SCUA

Roxbury Action Program

Roxbury Action Program Collection, 1944-1975 (Bulk: 1966-1974).

2 boxes (1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 765
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.

Background on Roxbury Action Program

The social and political tumult experienced in Boston during the early 1960s came to a head in 1968 when Roxbury erupted in riots for the second time in a year following the assassination of Martin Luther King. Galvanized by the effects of segregation in housing and schooling, racism, inequality, and poverty, members of the local community began to pursue a radical agenda of community defense and revitalization, fueled by the Black Power movement.

Two organizations stood out in leading the way: the Roxbury Action Program and the Boston branch of the Black Panther Party. For several years, the American Friends Service Committee had operated a program in Roxbury to address housing needs and tenants’ rights, but responding to the post-riot demands of the Black community for local leadership and control, the AFSC spun off this program in November 1968 to create the Roxbury Community Committee, which was incorporated as an independent organization, the Roxbury Community Program (RAP), on Dec. 28, 1968. Though fully independent, RAP received a significant boost from the New England branch of the AFSC, which raised $92,000 to fund the first two years of its activities in revitalizing the Highland Park neighborhood.

Under its founders George J. Morrison and Lloyd King, RAP focused on the housing and educational needs of the Highland Park community, seeking to revitalize the neighborhood by promoting economic self-development and “helping the people themselves to understand the political significance of their plight.” Central to their philosophy was the idea of Black self-determination, consciousness raising, and community control, by which they would build “the authority and skills” within the community “to immediately proceed in the solution of its own problems and in the determination of its own goals.” RAP assisted in securing land control and stabilizing and renovating structures, and they provided social services ranging from support for Black businesses to Black draft counseling, health and legal referrals, a Black library, and community awareness programs. They were instrumental, as well, in securing a new community college for the area (Roxbury Community College).

Contemporaneous with the organization of RAP, Delano Farrar and other radicals formed the Boston branch of the Black Panther Party at 375 Blue Hill Ave., Roxbury, which shared the same broad agenda as RAP. Building on the ten point plan of the national Party, the Panthers organized successfully within the community for housing, health care, political education, and employment, though within a year, the revolutionary, a Marxist-Leninist faction displaced the chapter’s early leaders and pursued an agenda dedicated more specifically to class struggle.

Contents of Collection

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.

In keeping with the philosophy of RAP and the Black Panthers, the collection also includes materials on Black history and culture and materials relating to the Black community in Boston, most notably a notice of the imposition of a “general state of emergency” in 1968. Several works specifically address the Black woman’s role in the revolution.

