Collecting area: African American

Heath, Gordon, 1918-1991

Gordon Heath Papers

1913-1992
44 boxes 22.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 372 and 372 bd
Depiction of Gordon Heath, Paris
Gordon Heath, Paris

A multi-talented performer, the African American expatriate Gordon Heath was variously a stage and film actor, musician, director, producer, founder of the Studio Theater of Paris, and co-owner of the Parisian nightclub L’Abbaye. Born in New York City, Heath became involved in acting as a teenager and enjoyed a career that spanned post-World War II Broadway to the Black Arts Movement of the 1970s. In addition to his many roles on film and stage, he and his partner Lee Payant enjoyed success as recording artists in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Heath collection includes personal and professional correspondence, scrapbooks containing photos and clippings from assorted television and film productions in addition to songs, poetry, and reviews of plays or playbills from productions he attended. The Papers also contain art work, sheet music, personal and production photographs, and drafts of his memoirs.

Subjects

Abbaye (Nightclub : Paris, France)African American actors--France--Paris--HistoryAfrican American singers--France--Paris--HistoryAfrican Americans in the performing arts--HistoryAfrican-American theater--History--20th centuryBaldwin, James, 1924-Chametzky, JulesDodson, Owen, 1914-Expatriate musicians--France--Paris--HistoryHughes, Langston, 1902-1967Musicians--United States--HistoryNightclubs--France--Paris--HistoryParis (France)--Intellectual life--20th centuryPayant, Lee--CorrespondencePrimus, PearlRive gauche (Paris, France)--Intellectual life--20th centuryStudio Theater of ParisTheater--Production and direction--France--Paris--History

Contributors

Abramson, Doris EHeath, Gordon, 1918-1991

Types of material

PhotographsScrapbooksScriptsSheet musicSketches
Hoagland, Everett

Everett Hoagland Papers

1966-2018
4 boxes, 37 books 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 910
Everett Hoagland
Everett Hoagland at the PAWA World Poetry Conference in Accra, Ghana, 1999.

Poet Everett Hoagland was born and raised in Philadelphia and attended and graduated from Lincoln University, and later Brown University on a full fellowship for pursuing his Masters of Arts. Hoagland’s poetry came of age during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s and the Black Arts Movement, and is often powerfully political. Driven by the history, music, rhythms, and both collective and individual stories from African and African American culture and experiences, Hoagland is one of the most significant African American poets of the late twentieth century. His second chapbook, Black Velvet, was published by the pioneering Broadside Press in 1970, and he has remained widely published and anthologized through to the present day, including his most recent anthology addition, a poem about the Black Lives Matter movement. In addition to his writing, Hoagland has given readings across the nation and globe, and also served as a teacher and mentor to many, primarily in his position as a Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth for over thirty years. He has won numerous awards and honors, including the Gwendolyn Brooks Award for Fiction, two state-wide poetry competitions for Massachusetts Artists Foundation fellowships, the Distinguished Service to University award from UMass Dartmouth, two MA Local Cultural Council grants for book publications, ForeWord Magazine’s Best Poetry Book award, and most recently in 2015, the Langston Hughes Society Award. Hoagland also served, from 1994 to 1998, as the inaugural poet laureate of his adopted hometown of New Bedford, MA.

The Everett Hoagland Papers include manuscript materials and over twenty books documenting Hoagland’s decades-long career as a poet and writer on racial politics and African American experiences. They consist of photographs; performance and presentation programs, reviews, and recordings; interviews and articles; and unpublished and published writings including copies of Hoagland’s column in the New Bedford The Standard Times, a draft of his Master’s thesis, short fiction stories, a scrapbook of unpublished poetry, and poetry in magazines, periodicals, Hoagland’s authored poetry books, and numerous anthologies.

Gift of Everett Hoagland, 2016

Subjects

African American poetsAfrican American writersAfrican Americans--PoetryAmerican poetry--African American authorsBlack Arts MovementPoetry--New England--Massachusetts

Types of material

AnthologiesBooksPoems
Holmes, Francis W.

