A radical political organizer, Frank “Parky” Grace was a founding member of the New Bedford chapter of the Black Panther Party. Radicalized during his tour of duty in Vietnam in 1967, Grace became involved in the antiwar movement upon his return and organized the local branch of the Black Panthers shortly before the New Bedford Rebellion of 1970. In 1972, he and his brother Ross were charged with the murder, receiving life sentences. Parky Grace contended all along that he had been framed by the police for his political activity and in 1982, Ross admitted that he had been responsible for the murder, backing up his brother’s contention that he was not present at the time. Parky Grace was released from prison in 1984 and lived subsequently in New Bedford and Boston. He died in Boston in October 2001.
The Grace Papers consist of a powerful series of letters written to Gloria Xifaras Clark while Grace was confined in Walpole State Penitentiary. Informed by his revolutionary politics, the letters offer insight into the conditions of imprisonment, his treatment by guards, and his relationships with fellow prisoners.
The founder and director of Citizens for Safe Drinking Water, Jeffrey Lee Green (1946-2014) was a national organizer in the anti-fluoridation movement. A management consultant specializing in the health professionals, Green was adept at using the legal and legislative process to raise awareness of the potential toxicological dangers of fluorides. In 1996, Green helped his colleague David Kennedy facilitate a ballot measure to stop fluoridation in California, and they were instrumental in initiating a congressional investigation into fluoride between 1998 and 2000. Green later contributed to the 2006 National Research Council report on fluoride. Green died suddenly on Nov. 5, 2014.
The collection documents Jeff Green’s work with Citizens for Safe Drinking Water, providing strategic advice for grassroots legal and political challenges to fluoridation. Of particular note are legal files relating to two important cases in California: one challenging the city of Escondido’s decision to use hydrofluosilicic acid and the second leveling a constitutional objection to fluoridation without public consent.
Born in Indiana, the writer Lucy Gwin (1943-2014) lived “a lot of lives,” in her own words, working in advertising, as a dairy farmer, civil rights activist, and deckhand on ships servicing oil rigs, all before the age of 40. While living in Rochester, N.Y., in 1989, however, her life took a sudden turn. After a head-on collision with a drunk driver left her with traumatic brain injury, Gwin was remanded for care to the New Medico Brain Rehabilitation Center, where she witnessed a world of isolation, patient abuse, and powerlessness. Never one to shrink from a challenge, she escaped from the Center and used her skills as an organizer and writer to expose conditions at New Medico and shut the facility down. Through her experiences, Gwin emerged as a powerful, often acerbic voice in all-disability rights advocacy, becoming the founder, designer, and editor of the influential Mouth Magazine in 1990.
Lucy Gwin’s papers document the advocacy of an important figure in the disability rights movement. The rich documentation for Mouth Magazine includes comprehensive editorial files arranged issue by issue, some correspondence with authors and supporters, and copies of the published issue. The balance of the collection contains Gwin’s other work as a writer, personal correspondence, and materials relating to her experiences with and campaign against New Medico.
As a member of the Montague Farm community, Anna Gyorgy became a leader in the movement against nuclear energy. In 1974, she helped organize the Alternative Energy Alliance in Montague, Mass., and two years later, she was part of the coalition that founded the Clamshell Alliance. An author, ecofeminist, and peace activist, she has lived In Ireland, West Africa, and Germany since 1985 and remains deeply involved in international movements for justice and peace.
Tightly focused on Anna Gyorgy’s activism from the mid-1970s through late 1980s, the collection contains important documentation on the early antinuclear movement in western Massachusetts with some material on the international movement in the 1980s. In addition to a small run of correspondence, the collection includes writings, news clippings, publications, and ephemera relating to antinuclear activism during the 1970s and 1980s and to other related causes, including the Rainbow Coalition and Jesse Jackson’s run for the presidency in 1984.
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.
Abbaye (Nightclub : Paris, France)
African American actors--France--Paris--History
African American singers--France--Paris--History
African Americans in the performing arts--History
African-American theater--History--20th century
Baldwin, James, 1924-
Dodson, Owen, 1914-
Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967
Paris (France)--Intellectual life--20th century
Rive gauche (Paris, France)--Intellectual life--20th century
Studio Theater of Paris
Theater--Production and direction--France--Paris--History
In 1960, William K. Hefner (1915-1993) became one of the first of new breed of radical pacifists to run for elective office, when he ran as a peace candidate for Congress in the 1st district of Massachusetts. An accountant from Greenfield, Hefner was involved at a national level with movements for peace and civil rights. An early member of SANE, a founder of Political Action for Peace in 1959 (now CPPAX) and the Greenfield Peace Center (1963), and an active member of the American Friends Service Committee, War Resisters League, Turn Toward Peace, and the World Without War Conference, Hefner was an energetic force in the movements for peace and disarmament, civil rights, and a more just economic system. He ran unsuccessfully for office in three elections between 1960 and 1964, and supported peace candidate H. Stuart Hughes in his bid for election to the U.S. Senate in 1962.
The Hefner papers offer a remarkable record of politically-engaged activism for peace and social justice in the early 1960s. With an intensely local focus, Hefner was tied in to the larger movements at the state and national level, corresponding with major figures such as A.J. Muste, Bayard Rustin, Benjamin Spock, and Arthur Springer. The collection includes particularly rich documentation of the early years of Political Action for Peace, which Hefner helped found, with correspondence, minutes of meetings, and publications, as well as equally rich materials on Hefner’s bids for congress in 1960 and 1962.
