Manuscripts/1. African American
Record Group Term
Found in 36 Collections and/or Records:
Overview In February 1969, Northeastern University's African American students submitted a proposal to establish the Afro-American Institute and a Black Studies Department. Students envisioned that the Afro-American Institute would provide an academic, cultural, and political base for black students on campus. Northeastern University's Board of Trustees approved setting up the Afro-American Institute in the Forsyth Annex and appointed Charles Turner director. At the Norfolk House in John Eliot Square,...
Overview The African American Master Artists-in-Residence Program (AAMARP) began in 1974 when Northeastern University provided studio space to artist Dana Chandler. Established officially in 1977, the program was the first African American artist-in-residence program in the United States, providing studio space on an annually renewable basis to visual artists. The first exhibition by African American Master Artists-in-Residence Program debuted at Boston City Hall in 1977. Between 1978 and 1988, the...
Dates: 1976-2003 (bulk 1977-1988)
Overview The Boston Society of Vulcans of Massachusetts was founded in 1971 for the recruitment of African American and other minorities into the fire service. In 1972 the Boston Society of Vulcans, with assistance from the NAACP, Attorney Thomas Mela, and the Justice Department, filed a class action suit against the Civil Service Commission, which resulted in the City of Boston having to hire minorities on a one to one basis until they represented 26% of the fire fighting force. In addition to...
Dates: 1951-2004 (bulk 1970-2000)
Overview The first clubhouse of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston (BGCB) was founded in Charlestown in 1893. The club was meant to be a refuge and alternative space for young boys whose home life and education were not conducive to their development into productive citizens. Over a century later, the BGCB serves more than 8,000 urban youths, largely from disadvantaged circumstances, in its five clubhouses in Charlestown, Chelsea, Dorchester, Roxbury and South Boston. In 1981, girls were admitted to all...
Dates: 1893-2004 (bulk 1950's-1980's)
Overview Charles Bruce was born in 1884 in Boston, Massachusetts. Bruce worked at the Boston Navy Yard (then the Charlestown Navy Yard) until 1933. Little is known about Bruce's training or instruction in photography. In 1908, Bruce married Goldie Glover Bruce, with whom he had three children. Bruce was also a Master Mason with the Prince Hall Masons of Cambridge, Massachusetts, receiving his certificate in August, 1912. Bruce died in 1975.
Dates: 1884-1928, 2009 (bulk ca. 1910)
Overview In 1972, Mary Ellen Smith, Hubert Jones, Francis Parkman, Clyde Miller and other citizens, parents, and community activists met to find a way to participate in the process of choosing a superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. The Coalition sought input from large numbers of neighborhood residents and organizations to help develop "Community Agenda for the Boston Public Schools," an outline of questions and issues to use during the interview process. Although unsuccessful in choosing a...
Overview Dana C. Chandler, Jr., noted African American artist, activist, and educator, was born in Lynn, Mass. in 1941. He was educated in Boston Public Schools, and earned a B.S. in Teacher Education from the Massachusetts College of Art. Chandler participated in the black integrationist movement since his high school years. Chandler joined the black nationalist movement in the 1960s, after witnessing police brutality against a group of peaceful welfare protestors. Chandler has used his art to educate...
Dates: 1973-1991 (bulk 1977-1979)
Overview Author Dick Russell published the book, Black Genius to highlight the achievements of prominent African Americans throughout American history. The collection is comprised of his research for the book. Russell currently lives in Massachusetts.
Dates: 1806-2009 (bulk 1995-1997)
Overview Elma Lewis was born on September 15, 1921 in Boston, Mass. She taught dance, drama, and speech therapy, and established the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts in 1950, the National Center of Afro-American Artists in 1968, and the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists in 1969.
Overview Founded by Elma Lewis in 1950, the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts was established to meet the social, cultural, and artistic needs of Boston's African American community. Lewis's goal was to foster the arts, not only in the local Roxbury-Dorchester community, but also in the African American community at large. The Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts offered education in art, dance, drama, music, and costuming to pre-school children, school-aged children and adults.
Overview Frank J. Miranda (FJM) was born in Roxbury Massachusetts in 1932. FJM was involved with Boston CORE for four and a half years, acting as chair during his last year. "At its height Boston CORE was completely involved in civil rights issues in Roxbury, including housing, rent strikes, legislative issues, education, fair employment, government services" ("Frank Miranda, Former Boston CORE Activist," Box 1, Folder 18). FJM was later director of the Cultural Enrichment and Tutorial Program of...
Collection — Multiple Containers
Overview Freedom House was founded in 1949 by African American social workers Otto P. and Muriel S. Snowden. It grew out of their initial community organizing with the Council on Community Affairs of Upper Roxbury (1947-1949). The initial goal of Freedom House was to centralize community activism in the fight for neighborhood improvement, good schools, and harmony among racial, ethnic, and religious groups in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Otto Snowden was the Director of St. Mark Social Center when he...
Dates: 1941-2004 (bulk 1949-1986)
Overview Grants Management Associates was founded in 1982 by Newell Flather, Mary Phillips, and Ala Reid. It was renamed GMA Foundations in 2009 and provides consulting, administrative, and organizational support services to grant-making organizations in the Boston area. Among its clients is The Riley Foundation, which was established through a bequest from Mabel Louise Riley.In April 1984, Newell Flather of GMA and two of The Riley Foundation's trustees, Robert W. Holmes, Jr. and Andrew C....