Francis W. Holmes Southern Student Project Collection

1964-1972
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1008
Depiction of Deborah Craig as majorette, ca.1966
Deborah Craig as majorette, ca.1966

Between 1957 and 1968, the Southern Student Project of the American Friends Service Committee brought academically gifted African American high school students from the south to live and study in the north. Working initially through its New York office, the AFSC announced its desire to bring “to promising young people, thwarted by the doctrine of the separation of the races, the fullest development of their gifts” while providing northern whites with “an experience which will increase our understanding and deepen our involvement with the human community.”

A dense and nearly comprehensive record of participation in the Southern Student Project of the American Friends Service Committee, the Holmes collection documents a Quaker response to the civil rights crisis of the late 1950s and 1960s. Holmes carefully filed nearly every relevant piece of paper associated with his participation, from the fliers that introduced him to the project to listings of eligible students, his lengthy letter of inquiry and application, and his numerous exchanges with his support committee, the local high school, and the American Friends Service Committee. Perhaps more important, he kept both sides of an extensive and often lengthy correspondence with the Craig family, describing Deborah’s adjustment and progress in Amherst and the response of the local community. The collection also includes Holmes’ report of the Friends Conference on Race Relations and some correspondence between Holmes and Craig during her time in college, when Holmes attempted to provide counsel and financial support to help Craig continue her education.

Gift of Becky Holmes, May 2018

Subjects

African Americans--EducationCivil rights movementsRace relations

Contributors

American Friends Service Committee. Southern Student ProjectCraig, DeborahMount Toby Monthly Meeting of Friends
Howard, James E.

James E. Howard Collection

1947-1953
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1085

An advertising man from Brooklyn, and a neighbor and friend of W.E.B. Du Bois, James E. Howard was an active supporter of the Committee for the Negro in the Arts during its brief period of activity. Organized in 1947 with Communist Party support, the Committee was an arts-focused civil rights organization, opposing degregation and promoting the employment of African Americans in the performing and visual arts. Criticized by the House Un-American Activities Committee as a Communist front, the Committee was also criticized by the intellectual Harold Cruse, a former member, as a “sad flop,” a patronizing and opportunistic endeavor of white radical that was so constrained by the desire to appeal to white audiences that it was incapable of exploring work of deeper significance to African American audiences.

This small collection contains printed materials from the Committee for the Negro in the Arts (CNA), a politically progressive interracial cultural organization. The collection includes CNA newsletters, event programs, invitations, and an assortment of mailings and other items used in publicity and public relations.

Gift of Jonathan Howard, Sept. 2017.

Subjects

African American theater

Contributors

Committee for the Negro in the Arts
Howland family

Howland Family Papers

1727-1886 Bulk: 1771-1844
2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 923

The Howland family of East Greenwich, R.I., figured prominently in New England Quakerism during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and contributed to the state’s public affairs. Brothers Daniel (1754-1834), an approved minister, and Thomas Howland (1764-1845), an educator, were active members of the Society during the tumultuous years between the 1780s and 1840s, caught up in the moral demands for a response to slavery and other social issues and in the divisions wrought by evangelical influences.

Centered largely on the lives of Thomas Howland, his brother Daniel, and Daniel’s son Daniel, the Howland collection is an important record of Quaker life in Rhode Island during trying times. As meeting elders, the Howlands monitored and contributed to the era’s major controversies, and the collection is particularly rich in discussions of the impact of slavery and the passionate struggle between Friends influenced by the evangelically-inclined Joseph John Gurney and the orthodox John Wilbur. Thomas’ complex response to his commitment to the antislavery cause and his fear of disrupting meeting unity is particularly revealing. Also of note is a series of responses from monthly meetings to queries on compliance with Quaker doctrine, obtained during the decade after the American Revolution.