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Inventory of Collection
Adefunmi, Oserjeman, An African marriage. Harlem, N.Y. : Yoruba Temple ca.1969 Box 1: 1
African American history and culture quiz 1944 Box 1: 2
African Nationalist Union, The Blackman, vol. 4:1 (photocopy) 1972 Aug. Box 1: 3
American Oil Co., American traveler’s guide to Negro history, 3d ed. Chicago, Ill.: American Oil Co. 1967 Box 1: 4
Art Ad Corporation (letter of solicitation) ca.1970 Box 1: 5
Black Community of Boston, General State of Emergency 1968 Box 1: 6
Black Panther, vol. 2:25 1969 Mar. 9 Box 1: 7
Black Panther, vol. 2:26 1969 Mar. 16 Box 1: 8
Black Panther, vol. 2:27 1969 Mar. 23 Box 1: 9
Black Panther, vol. 2:27 1969 Mar. 31 2 copies Box 1: 10
Black Panther, vol. 2:30 1969 Apr. 20 Box 1: 11
Black Panther, vol. 3:2 1969 May 4 Box 1: 12
Black Panther, vol. 3:4 1969 May 19 2 copies Box 1: 13
Black Panther, vol. 3:5 1969 May 25 Box 1: 14
Black Panther Party, Black Panther Community News Service (Roxbury, Mass.), vol. 1:2, 3 (two variant copies) 1969 Box 1: 15
Black Panther Party, Precautions for tear gas and mace ca.1969 Box 1: 16
Black Panther Party, Questionaire for Black Panther Party ca.1969 Box 1: 17
Black Panther Party, Ten Point Program of the Black Panther Party 1966 Box 1: 18
Black Panther Party of Boston, Black Panther Party of Boston presents 2 movies “Off the pig” and “Huey” 1969 Feb. 16 Box 1: 19
Black Students of Boston College, Black Students of Boston College and the Congress of African People present Immamu Baraka (broadside) 1973 Mar. 9 Box 1: 20
Black Students Union, Legal first aid for students ca.1969 Box 1: 21
The Black woman in the home-family ca.1974 Box 1: 22
Black Workers Congress, From protest to resistance: the case of Black draft resisters in New Orleans 1971 Box 1: 23
Blackness Unlimited: Circular letter offering products, including sample of decal, “Symbol of Black dignity” 1969 Box 1: 24
Browne, Robert S., “The case for Black separatism” ca.1970 Box 1: 25
Can you relate to this? If not, call 445-9711 for draft counseling (broadside) ca.1970 Box 1: 26
Chandler, Dana, Dana Chandler (Akin Duro) Artist in Residence, Northeastern University (signed by the artist) 1976 Box 1: 27
Code words (used in community defence)? ca.1969 Box 1: 28
CORE booklists (list of publications) ca.1969 Box 1: 29
Cox, Donald Lee (Field Marshall D.C.), What is ultra democracy? ca.1969 Box 1: 30
Douglas, Emory, Revolutionary student posters (man and woman with gun) ca.1970 2 posters Box 1: 31
Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Cooperatives: Power for poor people. Atlanta, Ga. : Federation of Southern Co-ops ca.1970 Box 1: 32
Golden Legacy Illustrated History Magazine, vol. 1 : Toussaint L’Ouverture 1966 Box 1: 33
Golden Legacy Illustrated History Magazine, vol. 2 : The saga of Harriet Tubman, “The Moses of her people” 1967 Box 1: 34
Golden Legacy Illustrated History Magazine, vol. 3: Crispus Attucks and the minuteman 1968 Box 1: 35
Golden Legacy Illustrated History Magazine, vol. 4 : The life of Benjamin Banneker 1968 Box 1: 36
Hamilton, Ernest, Black Power: what is it? S.l. : Scoham Publication 1966 July Box 1: 37
Hammer: the Voice of United Community Construction Workers, vol. 1:6 (photocopy) 1973 June Box 1: 38
Ifco News, vol. 5: 1 1974 Box 1: 39
Johnson, Edwina Chavers, Calendar of Afro-American contributions to America 1963 Box 1: 40
Khadijah, Sister, The Republic of New Africa 1969 Box 1: 41
Kilson, Martin et al., Black studies: myths and realities. New York : A. Philip Randolph Education Fund 1969 Sept. Box 1: 42
Leader, vol. 2:24, 28, 32 1969 Box 1: 43
Lee-Smith, Hughie, To my Black sisters (A Freedomways greeting card). New York : Freedomways Magazine 1971 Freb. Box 1: 44
Minstrels, Gr’ezi wohl, Frau Stirnimaa! (45 rpm recording). EMI 1969 Box 1: 45
Morey, James L. and Mel Epstein, Housing development: A tool for community economic development in low-income areas. Cambridge, Mass. : Center for Community Economic Development 1971 Oct. Box 1: 46
Movement, vol. 5:3, 4 1969 Apr.-May Box 1: 47
Muhammad Speaks, vol. 8:29 1969 Apr. 4 Box 2: 1
Muhammad Speaks, vol. 12:20 1973 Jan. 26 Box 2: 2
Muhammad Speaks, vol. 13:3 1974 Apr. 12 Box 2: 3
Muhammad Speaks, vol. 14:42 1975 June 27 Box 2: 4
Muhammad, Elijah, Progress ca.1969 Box 2: 5
Mumininas of Committee for Unified Newark, Mwanamke mwananchi (the nationalist woman). NewArk, N.J. : Mumininas of CFUN 1971 Box 2: 6
