Mann Bond, ca.1930
Horace Mann Bond, ca.1930

Educator, sociologist, scholar, and author. Includes personal and professional correspondence; administrative and teaching records; research data; manuscripts of published and unpublished speeches, articles and books; photographs; and Bond family papers, especially those of Horace Bond’s father, James Bond. Fully represented are Bond’s two major interests: black education, especially its history and sociological aspects, and Africa, particularly as related to educational and political conditions.

Correspondents include many notable African American educators, Africanists, activists, authors and others, such as Albert C. Barnes, Claude A. Barnett, Mary McLeod Bethune, Arna Bontemps, Ralph Bunche, Rufus Clement, J.G. St. Clair Drake, W.E.B. Du Bois, Edwin Embree, John Hope Franklin, E. Franklin Frazier, W.C. Handy, Thurgood Marshall, Benjamin E. Mays, Pauli Murray, Kwame Nkrumah, Robert Ezra Park, A. Phillip Randolph, Lawrence P. Reddick, A.A. Schomburg, George Shepperson, Carter G. Woodson and Monroe Work.

Subjects

Africa--Description and travelAfrican American educatorsAfrican Americans--Education--History--20th centuryAmerican Society of African CultureAtlanta UniversityDillard UniversityFort Valley State CollegeInternational African American CorporationJulius Rosenwald FundLincoln UniversityRace relations--United States

Contributors

Barnes, Albert C. (Albert Coombs), 1872-1951Bond, Horace Mann, 1904-1972Bond, James, 1863-1929Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963Nkrumah, Kwame, 1909-1972

Types of material

Photographs
Broadside Press

Broadside Press Collection

1965-1984
1 box, 110 vols. 3.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 571
Depiction of Broadside 6
Broadside 6

A significant African American poet of the generation of the 1960s, Dudley Randall was an even more significant publisher of emerging African American poets and writers. Publishing works by important writers from Gwendolyn Brooks to Haki Madhubuti, Alice Walker, Etheridge Knight, Audre Lorde, Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, and Sonia Sanchez, his Broadside Press in Detroit became an important contributor to the Black Arts Movement.
The Broadside Press Collection includes approximately 200 titles published by Randall’s press during its first decade of operation, the period of its most profound cultural influence. The printed works are divided into five series, Broadside poets (including chapbooks, books of poetry, and posters), anthologies, children’s books, the Broadside Critics Series (works of literary criticism by African American authors), and the Broadsides Series. . The collection also includes a selection of items used in promoting Broadside Press publications, including a broken run of the irregularly published Broadside News, press releases, catalogs, and fliers and advertising cards.

Gift of the Friends of the W.E.B. Du Bois Libraries, Aug. 2008

Subjects

African American poetsAfrican American writersBlack Arts MovementPoetry

Contributors

Broadside PressBrooks, Gwendolyn, 1917-2000Emanuel, James AGiovanni, NikkiKnight, EtheridgeMadhubuti, Haki R., 1942-Randall, Dudley, 1914-Sanchez, Sonia, 1934-

Types of material

BroadsidesEphemeraPosters
Bruskin, Gene

Gene Bruskin Papers

1963-2018
6 boxes 8 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1020
Depiction of Gene Bruskin
Gene Bruskin

Gene Bruskin arrived at Princeton in 1964 as a basketball player and left as a political radical. After taking part in the Second Venceremos Brigade, Bruskin got involved in antiracist and labor organizing in Boston. As president of the United Steelworkers of America local during the busing crisis of the 1970s, he helped win overwhelming support among the city’s bus drivers to have the union represent them, leading successful campaigns for better wages and working conditions. In the years since, he has held numerous high-profile positions nationally and internationally, including as labor director for Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, Secretary Treasurer for the Food and Allied Service Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, and co-convener of U.S. Labor Against the War, an organization promoting peace and the demilitarization of U.S. foreign policy. Bruskin was a major figure in the largest private union election in the history of the United Food and Commercial Workers when he led the successful campaign to unionize 5,000 workers at Smithfield Foods in North Carolina. Since retiring in 2012, he has continued to consult with unions. In addition he has returned to some of his earlier undertakings in producing cultural works as a poet, songwriter, and playwright, centered on social justice and working class themes.