American Friends Service Committee Western Massachusetts
A farmer, activist, and writer, Elizabeth Henderson has exerted an enormous influence on the movement for organic and sustainable agriculture since the 1970s. Although Henderson embarked on an academic career after completing a doctorate at Yale on the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky in 1974, by 1980, she abandoned academia for Unadilla Farm in Gill, Mass., where she learned organic techniques for raising vegetables. Relocating to Rose Valley Farm in Wayne County, NY, in 1989, she helped establish Genesee Valley Organic CSA (GVOCSA), one of the first in the country, and she continued the relationship with the CSA after founding Peacework Organic Farm in Newark, NY, in 1998. Deeply involved in the organic movement at all levels, Henderson was a founding member of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) in Massachusetts, has served on the Board of Directors for NOFA NY, the NOFA Interstate Council, SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) Northeast, and many other farming organizations at the state, regional, and national level, and she has been an important voice in national discussions on organic standards, fair trade, and agricultural justice. Among other publications, Henderson contributed to and edited The Real Dirt: Farmers Tell about Organic and Low-Input Practices in the Northeast and co-wrote Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen’s Guide to Community Supported Agriculture (1999, with Robyn Van En) and A Manual of Whole Farm Planning (2003, with Karl North).
Offering insight into the growth of the organic agriculture movement and the organizations that have sustained it, the Henderson Papers document Henderson’s involvement with NOFA, SARE, and the GVOCSA, along with her work to establish organic standards and promote organic practices. Henderson’s broad social and political commitments are represented by a rich set of letters from her work educating prisoners in the late 1970s, including correspondence with Tiyo Atallah Salah El and John Clinkscales, and with the American Independent Movement in New Haven during the early 1970s, including a nearly complete run of the AIM Bulletin and its successor Modern Times.
American Independent Movement (Conn.)
Community Supported Agriculture
Genesee Valley Organic
Northeast Organic Farming Association
Peacework Organic Farm (Newark, N.Y.)
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program
Diana Mara Henry at the Harvard Crimson, 1967 Photo by Charles Hagen
Recognized for her coverage of historic events and personalities, the photographer Diana Mara Henry took the first steps toward her career in 1967 when she became photo editor for the Harvard Crimson. After winning the Ferguson History Prize and graduating from Harvard with a degree in government in 1969, Henry returned to New York to work as a researcher with NBC News and as a general assignment reporter for the Staten Island Advance, but in 1971 she began to work as a freelance photographer. Among many projects, she covered the Democratic conventions of 1972 and 1976 and was selected as official photographer for both the National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year and the First National Women’s Conference in 1977, and while teaching at the International Center for Photography from 1974-1979, she developed the community workshop program and was a leader in a campaign to save the Alice Austen House. Her body of work ranges widely from the fashion scene in 1970s New York and personal assignments for the family of Malcolm Forbes and other socialites to political demonstrations, cultural events, and photoessays on one room schoolhouses in Vermont and everyday life in Brooklyn, France, Nepal, and Bali. Widely published and exhibited, her work is part of permanent collections at institutions including the Schlesinger Library, the Library of Congress, Smithsonian, and the National Archives.
The Henry collection is a rich evocation of four decades of political, social, and cultural change in America beginning in the late 1960s as seen through the life of one photojournalist. This diverse body of work is particularly rich in documenting the women’s movement, second wave feminism, and the political scene in the 1970s. Henry left a remarkable record of women in politics, with dozens of images of Bella Abzug, Elizabeth Holtzman, Shirley Chisholm, Liz Carpenter, Betty Friedan, Jane Fonda, and Gloria Steinem. The collection includes images of politicians at all levels of government, celebrities, writers, and scholars, and coverage of important events including demonstrations by Vietnam Veterans Against the War, the Women’s Pentagon Action, and marches for the ERA. The many hundreds of exhibition and working prints in the collection are accompanied by the complete body of Henry’s photographic negatives and slides, along with an array of ephemera, correspondence, and other materials relating to her career.
The self-styled “insane architect” Aurin F. Hill (b. 1853) was a free thinking carpenter and architect in Boston who waged a concerted campaign for his vision of social reform at the turn of the twentieth century. A Spiritualist, social radical, and union man, Hill carried the torch for issues ranging from the nationalization of railroads and corporations to civil rights and women’s rights, and joined in opposition to vaccination, Comstockery and censorship, capital punishment, and lynching. A writing medium, married to the Spiritual evangelist Izetta Sears-Hill, he became President of the National Spiritual Alliance in 1915, a Spiritualist organization based in Lake Pleasant, Mass.
Esoteric, rambling, and often difficult to follow, the Hill papers provide profound insight into the eclectic mind of an important Boston Spiritualist and labor activist at the turn of the twentieth century. Whether written as a diary or scattered notes, a scrapbook, essays, or letters to the editor, Hill’s writings cover a wide range of topics, from spirit influence to labor law, from his confinements for insanity to police strikes, hypnotism, reincarnation, and housing. More than just a reflection of one man’s psychology, the collection reveals much about broader social attitudes toward gender and race, sexuality, urban life, politics, and religion, and the collection is a particularly important resource for the history of the American Spiritualist movement between 1890 and 1920.
Lake Pleasant (Mass.)--History
National Spiritual Alliance
United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
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.