Myers, Robin, Black craftsmen through history. New York : Institute of the Joint Apprenticeship Program 1970 Box 2: 7
The NAACP life membership story (offprint). Ebony Magazine 1967 Mar. Box 2: 8
National Commission for Resources on Youth, You’re the tutor. New York : National Commission on Resources for Youth 1970 Box 2: 9
New African, vol. 2:1 1969 Apr. 20 Box 2: 10
New Urban League of Greater Boston, Community Survival Fund 1970 Box 2: 11
New Urban League of Greater Boston, Survival Magazine, vol. 1:3 1970 Feb. Box 2: 12
The Onyx (fragment) 1973 Apr. 16 Box 2: 13
Path Finder Press catalog and flier 1973 Box 2: 14
Payton, Gloria, Is political freedom dead at Brandeis? 1969 Box 2: 15
People have a right: The report of the First National Conference on Rural Housing. Washington, D.C. : National Conference on Rural Housing 1969 Box 2: 16
Photograph: African American man laying wreath at statue of the Minuteman, Concord, Mass. ca.1970 Box 2: 17
Plainfield Joint Defense Committee, Special Independence Day Issue 1971 July Box 2: 18
Potemkin Collective, Radicals words (or) you can’t tell the revolution without a dictionary. Newport, R.I. : Potemkin Collective 1970 Box 2: 19
Potemkin Military Legal Aid Project, Little red book of military law. Newport, R.I. : Potemkin Collective 1972 Box 2: 20
Real Paper, vol. 2:36 1973 Sept. 5 Box 2: 21
Rogers, J. A., 100 amazing facts about the Negro, with complete proof, 23d ed. New York : Helga M. Rogers 1957 Box 2: 22
Rollins, Bryant, Poetry for my friends. Harlem, N.Y. : s.n. 1973 Box 2: 23
Roxbury Action Program (statement of purpose and objectives) ca.1969 Box 2: 24
Roxbury Action Program, Buzz Session 1 (manuscript) 1969 Mar. 20 Box 2: 25
Roxbury Action Program, Buzz Session con’t #1 (typescript) 1969 Mar. 20 Box 2: 26
Roxbury Action Program, Buzz Session II (manuscript) ca.1969 Box 2: 27
Roxbury Action Program, Buzz Session? (manuscript) 1969 Apr. 3 Box 2: 28
Roxbury Action Program, Buzz Session? (manuscript) ca.1969 Box 2: 29
Roxbury Action Program, Finch, Arthur (typescript) 1969 Mar. 24 Box 2: 30
Roxbury Action Program, Group discussion (typescript) ca.1969 Box 2: 31
Roxbury Action Program, Orientation, George Morrison (manuscript) 1969 Mar. 10 Box 2: 32
Roxbury Action Program, Orientation, George Morrison (typescript) 1969 Mar. 10 Box 2: 33
Roxbury Action Program, Section reading list ca.1969 Box 2: 34
Roxbury Action Program, Session on roles and tools: Ed McClure (typescript) 1969 Mar. 27 Box 2: 35
Roxbury Action Program, Stationery ca.1969 Box 2: 36
Roxbury Poor People’s Movement, An appeal for public support by the Roxbury Poor People’s Movement ca.1969 Box 2: 37
Rustin, Bayard, Three essays by Bayard Rustin. New York : A. Philip Randolph Education Fund 1969 Sept. Box 2: 38
Service Remembering and Resurrecting (memorial service for Martin Luther King, Franklin Park, Mass.) 1969 Apr. 04 Box 2: 39
Sisters of BCD, Black woman’s role in the revolution. Newark, N.J. : Jihad Productions 1969 Box 2: 40
South Vietnam in Struggle, no. 24 1968 Dec. 20 Box 2: 41
Southern Conference Educational Fund, Protest the jailing of Walter Collins and the situation of black draft resisters 1971 Box 2: 42
Southern Education Program, Teach a Brother! (broadside) 1969 Box 2: 43
Straight from the Horse’s Mouth (magazine), vol. 2:1 1970 Box 2: 44
Tenants’ rights. Boston, Mass.? : s.n. ca.1970 Box 2: 45
We will be closed Friday Feb. 21, 1969. Malcolm X (broadside) 1969 Box 2: 46
Welty, Joel, Meeting people’s housing needs (offprint). Ottawa, ON : Canadian Cooperative Digest 1969 Box 2: 47
Workers Monthly: Organ of the Independent Trade Union Action Council, vol. 2: 2 (photocopy) 1972 Dec. Box 2: 48
Yazid: How to oppress people in 13 easy lessons ca.1969 Box 2: 49
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Provenance

Gift of Ken Gloss, January 2013.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, January 2013.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Roxbury Action Program Collection (MS 765). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Subjects

  • African Americans--Massachusetts--Boston
  • Black Panther Party
  • Black power
  • Housing--Massachusetts--Boston
  • Nation of Islam (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Roxbury (Boston, Mass.)--History

Contributors

  • Morrison, George

Types of material

  • Newspapers
  • Photographs
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