Documenting nearly fifty years of activism, Gene Bruskin’s papers are an exceptional resource for the labor movement in the 1970s through early 2000s, and particularly its radical end. Although Bruskin’s early years are relatively sparsely represented, there is a significant run of Brother, the first anti-sexist, “male liberation” journal that he helped found while in Oakland, and the collection includes important material from his work in Boston with the Hyde Park Defense Committee, the Red Basement Singers, and especially with the School Bus Drivers and their tumultuous three-week strike in 1980. The collection also contains a rich assortment of material on labor left and antiwar organizing in the 1990s and 2000s, the Justice at Smithfield campaign, and Bruskin’s work on behalf of single payer insurance, for International Solidarity, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees.

Gift of Gene Bruskin, April 2018

Subjects

Boston (Mass.)--HistoryBus drivers--Labor unionsCharter schoolsJackson, Jesse, 1941-Labor unions--MassachusettsLabor unions--North CarolinaNational Rainbow Coalition (U.S.)Public schoolsSmithfield Foods, Inc.Strikes and lockouts--Bus driversWeatherman (Organization)

Contributors

Boston School Bus Drivers UnionUnited Steelworkers of America
Center for Popular Economics (U.S.)

Center for Popular Economics Records

1978-1986
21 boxes 12.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 109

Established in 1978 by a group of radical economists at UMass Amherst and local community and labor activists, the Center for Popular Economics. The Center’s staff grew to include a diverse group of economics professors, degree candidates, and activists from a wide range of educational institutions and social forums.

The collection documents the development of the Center’s program, curriculum, and staff, as well as their fund raising, advertising, outreach and networking activities.

Subjects

EconomicsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Economics

Contributors

Center for Popular Economics (U.S.)
Clark, Gloria Xifaras, 1942-

Gloria Xifaras Clark Papers

1943-2015
21 boxes 10.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 865
Depiction of Gloria Xifaras Clark and student, 1964
Gloria Xifaras Clark and student, 1964

Gloria Xifaras Clark was working as an elementary school teacher in her home town of New Bedford in 1964 when she answered the call to enlist in the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project. A recent graduate of Wheelock College, she was assigned to teach in the Benton County Freedom School in Holly Springs for several months, and stayed on to help organize the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and to teach literacy and Negro history in Benton, Tippah, and Union Counties. She continued on the activist path after returning to Massachusetts, devoting her energies to economic justice initiatives and work with the Friends of SNCC and the NAACP, and diving headlong into the antiwar movement as head of the Greater New Bedford Draft Information Center. After spending three years in England with her family in 1972-1975, she resumed her civic and educational work in New Bedford, eventually earning appointment as head of the Commonwealth’s Office for Children under Michael Dukakis in 1983. With a keen awareness of the historical importance of the civil rights struggle, Clark became a key organizer of an oral history project during the 1990s that included her fellow veterans of the civil rights movement in northern Mississippi. The results are available digitally through the University of Southern Mississippi.

Documenting the evolution of one activist’s career, the Clark Papers offer valuable information on the Freedom Summer and Freedom Schools in northern Mississippi, particularly in Tippah and Benton Counties, and civil rights activism more generally. The collection includes communiques among civil rights workers in the region, a variety of correspondence, pamphlets, newsletters, and ephemera, plus a small, but noteworthy collection of photographs. Of particular significance among the later materials is a thick body of material from the Draft Information Center in New Bedford (1967-1968), the Vietnam Summer project (1967), and relating to Clark’s role in the Harvard Strike of 1969.

Subjects

American Friends Service CommitteeCivil Rights movements--MississippiCouncil of Federated Organizations (U.S.)Draft resisters--MassachusettsHarvard University--Student strike, 1969Mississippi Freedom Democratic PartyMississippi Freedom ProjectPeace movements--MasachusettsStudent Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.)Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--Massachusetts

Types of material

Photographs
Class Action

Class Action Records

2004-2010
13 boxes 19.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 687

Temporarily stored offsite; contact SCUA to request materials from this collection.

