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Special Collections and Archives Public Health Subject Guide: Civil and Human Rights

Civil and Human Rights: Manuscript Collections

AFL-CIO Region 8 Records, 1933-1969 (L1974-15)
AFL-CIO Region 8 records are organized into five series: (I) United Textile Workers of America, 1934-1937; (II) Textile Workers Organizing Committee (TWOC)/Textile Workers Union of America (TWUA), 1937-1940; (III) Tennessee State Industrial Union Council (TSIUC-CIO), 1940-1953; (IV) Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), Region 4 (Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina), 1953-1955; and (V) AFL-CIO Region 8, 1955-1969. The periods of Paul R. Christopher's career as a union organizer and leader correspond to the series titles of this collection.

AFL-CIO Civil Rights Department, Southern Office records, 1964-1979 (L1983-26)
The records, 1964-1979, of the Southern Office of the AFL-CIO Civil Rights Department consist primarily of correspondence and related reports, surveys, statements, and newspaper clippings. Much of the correspondence is between Director E.T. Kehrer and various AFL-CIO departments, notably his superiors Don Slaiman (1965-1974) and William Pollard (1974-1979). There is also substantial correspondence between Kehrer and the AFL-CIO state and city labor councils in the South; apprenticeship and training programs; a wide range of groups and persons concerned with community action and social reform issues, principally in the field of civil rights; and political figures. These persons and groups include the American Civil Liberties Union, the Georgia Citizens' Coalition on Hunger, the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Social Change, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Southern Regional Council, the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, vocational education programs, George and Lurleen Wallace, Charles Weltner, the Workers Defense League, and many others. An extensive pamphlet collection includes a large body of labor statistics compiled and published by the Georgia Labor Department in the 1970's, and others relating to fair housing, busing, voter education, equal employment, and other social, economic, and political issues.

AFL-CIO Southern Area Civil Rights Department records, 1962-1988 (L1989-17)
The records of the AFL-CIO Southern Area Civil Rights Department, spanning 1964 to 1988, include correspondence, minutes, reports, writings, financial records, printed materials, clippings, membership cards, photographs, and artifacts that document the activities of the office's director, E.T. "Al" Kehrer, in facilitating the employment of minorities and women in the region. The records show that some of Kehrer's work related directly to job training, affirmative action, and equal opportunity complaints. Other materials document that many of his activities contributed to increasing cooperation among civil rights groups, unions, and government agencies. Kehrer also participated in a wide range of community, labor, and political organizations.

AFL-CIO Civil Rights Department, Southeastern Region records, 1966-1986 (L1988-22)
Series I of this collection contains newsletters and some correspondence of state and local AFL-CIO bodies from 1984-1986. The materials concern legislative interests, local union news, voter registration, and "get-out-the-vote" campaigns. Series II contains materials of the Advanced Southern Labor School from 1981 to 1986. Training guides, manuals, and other supporting documents for labor education in Nashville, New Orleans, and Jacksonville are included. Series III contains a summary of the activities of the AFL-CIO School for Union Women of 1981. Series IV contains correspondence, news articles, newsletters, registration information, and schedules of events for the AFL-CIO Regional Conferences from 1981 to 1985. Series V contains correspondence, schedule of events, brochures, and news articles of the AFL-CIO Civil Rights Conferences. Series VI contains official AFL-CIO Executive Council statements on economic issues, social policies, and foreign policy matters of the United States from 1984 to 1985. Series VII contains correspondence concerning conferences held throughout the country by the A. Philip Randolph Institute from 1984 to 1986. National Urban League Conferences of 1983 compose Series VIII. Materials include conference agenda, speech transcripts, reports on civil rights activities, and proposals for working with minority youth. Newsletters and employment statistics for the state from the Georgia Department of Labor are in Series IX. Series X consists of Fair Employment Practices Reports from the Bureau of National Affairs, 1978-1984. Subject files from 1974 to 1986 constitute Series XI.

