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

Collecting area: Civil rights

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
Unzicker, Rae

Rae Unzicker Papers

1979-1997
1 box 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 818
Depiction of Rae Unzicker
Rae Unzicker

Rae Unzicker’s exposure to the psychiatric system began at a young age. Growing up in an abusive home, her parents sent her to psychiatrists off and on for years before she was involuntarily committed. While there, she was quickly introduced to the chaotic and damaging atmosphere of a psychiatric institution, exposing her to mandatory drugs, seclusion rooms, forced feeding, and work “therapy” that required her to wash dishes six hours a day. Once she was release, Unzicker’s road to recovery was long, but after several suicide attempts and stays at other treatment facilities, she ultimately counted herself–along with her friend Judi Chamberlin, an early leader in the movement–a psychiatric survivor. Like Chamberlin, Unzicker embraced her role as an advocate of patient’s rights and for the radical transformation of the mental-health system. In 1995, President Clinton appointed her to the National Council on Disability; two years later she was elected president of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA). Unzicker was widely known for her public appearances, conferences and speeches, and her writings, including numerous articles and contributions to the book Beyond Bedlam: Contemporary Women Psychiatric Survivors Speak Out. A survivor of cancer of the jaw and breast, Rae Unzicker died at her home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on March 22, 2001 at the age of 52.

Although a small collection, Rae Unzicker’s papers document her activities as a leading advocate for the rights of mental health patients, including transcripts of speeches and videotaped appearances, correspondence and feedback related to workshops and conferences, press kits, and newspaper clippings. The most important materials, however, are her writings. It is through her poems and her full-length memoir, You Never Gave Me M & M’s, that Unzicker’s story and voice are preserved.

Subjects

AntipsychiatryEx-mental patientsPeople with disabilities--Civil rightsPeople with disabilities--Legal status, laws, etc.Psychiatric survivors movement

Contributors

Unzicker, Rae

Types of material

MemoirsVideotapes
Urban League of Springfield

Urban League of Springfield Records

1972-1975
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 150

A community development and service agency founded in 1914, the Urban League of Springfield works to secure equal opportunity for minority groups in such fields as employment, education, housing, health, and personal welfare.

This small collection is tightly focused on the period of the school busing (desegregation) crisis in Springfield, 1974-1975, and the League’s efforts to analyze and respond to the underlying issues in race relations and political engagement. The contents include surveys on racial attitudes and voting behavior in the city along with a selection of publications from the League and a set of board minutes and handouts.

Subjects

School integration--Massachusetts--SpringfieldSpringfield (Mass.)--History--20th centurySpringfield (Mass.)--Politics and governmentSpringfield (Mass.)--Race relations
WBCN and the American Revolution Documentary Collection

WBCN and the American Revolution Documentary Collection

ca.1968-2010
Call no.: MS 788
Depiction of

On March 15, 1968, a failing classical music station, WBCN-FM, was reinvented as Boston’s first voice in radical underground radio, and its influence quickly spread nationally. Its characteristic blend of cultural chaos, including rock, folk, blues, and jazz, interspersed with news, radical politics, and community programming, provided a soundtrack for a generation fighting to remake its world. WBCN earned its nickname, “The American Revolution.” The station’s eclectic and unpredictable broadcasts included music from little-known performers who would emerge into the biggest acts of the day; regularly scheduled live musical performances from local clubs; trenchant political analysis and newscasts of the major events of the day; interviews with legendary cultural figures; and innovative new shows including one of the first women’s programs and the Lavender Hour, the nation’s first regularly broadcast LGBT radio show. Music, politics, culture, and community were intensely interconnected through WBCN, while its “listener line,” which took calls and answered questions on any subject, helped make it a virtual two-way hub for countercultural Boston.

