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Collections: Afro-American
Du Bois, David Graham

David Graham Du Bois Papers

1972-1996
7 boxes 6.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 034
Depiction of David Graham Du Bois talking with James Baldwin, Nov. 1985. Photo by Irma McClaurin
David Graham Du Bois talking with James Baldwin, Nov. 1985. Photo by Irma McClaurin

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), 1868-1963
University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Afro-American Studies
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Journalism
W.E.B. Du Bois Foundation
Field, William Franklin, 1922-

William F. Field Papers

1948-1986
27 boxes 13.5 linear feet
Call no.: RG 030/2 F5
Depiction of William F. Field relaxing on couch, ca. 1971
William F. Field relaxing on couch, ca. 1971

The University’s first Dean of Students, William F. Field held the post from 1961 until his retirement in 1988. The 27 years Field was Dean of Students was a critical time of growth and unrest, as the University’s student population more than tripled in size and the nation-wide movements for civil rights and against the Vietnam War were reflected through student activism and protest on the University’s campus. Responsible for ending student curfews and overseeing all dorms becoming co-ed, Field also worked with minority students and faculty to support the Black Arts Movement on campus and the founding of the W.E.B Du Bois Afro-American Studies Department.

The William F. Field Papers document Field’s career as an administrator at the University of Massachusetts and specifically his role as Dean of Students from 1961-1988. The correspondence, memoranda, reports, notes, and other official printed and manuscript documents are a rich resource for one of the most important and volatile eras in the University’s history. Of particular interest are extensive files on student protests and activism in the late 1960s and early 1970s and the growing diversity of the campus student population, flourishing of the Black Arts Movement on campus and the founding of the W.E.B. Du Bois Afro-American Studies Department.

Subjects
African American college students--Massachusetts
Field, William Franklin, 1922-
Race relations--United States
Universities and colleges--United States--Administration
University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dean of Students
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Afro-American Studies
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--United States
Types of material
Correspondence
Memorandums
Gordon, Ann

Ann Gordon Papers

1986-1989
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 016

Ann Gordon served as the editor of the Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton papers as a member of African American Studies department from 1982 until the project’s conclusion in 1989. While at the University, Gordon, along with John Bracey, Joyce Berkman, and Arlene Avakian planned a conference discussing the history of African American Women voting from the Cady Stanton’s meeting at Seneca Falls to the Voting Rights Act. The conference, called the African American Women and the Vote Conference, was held in 1988.

The collection is comprised of proposals, reports, meeting transcripts, and correspondence from Gordon’s work planning the 1988 African American Women and the Vote Conference. Also included is preliminary work by Gordon to organize the papers given at the conference into book form.

Subjects
African American women
University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Afro-American Studies
Contributors
Gordon, Ann
Kaplan, Sidney, 1913-

Sidney and Emma Nogrady Kaplan Papers

ca.1937-1993
58 boxes 85 linear feet
Call no.: FS 149
Depiction of Sidney Kaplan, May 1972
Sidney Kaplan, May 1972

An eminent scholar of African American history and activist, Sidney Kaplan was raised in New York City and graduated from City College in 1942. After wartime service as a Lieutenant in the Army, Kaplan returned to his education, completing an MA in history from Boston University (1948) and PhD at Harvard (1960), taking up the study of African American history at a time when few white scholars showed interest. Joining the English Department at UMass in 1946, Kaplan’s influence was widely felt at UMass Amherst and in the local community: he was among the founders of the Department of Afro-American Studies, a founder of the UMass Press, a founder and editor of the Massachusetts Review, and he was the editor of Leonard Baskin’s Gehenna Press. Over more than thirty years at UMass, he worked on diverse projects in history, literature, and the arts, often in partnership with his wife Emma Nogrady, a librarian at Smith College whom he married in 1933, ranging from studies of Poe and Melville to a biographical dictionary of African Americans and a study of Shays’ Rebellion. In 1973, they were co-authors of the first comprehensive study of depictions of African Americans in the visual arts, The Black Presence in the Era of the American Revolution (based on an exhibition planned for the National Portrait Gallery), and in 1991, the UMass Press published a collection of Sidney’s essays, American Studies in Black and White. A Fulbright lecturer in Greece and Yugoslavia and exchange Professor at the University of Kent, Kaplan was the recipient of the Bancroft Award from the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History for best article of the year in the Journal of Negro History, and he was awarded the UMass Amherst Chancellor’s Medal in 1979, one year after his retirement. Sidney Kaplan died in 1993 at age 80 and was followed by Emma in 2010.

The Kaplan Papers document a long career devoted to the study of African American history and life. The extensive correspondence, research notes, and drafts of articles and other materials offer important insight into the growth of African American studies from the 1950s through 1970s as well as the growth of UMass Amherst into a major research university.

Gift of Paul Kaplan, May 2011
Subjects
African Americans--History
Massachusetts Review
University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Afro-American Studies
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of English
University of Massachusetts Press
Contributors
Kaplan, Emma Nogrady, 1911-
Kaplan, Sidney, 1913-
Weinberg, Meyer, 1920-2002

Meyer Weinberg Papers

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

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--Education
Chicago (Ill.)--History
Segregation in education