AFL-CIO Civil Rights Department, Southeastern Office records, 1974-1984 (L1985-16)
The records, 1974-1984, of the AFL - CIO Civil Rights Department, Southeastern Office consist primarily of correspondence and printed material pertaining to E. T. (A1) Kehrer's involvement with such community action groups in Georgia as the American Red Cross, the Children's Foundation, the Georgia Employment and Training Council, the Georgia Council for the Arts and the Humanities, the Joint Council on Economic Education, the Georgia Council on Economic Education, Georgia Citizens for the Arts, the Coalition for a March on Reidsville, the Committee for Survival, and the Committee to Stop Children's Murders. Among the activities documented are the Red Cross' Coastline Disaster Project (1980-1984), the J. P. Stevens Boycott Campaign (1976-1981), the Alliance for Citizen's Education Conference (1978), the Conference on Effective State and Local Leadership in Education (1980), and the Southeastern Dialogue on the Changing World Economy (1980)

AFL-CIO Civil Rights Department, Southern Region records, 1963-1972 (L1973-05)
The Records, 1963-1972, of the Civil Rights Department of the AFL-CIO Southern Region consist primarily of printed material and correspondence of private groups, government commissions, and committees from organized labor, working in the various fields of civil rights activity--equal and open housing, school desegregation, human relations, and fair and equal employment opportunities.

Atlanta Education Association Records, 1905-1971 (L1975-31)
Atlanta Education Association (AEA) records, 1905-1971, consists of records of the Atlanta Education Association (AEA) and its predecessor organization, the Atlanta Public School Teachers Association (APSTA). The bulk of the records (1905-1967) relate to the APSTA while materials after 1967 pertain to the AEA. Includes correspondence, minutes, financial documents, committee files and printed materials. The records document the APSTA's and AEA's relationship with the Georgia Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the Atlanta Board of Education while illustrating the development and progress of labor and education in Atlanta.

In 1956, the American Federation of Teachers threatened to expel Local 89 if the local did not remove the word "white" from its constitution and begin merger talks with the Gate City Teachers Association, which was also affiliated with the AFT. Local 89 President Roger Derthick represented the local at the 1956 AFT convention in Pittsburgh. Derthick explained to the convention delegates that Local 89 was not opposed to admitting black teachers into its ranks, but would not and could not do so until the state of Georgia and the city of Atlanta made integrated organizations legally possible. In late 1956, consequently, Local 89, facing certain expulsion from the AFT, surrendered its charter as a constituent member of the AFT. Local 89 did, however, continue as an affiliate of the Atlanta Federation of Trades and the Georgia Federation of Labor, both of which continued to be composed of white and black members but organized into segregated local unions.

​Marymal Dryden  / Judith Allen Ingram Collection, 1985-1995 (W023)
Establishing a reputation for planning and coordinating, Dryden has been: Assistant Director and Director for the Atlanta Council of International Programs (1972-1980); member of the University Exchange Program and member of the Board of Directors of Partners of America, Inc. (1986-1987); and from 1980-1990, Unit Head for Public Services in Georgia State University's Division of Continuing Education. Judith Allen Ingram has held various positions at GSU, including Administrative Coordinator (1988-1990), Program Specialist (1990), Unit Head for Public Service (1990-1992), and Program Planning/Analyst Specialist (1992-1997). The material in this collection relates to various conferences and events which focused on issues concerning gender, class and race.

Georgia Association of Educators Record, 1832; 1883-1901; 1921-2015 (L2015-34)
The Georgia Association of Educators records (1921-2015) consist of convention materials, meeting minutes, membership materials, newspaper clippings, audio-visual materials, photographs, periodicals, central office files, and other printed materials. The Records include material produced by the GAE, as well as their predecessor organizations the GEA and GTEA. The collection is organized into three series: Series I Georgia Association of Educators, Series II Georgia Education Association, and Series III Georgia Teachers and Education Association. The GAE series contains large amounts of executive committee and Governing board meeting minutes as well as convention materials. Of particular note is the Local constitution files in the GEA Series that include copies of county, city, and school local constitutions from before the merger and the correspondence relating to updating them and integrating the organization. Though small, the GTEA materials in Series III provides a look at African-American efforts to organize and support teachers in Georgia.