Subjects

Antislavery movements--Rhode IslandEast Greenwich (R.I.)--HistoryPeace movements--Rhode IslandTemperance--Rhode Island

Contributors

Bassett, William, 1803-1871Brown, Moses, 1738-1836Friends' Boarding School (Providence, R.I.)Gurney, Joseph John, 1788-1847Howland, DanielHowland, Daniel, 1754-1834Howland, Thomas, 1764-1845Moses Brown SchoolNew England Yearly Meeting of FriendsShearman, Abraham, 1777-1847Society of Friends--Controversial literatureSociety of Friends--HistoryTobey, Samuel Boyd, 1805-1867Wilbur, John, 1774-1856
Hudson Family

Hudson family Papers

1780-1955 Bulk: 1825-1848
6 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 332
Depiction of Three generations: including Erasmus Darwin Hudson Sr. and Jr.
Three generations: including Erasmus Darwin Hudson Sr. and Jr.

Born in Torringford, Connecticut in 1806, and educated at the Torringford Academy and Berkshire Medical College (MD 1827), Erasmus Darwin Hudson became well known as a radical reformer. While establishing his medical practice in Bloomfield, Conn., and later in Springfield, Mass., and New York City, Hudson emerged as a force in the antislavery struggle, hewing to the non-resistant line. Touring the northeastern states as a lecturing agent for the Connecticut Anti-Slavery Society and general agent of the American Anti-Slavery Society, he regularly contributing articles to an antislavery periodicals and befriended many of the movement’s leaders. In his professional life as an orthopedic surgeon, Hudson earned acclaim for his contributions to the development of modern prosthetics. During the carnage of the Civil War, he introduced remarkable improvements in artificial limb technology and innovations in the treatment of amputations and battle trauma, winning awards for his contributions at international expositions in Paris (1867) and Philadelphia (1876). Hudson died of pneumonia on Dec. 31, 1880.

Spanning five generations of a family of physicians and social reformers, the Hudson Family Papers include particularly significant content for Erasmus Darwin Hudson documenting his activities with the Connecticut and American Anti-Slavery societies. Hudson’s journals and writings are accompanied by a rich run of correspondence with antislavery figures such as Abby Kelley, Wendell Phillips, Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Isaac Hopper, and Samuel May and a unique antislavery campaign map of New York state and surrounding areas (1841). Hudson’s medical career and that of his son Erasmus Darwin Hudson, Jr. (1843-1887), a thoracic physician, is equally well documented through correspondence, medical notes, and handwritten drafts of lectures, with other material ranging from family records and writings of and other family members to genealogies of the Hudson, Shaw, Clarke, Fowler, and Cooke families, and printed material, memorabilia, clipping and photographs.

Subjects

AbolitionistsAfrican Americans--HistoryAmerican Anti-slavery SocietyAntislavery movements--MassachusettsConnecticut Anti-slavery SocietyConnecticut--History--19th centuryMassachusetts--History--19th centuryPhysicians--New YorkUnited States--History--1783–1865

Contributors

Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895Foster, Abby Kelley, 1810-1887Garrison, William Lloyd, 1805-1879Gay, Sydney Howard, 1814-1888Hopper, Isaac T. (Isaac Tatem), 1771-1852Hudson FamilyHudson, Daniel Coe, 1774–1840Hudson, Erasmus Darwin, 1806–1880Hudson, Erasmus Darwin, 1843–1887Phillips, Wendell, 1811-1884Smith, Gerrit, 1797-1874Stone, Lucy, 1818-1893Weld, Theodore Dwight, 1803-1895Wright, Henry Clarke, 1797-1870

Types of material

DiariesLetters (Correspondence)
Hudson, Judith Collings

Judith Collings Hudson Collection

1964-2000
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 896

A 1967 graduate of Springfield College, Judith Collings Hudson earned doctoral degree in 2001 through the UMass Amherst School of Education for her dissertation, Freedom teachers: Northern White women teaching in southern Black communities, 1860s and 1960s. The project was an ambitious comparative study of the experiences of White teachers, mostly northern women, living and teaching in southern Black communities during the Reconstruction era south and those who taught during Mississippi Freedom Summer.

The Hudson Papers focus closely on the second half of her dissertation, relating to the Freedom Schools and educational initiatives associated with the Mississippi Freedom Summer and the civil rights movement. In addition to her dissertation, research notes, some correspondence, and background materials, the collection includes an important array of audio interviews with teachers and participants in the Freedom Summer, most of which have been transcribed.