Since incorporating as a non-profit in 2004, Class Action has been dedicated to exploring issues surrounding class and identifying means of dismantling classism. Founded by Felice Yeskel (an activist and founder of the Stonewall Center at UMass Amherst) and Jennifer Ladd, Class Action offers training, workshops, and organizational consulting to raise awareness of the impact of class barriers and class privilege on the lives of individuals and communities and of the intersections between race and class. Their goals include making class a diversity issue and promoting a broader vision of economic and social justice that will create lasting systemic change.

The records of Class Action include administrative files for the organization along with a range of materials used in training sessions and workshops.

Subjects

ClassismRacismSocial classes

Contributors

Ladd, JenniferYeskel, Felice

Types of material

Sound recordings
Constitutionalism in American Life Conference

Constitutionalism in American Life Conference Collection

1986
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 140

A conference hosted by the University of Massachusetts Amherst on November 7-9, 1986, that examined the impact of the Constitution on politics and government, foreign policy, race relations, and the economy, and also discussed the impact on the constitution of popular struggles and the emergence of “rights consciousness.” Includes papers presented at the conference that were to be subsequently published in a special bicentennial issue of the Journal of American History.

Subjects

Constitutional history--United States--CongressesConstitutional law--United States--CongressesJournal of American historyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--History
Cooley, Bertha Strong

Bertha Strong Cooley Collection

1901-1949
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 506

An educator, farmer’s wife, and resident of South Deerfield, Massachusetts, Bertha Strong Cooley was an ardent Socialist who published regularly in local newspapers on topics ranging from anti-imperialism, democracy, capitalism, Communism, Russia, World War II, and civil rights.

The Cooley scrapbooks reflect the views of a teacher and farmer’s wife who used the newspapers to express her passion for social justice. Cooley ranged widely in responding to the news of the day, espousing Socialism and opposing racial injustice, war, imperialism, economic oppression, and Capitalism. One scrapbook contains writings by Cooley, the other clippings of articles dealing with topics of interest.

Subjects

African Americans--Civil rightsPacifists--MassachusettsRace relations--United StatesSocial justice--MassachusettsSocialists--MassachusettsWorld War, 1939-1945

Contributors

Cooley, Bertha Strong

Types of material

Letters to the editorScrapbooks
Du Bois, David Graham

David Graham Du Bois Papers

1972-1996
7 boxes 6.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 034

David Graham Du Bois was a visiting lecturer in the Journalism and African-American Studies Departments from 1983 until his retirement in 2001. Du Bois was the son of activist and artist Shirley Graham Du Bois, who married W.E.B Du Bois in 1961. Du Bois earned his B.A. at Hunter College in 1950 and a Masters in American Civilization from New York University in 1956. After studying at Beijing University, he traveled to Cairo, Egypt, fell in love with the city, and settled there in 1961, working as a foreign correspondent for the Pacific News Service, Variety, and as an assistant editor for several Egyptian news publications. An activist, like his step-father and mother, Du Bois became the spokesperson for the Black Panther Party, and agitated for racial liberation throughout his life. After his mother’s death in 1977, he became the custodian of W.E.B Du Bois’ legacy and founded the W.E.B. Du Bois Foundation to continue working toward his step-father’s goals. While at the University, Du Bois played an essential role in naming the University Library after his step-father. Du Bois died on January 28, 2005.

The David Graham Du Bois Papers document his later life and his managing of W.E.B. Du Bois’ estate. The papers include a selection of David Du Bois’ correspondence, speech manuscripts, clippings describing his step-father, as well as seleced personal financial records from his time in Amherst, Massachusetts. Additional Du Bois materials remain with the family.

Transferred by the Department of Journalism, 2007

Subjects

Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Afro-American StudiesUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of JournalismW.E.B. Du Bois Foundation