Stetson Kennedy Papers, 1933-1981 (L1979-37)
Kennedy's career as an author began in the 1930s when he worked as both a writer and an editor on the Federal Writers Project guide to Florida. The Papers, 1933-1981, of Stetson Kennedy comprise correspondence; subject files on various organizations, individuals, and ideas; typescripts of articles written by Kennedy; newsclippings; press releases; bulletins and fliers; pamphlets; periodicals; and photographs. Anyone interested in primary source material on the pioneering struggles to introduce unionization, civil rights, and socio-economic-political progress to the South during the Great Depression, WW II, and the decade which followed will find this extensive collection highly rewarding.

Metropolitan Atlanta Library Association Records, 1931-1977 (L1978-08)
The Metropolitan Atlanta Library Association, 1931-1977, contains correspondence, printed items, financial documents, minutes and organization constitutions. The emphasis of the organization's early history was on professional programs and interests, rather than social activities. Topics of discussion included: comparison of the cultural and educational advantages of the U.S. and other countries; the possible inclusion of libraries in the labor movement as advocated by guest speaker, Lucy Randolph Mason; and in the 1940s, how libraries could contribute toward the solution of post-war problems.

M.H. Ross, 1916-1987 (L2001-05)
Myron Howard "Mike" Ross, was born November 9, 1919. Ross worked with a number of unions as an organizer, arbitrator, and advocate in the South. He ran for elective office in North Carolina on the Progressive Party ticket. After receiving public health training, he founded the Fairmont (West Virginia) Clinic, which had the mission of providing high quality medical care for miners and their families. Administering the clinic 1958-1978, Ross developed a longstanding interest in coal miners and worked on writing a history of them. The M. H. Ross papers consists of campaign materials from congressional races held in 1940 and 1948, labor union activities, social and political research, coal mining research, including a large collection of coal miner oral histories, manuscripts and those related research files, office files, photographs, audio/visual materials, and personal and family oral histories.

United Auto Workers, Local 882 (Atlanta, GA) Records, 1940s-1980s (L2005-29)
The records of The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) Local 882 (Atlanta, Ga.) include minutes and resolutions, correspondence, financial material, strike material, grievances, arbitration, agreements, and education materials. Bulk dates of the material are 1940s-1980s. Of note are grievances, correspondence, and material pertaining to racial discrimination and the integration of the Ford Motor Company Plant in Hapeville, Georgia, as well as material pertaining to women’s committees and rights.

Emory F. Via Papers, 1936-1987 (L1989-34)
Emory Franklin Via (1925-2003), was a labor educator, human rights activist, and labor consultant for the Southern Regional Council. His papers, 1936-1987, include correspondence, surveys and reports, newsclippings, printed materials, and biographical material on Via. The bulk of the correspondence is with groups related to the labor movement, other officers of the Southern Regional Council, and the Koinonia Farm, a cooperative farm in Southern Georgia. The surveys contain information on black membership in Southern labor unions, and while Via conducted surveys in every Southern state, not all surveys are complete. The reports deal with civil rights, the Koinonia Farm, and the Southern Union Staff Training Seminar.


Civil and Human Rights: Oral Histories

Sandra Barnhill, August 7, 2014 (W071)
Sandra Barnhill earned her BA in political science at Georgia State University (1982), and her J.D. at the University of Texas (1984). From 1983 to 1987, she served as a staff attorney for the Southern Prisoners’ Defense Committee. In this role, she represented indigent prisoners in class action challenges to prison conditions and in post-conviction challenges on capital convictions. During this time, Barnhill became frustrated by the lack of support given to imprisoned mothers and their families. In 1987, she founded Foreverfamily (originally named Aid to Imprisoned Mothers (AIM)), which is a nonprofit  Atlanta-based organization advocating for inmate parents and their children. In 2004, the Ford Foundation  recognized Barnhill for her outstanding leadership efforts.