Gift of Judith Hudson, June 2016

Subjects

Civil rights movements--MississippiMississippi Freedom ProjectTeachers--Mississippi

Contributors

AudiocassettesOral histories (literary works)
Illustrated Sheet Music

Illustrated Sheet Music Collection

1896-1946
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 960
Depiction of Waiting for the Robert E. Lee
Waiting for the Robert E. Lee

Advances in color printing technologies combined with decreasing costs of publication led to a flowering of illustrated sheet music between 1890 and the 1920s.

This small collection is comprised of illustrated sheet music dating primarily from the first quarter of the twentieth century. Representing a cross-section of popular music at the time from minstrel tunes to patriotic marches, most of the songs were selected either for their representation of African Americans (usually in stereotypical and racist caricature) or as examples of pro-war propaganda during the First World War.

Subjects

African Americans--Pictorial worksWorld War, 1914-1918--Pictorial works

Types of material

ScoresSheet music
Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage

Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage Records

1975-2006 Bulk: 1997-1999
6 boxes 6.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 758
Depiction of Landing at Havana, Cuba, Nov. 24, 1998
Landing at Havana, Cuba, Nov. 24, 1998

Organized at the New England Peace Pagoda in Leverett, Mass., the Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage was a twelve-month walk through the eastern United States, the Caribbean, Brazil, West Africa, and South Africa in 1998-1999, reversing the direction of the Middle Passage symbolically and geographically. A “living prayer of the heart, mind, and body for the sons and daughters of the African Diaspora,” the Pilgrimage was intended by the participants to contribute to a process of healing the wounds inflicted by hundreds of years of slavery and racial oppression. Along the way, participants visited sites associated with the history of slavery, from slaves’ quarters in Virginia to stations on the Underground Railroad and villages that had been raided in Africa, offering prayers for those who had suffered under slavery and commemorating the dignity of those held in bondage and those who resisted.

Chronicling the course of the Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage from conception to conclusion, this collection contains a rich textual and visual record of a spiritual approach to addressing the legacy of slavery in the Americas. The collection includes the range of materials collected by participants during the Pilgrimage, including lists of reading materials, information on the sites visited, a handful of mementoes and souvenirs, some correspondence, and notes and photographs taken along the way.

Subjects

Pilgrims and pilgrimagesSlavery--History

Types of material

Photographs
Jaffe, Bernard

Bernard Jaffe Papers

1955-2016
4 boxes 2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 906
Depiction of W.E.B. Du Bois at home in Accra, 1963
W.E.B. Du Bois at home in Accra, 1963

A New York native with a deep commitment to social justice, Bernard Jaffe was an attorney, confidant, and longtime friend of W.E.B. Du Bois and Shirley Graham Du Bois. In 1951, Jaffe joined Du Bois’s defense team at a time when the civil rights leader was under indictment for failing to register as a foreign agent. Forging a close relationship through that experience, he was retained as a personal attorney, representing the Du Bois family interests after they settled abroad. Jaffe was later instrumental in placing the papers of both W.E.B. Du Bois and Shirley Graham Du Bois and served on the executive board of the W.E.B. Du Bois Foundation, set up by Shirley’s son, David Graham Du Bois.

This rich collection centers on the close relationship between attorney Bernard Jaffe and his friends and clients, Shirley Graham Du Bois and W.E.B. Du Bois. Although there is little correspondence from W.E.B. Du Bois himself, the collection contains an exceptional run of correspondence with Shirley, from the time of her emigration to Ghana in 1961 until her death in China in 1977 and excellent materials relating to David Graham Du Bois and the work of the W.E.B. Du Bois Foundation.

Gift of Jonathan Klate and Bernard Jaffe, Apr. 2016

Subjects

Ghana--History--1957-

Contributors

Du Bois, David GrahamDu Bois, Shirley Graham, 1896-1977Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963W. E. B. Du Bois Foundation

Types of material

Photographs