While producing a documentary film about WBCN, and the music, politics, and social change during the period 1968-1974, former WBCN newscaster and announcer Bill Lichtenstein recognized the importance of archiving the wealth of primary materials that told the story of WBCN, its community and the dramatic changes of the era. The American Revolution Documentary Collection is the product of Lichtenstein’s energy, serving as an umbrella for a suite of interrelated collections focused on the impact of underground media in the Boston area and the profound social, political, and cultural changes of that time. These collections include the work of photographers, journalists, and writers who would go on to prominence, as well as activists, artists, and everyday people who witnessed and took part in an extended public conversation on the direction of our nation during the period of profound social, political, and cultural upheaval and who used media to help change it.

WBCN and the American Revolution collections include:

Selected recordings from the Collection are available to stream through Airtime Pro, a web-based radio platform. ​Hear the music, news reports, ads, rare live musical broadcasts, station ID’s, interviews, zaniness, and more, as broadcast from WBCN-FM’s launch in 1968 and over the next seven years. You can listen using the player below or go directly to the Airtime Pro site, here: https://amrev.airtime.pro/

Subjects

Alternative radio broadcasting--MassachusettsBoston (Mass.)--History--20th centuryCambridge (Mass.)--History--20th centuryNineteen sixtiesRock musicVietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movementsWBCN (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)

Types of material

PhotographsSound recordings
Weinberg, Meyer, 1920-2002

Meyer Weinberg Papers

1947-1992
26 boxes 39 linear feet
Call no.: FS 177

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

Born in New York City in 1920 on the day his Russian immigrant parents first set foot in the United States, Meyer Weinberg was a political radical, civil rights activist, and a distinguished scholar of desegregation in education. Working his way through the University of Chicago, receiving both a BA (1942) and MA (1945), Weinberg began his career at Wright Junior College, where he harnessed his zeal for social justice to the problem of integration in Chicago’s schools. Active in the civil rights movement, he became a key figure in providing data for desegregation efforts nationally, serving as Chair of the Education Committee of the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO) from 1963 to 1967, and as an expert witness in numerous desegregation cases. After moving to City College in Chicago (1971) and then Northwestern (1972-1978), he accepted a faculty appointment at UMass Amherst in the School of Education (and later in Afro-American Studies), also working as Director of the Horace Mann Bond Center for Equal Education (1978-1992). Weinberg’s eighteenth book, A Short History of American Capitalism, appeared just before his death on Feb. 28, 2002.

A large and varied collection, the Weinberg Papers document both the academic and political commitments of Meyer Weinberg from the late 1940s until his retirement from UMass. The focus throughout is his interest in school desegregation, particularly in his native Chicago, but the collection extends to other areas in civil rights activism.

Subjects

African Americans--EducationChicago (Ill.)--HistorySegregation in education
White Light Communications

White Light Communications Collection

1989-1999
150 items 54 linear feet
Call no.: MS 984

A not-for-profit media company based in Burlington, Vermont, White Light Communications produced dozens of videos during the late 1980s and early 1990s reflecting the voices and experiences of psychiatric survivors. With initial funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, Executive Director Paul Engels and his colleagues, all psychiatric survivors themselves, built a fully-equipped television production studio and conducted nearly one hundred interviews with ex-patients and leaders in the antipsychiatry movement. Although most of the interviews were conducted in Burlington, they also produced documentaries, and covered national events such as the final two Alternatives conferences and “Self Help Live,” a broadcast that focused on highlighting consumer/survivor leaders.

The hundreds of video interviews and other productions that comprise the White Light Communications collection were produced by, for, and about psychiatric survivors. Paul Engels interviewed nearly a hundred ex-patients including important leaders in the movement such as Judi Chamberlin, Sally Zinman, Howie the Harp, and George Ebert, and several episodes focused on the mental health system and activism in Vermont. The subjects of the interviews range widely from homelessness to involuntary treatment, peer support, suicide, surviving the mental health system, and the history of the psychiatric survivors movement.