Delores Crocket, November 7, 2007 (W071)
Born in Daytona Beach, FL , Delores Crockett attended Spelman College (BA in Psychology, 1969) and Atlanta University (MA in Guidance and Counseling, 1972). She was project director for the Minority Women’s Employment Program, 1974-1977, employment and community supervisor for Avon Products, Inc. (1977-1979). In 1979, she was named regional director of the Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau.

Jean Davis, January 22, 2005 (W008)
Born in the segregated South to politically active parents, Jean Davis became politically aware as a young girl in Newnan, Georgia. Her early aspiration was to work as a missionary in Africa but instead, she attended Morris Brown College and taught public school in Atlanta. As a student at Morris Brown, Davis was involved in the Civil Rights Movement and participated in boycotts of Rich’s Department Store and sit-ins at Woolworth’s. Davis also worked with the A. Philip Randolph Institute as well as the Georgia AFL-CIO and the National AFL-CIO. Through her work with different union organizations and her activism in civil rights, Davis became interested in the Equal Rights Amendment. She felt strongly that the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) was necessary in order to bring union women on board with the ERA and also to establish an organization that would place women in leadership positions. In addition to her work with the ERA, Davis worked on a number of campaigns from local school boards to notable politicians and continues the struggle for human rights.

Joyce Durand, January 27, 1997 (W008)
Joyce Jenkins Durand was born in Ducktown, TN in 1939. She received a B.S. in elementary education, a master's of librarianship, and a Ph.D. in educational leadership. Durand formally served as coordinator of media services for the Rockdale County School System, assistant professor in the School of Education at West Georgia College, as well as the school librarian of Atlanta City schools. Durand was also a member of the Atlanta National Organization for Women (ca. 1971-1978), serving as secretary and historian for the organization. Although Durand never formally became involved with the Civil Rights Movement, she was deeply affected by it: She describes her first encounter with the Movement, which took place during her tenure as teacher at James L. Key Elementary School. At this time, the school was converted to accommodate all black students.

Georgia Government Documentation Project Oral Histories, 1971-2002
The Georgia Government Documentation Project (GGDP) documents the state's political heritage through oral history interviews and collections of associated papers. The GGDP collection includes more than 200 interviews with former governors, legislators, women in politics, African-American political activists and civil rights leaders, journalists, and numerous other public figures. In addition to the interviews generated by the project, the GGDP actively collects interviews conducted by other scholars of Georgia politics.

Eva Parker, April 27, 2000 (W008)
Eva Mae Parker was born in 1919 in Pearson, Georgia. When she was twenty-four years old, Parker moved with her husband to Connecticut where she worked in an airplane factory making nuts and bolts during the Second World War. Beginning in 1972, Parker worked as a sales representative with AAA in Atlanta and as such, was able to travel around the world. Parker became involved in the ERA campaign through workshops at local churches. Prior to her involvement in the Women's Movement, Parker was also active in the Civil Rights Movement, fighting for voters' rights. She became involved with the People of Faith for ERA and later worked as a liaison between the State Department and the United Methodist Women Organization. After the defeat of the ERA, Parker remained interested in women's issues.

Sara Mitchell Parsons, May 5, 1999 (W008)
Sara Mitchell Parsons was born in Canton, Georgia in 1912, and graduated from Atlanta Girl's High in 1930. After high school, Parsons completed a total of two years of public affairs coursework at Georgia Evening School (now Georgia State University), Emory University, Humboldt State University, College of the Redwoods, and Mills College. After college, Parsons began a lengthy career in public affairs as a member of the Atlanta Board of Education (1961-1968). After moving to California, she served as an elected member from the 3rd District to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, the first woman elected in the 120-year history of the county. From 1977 until 1980, Parsons served as board representative for several different organizations, including the County Mental Health Advisory Board, the Juvenile Delinquency Commission, the CETA Advisory Board (Chairman), the Redwood Region Economic Development Commission, the Courthouse Beautification Committee (Chairman), the Eureka Chamber of Commerce, and the Convention and Tourist Bureau. She also served as the chair of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors in 1980. From 1978 until 1980, Parsons was the governor's appointee to the California Solar/Cal Committee as well as vice-chair of the Employment Steering Committee of the National Association of Counties (1979-1980). Parsons was also elected by the Democratic Party of Northern California as a delegate to the National Democratic Convention in New York City in 1980. In addition to a career in politics, Parsons also participated in various community service projects. She served as president of the North Fulton High School PTA (1956-1958), as a member of the Official Board of the St. James Methodist Church (1958-1963), and as president of the Atlanta League of Women Voters from 1958 until 1960. She also acted as a visiting lecturer at Emory University and was invited by President Lyndon Johnson to the White House Conference on Education in 1965. In the same year, Parsons was awarded the Atlanta "Good Neighbor of the Year" award. Recently, Parsons completed the book From Southern Wrongs to Civil Rights that chronicles her transformation into a civil rights activist and her friendship with Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

Amy Ray, April 13, 2011 (W071)
Amy Ray was born in Decatur, Georgia in 1964. She graduated from Emory University in 1986. She had a passion for music and began performing with friend Emily Saliers as a teenager. The pair later formed the Indigo Girls. As a singer-songwriter, Ray also pursues a solo career, releasing albums under her own name, and has founded a record company, Daemon Records. She supports grassroots activist causes, in particular those relating to the environment, human rights and women’s issues.

Deborah Richardson, May 14, 2008 (W071)
Deborah J. Richardson is the Executive Vice President of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights leading its fundraising and program development. Previously, she was Chief Program Officer at Women’s Funding Network in San Francisco, CEO of The Atlanta Women’s Foundation, Director of Program Development for Fulton County Juvenile Court, founding Executive Director of the Juvenile Justice Fund (now Youth Spark) and Managing Director of the National Black Arts Festival. Among Richardson's many awards are: The Community Leadership Award by Spelman College Board of Trustees, The Legacy Award by the Juvenile Justice Fund and The Grassroots Justice Award by the Georgia Justice Project. She also received  the Lives of Commitment Award from Auburn Theological Seminary and The Pathbreaker Award from Shared Hope International. Richardson is a nationally recognized leader on social justice for women and girls and an advocate to end child sex trafficking. She is the co-author of "Ending Sex Trafficking of Children in Atlanta" and a national spokesperson for A Future. Not a Past (now Youth Spark, Inc.), a campaign to stop the sexual trafficking of children.

James Orange oral history interview, 2003-07-15 (L2003-09)

After briefly referring to his later labor work, Rev. Orange discusses his civil rights activities in Birmingham, particularly his work to integrate the Birmingham schools, and he discusses a trip to Texas with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to assist the migrant workers. Rev. Orange talks about his friendship with Martin Luther King, King’s final days, and his presence with King at King’s assassination in Memphis. The conversation turns to Orange’s participation in the Selma march, the march on Montgomery, and voter registration drives. Rev. Orange reflects on his spiritual side, speaking especially about the labor movement in the context of religion, and the dominant presence of African-Americans and other minorities in labor. After briefly mentioning Governor George Wallace, Orange talks about his work for the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers beginning in 1977; especially his involvement with the J. P. Stevens campaign. Orange also discusses his more recent activities as state chair of the Georgia People’s Agenda for Voter Empowerment, his anti-apartheid work, the International Olympic Committee, and the Ambassador program in Atlanta. At the conclusion of the interview Orange briefly reflects on the future of the coalition between labor and the civil rights movement.