Gift of Paul Engels, May 2017

Subjects

AntipsychiatryCivil rights movements--United StatesEx-mental patientsMental health services--United StatesMental illness--Alternative treatmentMentally ill--Social conditionsPsychiatric survivors movement

Contributors

Chamberlin, Judi, 1944-2010Dart, Justin, 1930-2002Ebert, GeorgeEngels, PaulMillett, KateZinman, Sally

Types of material

Oral histories (Document genres)U-maticVideotapes
Winston, Robert

Bob Winston Papers

1964-1993
36 boxes 49.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 452

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

An educator and activist, Robert (Bob) M. Winston was born in New York City during the first wave of the baby boom and lived many of the principles associated with his generation. Winston became active in the civil rights and antiwar movements while a graduate student at Indiana University in the mid-1960s, working in cause while building his academic career. After being dismissed from a position at the University of New Hampshire for his antiwar activities, he moved on to UMass Amherst, where he earned a doctorate in education, serving as head of the Valley Peace Center at the same time. His activism continued to include social and environmental justice with organizations such as the Greensboro Justice Fund, Karuna Center for Peace Building, and the Performance Project.

The Winston Papers contain a dense assemblage of personal correspondence, subject files, posters, and audiovisual and printed materials documenting a career in social justice movements. The earliest materials in the collection stem from Winston’s involvement in the civil rights movement in Indiana and his opposition to the war in Vietnam, including a surprisingly wide array of materials from left-oriented periodicals to antiwar newspapers printed for servicemen and women, and the collection documents the ups and downs of his academic career. Later materials touch on his interests in U.S. intervention in Central America during the 1980s, the prison-industrial complex, civil liberties, and environmental issues.

Subjects

Alinsky, Saul David, 1909-1972Amherst (Mass.)--HistoryCivil rights movementsDraft--United States--HistoryKennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968Peace movementsPolitical activists--MassachusettsRosenberg, Ethel, 1915-1953Rosenberg, Julius, 1918-1953Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.)Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--Massachusetts
Ziths, Frankie

Frankie Ziths Collection

ca. 1968-1990
20 boxes ca. 30 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1130
Depiction of Frankie Ziths in front of the Black Panther Party Harlem Branch office, 1977. Photo by Kwesi Balagoon (with Ziths's camera).
Frankie Ziths in front of the Black Panther Party Harlem Branch office, 1977. Photo by Kwesi Balagoon (with Ziths's camera).

Frankie “Ashbuloh” Ziths, born Frank Gumbs, Jr. on December 6, 1933 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, was a vital member of the Black Panther Party, joining in the late 1960s. Ziths served as the official New York photographer for the Party’s newspaper, The Black Panther, and covered the Panther 21 trial first for The Black Panther, then for Right On!, the East Coast Panther newspaper. As more of the members of the Harlem Branch were arrested and jailed or forced underground, Ziths kept the Branch’s business and programs moving forward until it closed in 1981. One of the programs Ziths took over was the National Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners, which raised awareness and funds to support political prisoners in the US. Through the NCDPP, Ziths maintained long-standing correspondences with incarcerated fellow activists and sent them money, often from his own pocket. In the late 1970s, Ziths began honing his skills as a photographer and became a respected New York paparazzi, eventually working as one of the city’s most sought-after news photographers and a stringer for the Associated Press and The New York Times. Ziths died of lung cancer on December 31, 1990.

Prompted by his wife Barbara Dee Ziths (now Barbara Heller), who recognized the historical significance of the work of Black community activists in New York, Ziths began preserving material documenting the Panther 21 trial, and eventually the activities of the Harlem Branch of the Black Panther Party. Heller and Ziths saved all the material that was in the branch when it closed in 1981. The Frankie Ziths Collection includes administrative files, publications, posters, original artwork and layouts, and memorabilia from the Party’s Harlem Branch, documenting the ideological split of the Black Panther Party in 1971 and support for the Black Liberation Army; administrative files and correspondence from the NCDPP; Ziths own notebooks and journals, including notebooks recording his experiences at the Panther 21 trial; and Ziths complete archive of photographic negatives, slides, and prints, representing his career as a paparazzi and press photographer and documenting activism in New York and elsewhere in the East Coast Black Panther Party community.

Gift of Barbara Heller

Subjects

Black Panther Party

Contributors

National Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners

Types of material

Photographs