E.T. "Al" Kehrer oral history interview, 1995-02-10

l Kehrer discusses his family background, including the Americanization of German Americans after World War I as well as growing up in Detroit, Michigan. He also speaks of his interest in the labor movement and the influence of teachers such as Florence Sweeney, first president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT), and Max Jaslow, who taught night classes to the United Auto Workers (UAW). Kehrer found many opportunities for childhood employment during the Great Depression. He bluntly discusses religion and churchmen (Henry Hitt Crane, Father Joseph Marx, Father Coughlin) and their influence on working class people. Kehrer also discusses radicalism in the 1930s and the Young Socialists League. He served in the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II and afterwards was sent by David Dubinsky to the Southern Department of ILGWU as a labor organizer. Kehrer also discusses the ILGWU Institute’s role in labor education. He talks frankly about Nick Bonnano and his role as an organizer while Kehrer was regional director of the ILGWU. He compares labor unions and workers in the Southern United States, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia. When discussing attitudes toward unionization Kehrer says, “I don’t remember any situation in which the black workers were anti-union.” The important issues Kehrer discusses concerning race relations include the Civil Rights Act; the Ku Klux Klan; the Civil Rights Movement, sit-ins, and especially the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC); the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); and the Amalgamated Clothing Workers.

Ken Lawrence oral history interview, 2010-05-27 and 2010-05-28

In this interview, Lawrence briefly discusses his origins with the civil rights and labor movements, including his membership in the Young People's Socialist League, the Socialist Party, and the Facing Reality organization. He describes his participation in activism as a young man and interest in various political philosophies. He enumerates the writings and people who influenced him politically and inspired his support and devotion to the labor and civil rights movements. Lawrence then elaborates on many of his published articles for the Southern Patriot and his experiences in researching and writing them, including the citrus and sugar workers in Florida, the pulpwood workers in Mississippi, the Farrah strike in Texas, the poultry plant workers, and many other wildcat strikes throughout the south. He also discusses, in a broader context, the changes and progression of the labor and civil rights movements over the course of life.

Civil and Human Rights: Periodicals

Women's Printed Collections: Periodicals

  • The Human Rights Educator (Atlanta, GA: National Center for Human Rights Education)
  • Interact!: A Human Rights Bulletin About Women Prisoners of Conscience (New York, N.Y.: Amnesty International USA)
  • Justice First: The Alliance for Justice Newsletter (Washington, D.C.: Alliance for Justice)
  • Let the Other Half Speak: Newsletter of the Third World Women's Project (Washington, D.C.: Institute for Policy Studies)
  • OVC Bulletin: Civil Legal Remedies for Crime Victims (Washington, D.C.: Office for Victims of Crime)
  • The People's Law Newsletter: Real Law for Real People (Atlanta, GA: The Georgia Civil Justice Foundation)
  • People's Rights: Women's Rights: A Quarterly Women's Human Rights Journal (Cairo: Legal Research and Resource Center for Human Rights)
  • People's Tribune (Chicago, IL: League of Revolutionaries for a New America)
  • Refugees (Washington, D.C.: UN High Commissioner for Refugees)
  • Social Questions Bulletin (Staten Island, NY: Methodist Federation for Social Action)
  • State Justice News: Information about SJI Grant Programs to Improve the Administration of Justice in the State Courts
    (Alexandria, VA: The Institute)
  • Up & Out of Poverty Now! / Georgia Human Rights Union (Atlanta, GA: Georgia Citizens' Coalition On Hunger)
  • Up From the Grassroots: Networking to Strengthen the Movement (New Orleans, LA: People's Institute for Survival and Beyond)
  • Victim Policy Pipeline / National Victim Center (Arlington, VA: National Victim Center)
  • La Voz De Esperanza / Esperanza Peace & Justice Center (San Antonio, TX: The Center)
  • WHY Connections (New York, N.Y.: World Hunger Year)
  • Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Philadelphia, PA: The League)

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