Dates: 1974-1999 (bulk 1984-1999)
Overview Educator and civil rights activist Gregory C. Coffin was born in 1926 in Meriden, Connecticut and raised in Rye, New York. He earned a BA from Harvard University, an Ed.M. from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Connecticut. He married Nancy Stackpole Coffin in 1950. The couple had four children. Coffin taught at Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts for three years before becoming principal of Woodstock Academy in Connecticut. He also...
Dates: 1966-2002 (bulk 1966-1975)
Overview In June 1974, Judge W. Arthur Garrity, Jr. found the Boston School Committee guilty of willful segregation and called for forced busing of students from Roxbury and other predominantly African-American neighborhoods, to predominantly white schools, including Hyde Park, South Boston, and Charlestown High Schools. Before the ruling, students were assigned to schools based on where they lived. As a result, schools were segregated based on the population of the students in the area. While in many...
Dates: 1905-ca. 1990 (bulk 1974-1976)
Overview John E. Bush is a co-founder of Men of All Colors Together Boston (MACT) and served as a co-chair of National Association of Black and White Men Together (NABWMT) in 1988. He edited newsletters for both organizations, as well as the Boston Bar Study, an examination of the institutionalized racism in Boston's gay and lesbian bars, and "Reflections," a collection of meditative essays by NABWMT members. MACT, a chapter of NABWMT, is the East Coast's oldest interracial gay organization. MACT...
Overview John Andrew Ross was an accomplished African-American composer, organist, choral conductor, and jazz musician. Born in Boston on December 15, 1940, Ross became the music director at the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts in 1970. Working with the school and its parent organization, the National Center of Afro-American Artists, he lead two widely recognized music ensembles, the Voices of Black Persuasion and the Contra-Band. Starting in 1970, Ross became the musical director of the highly acclaimed...
Overview African American politician and educator Joseph David Warren was born to Geroldine McDaniel Warren and Harold H. Warren in Harlem, New York on April 2, 1938. In 1979, he organized what became known as the "Warren Commission," a political advocacy group that worked to improve the social and economic conditions of minority groups and to ensure that their needs were represented in the Massachusetts and federal governments. Warren served as a political aide and advisor to Michael S. Dukakis during...
Dates: 1972-2003 (bulk 1980-1990)
Overview On 9 November 2006, Northeastern University President Joseph E. Aoun met with members of the Black Ministerial Alliance of Massachusetts at the People's Baptist Church (830 Tremont Street, Boston) to discuss possible collaborations between Northeastern and Lower Roxbury clergy. During the meeting, Reverend Michael E. Haynes suggested the University create a history of the African American community in Lower Roxbury. As a result, President Aoun appointed Joseph D. Warren, at that time Special...
Overview The Lower Roxbury Community Corporation (LRCC) was formed in May 1966 by four small neighborhood groups that met at four neighborhood centers in Lower Roxbury in May 1966. The neighborhood meetings were in response to the Boston Redevelopment Authority's (BRA) proposal to build a high school in Lower Roxbury, potentially displacing local residents and businesses. LRCC's purpose was to give residents a say in urban renewal projects, including the expansion of Interstate 95, that affected Lower...
Overview Martin Neal Gopen was born August 13, 1934 and died on June 18, 2006, spending the majority of his life in the South End of Boston, MA. During that time he worked as a political activist and advocate for underserved communities. He attended Northeastern University (1950-1952), but earned his undergraduate (1955-1960) and graduate (1960-1961) degrees from Boston University. He served in the US Army from 1951-1953 when he was honorably discharged. He was involved in numerous social justice...
Dates: 1933-1994 (bulk 1969-1989)
Overview The Massachusetts Human Services Coalition (MHSC) was founded in 1976 and operated as a vehicle for organizing individuals around causes related to human services, focusing on the residents of Massachusetts who most directly benefit from state-funded services, including at-risk children, low-income families, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and other vulnerable populations. The MHSC focused on analyzing and tracking public policy and funding of human services provided by the...
Overview Community and civil rights activist Melnea Agnes Cass was born on June 16, 1896 in Richmond, Virginia. She received numerous awards, including three honorary doctoral degrees for her involvement in community improvement and civil rights in the Boston area. She was known as "The First Lady of Roxbury." She died on December 16, 1978.
Overview Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, Incorporated (METCO, Inc.) is a private nonprofit organization founded in 1966 to eliminate racial imbalance by busing children from Boston and Springfield to suburban public schools in 38 suburban communities. The program was created more than three decades ago by educational collaborators, parents, and suburban citizens from metropolitan Boston and Boston's suburbs as a voluntary desegregation program. Its mission is "to provide, through...
Dates: 1961-2005 (bulk 1966-1995)
Overview Muriel S. and Otto P. Snowden were the founders and co-directors of Freedom House, a center for neighborhood improvement and community activism in the racially mixed neighborhood of Roxbury, Massachusetts. From 1949 until their retirement in 1984, the Snowdens were influential leaders in Boston's African American community. Muriel S. Snowden was raised in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, graduated from Radcliffe College in 1938, and attended the New York School of Social Work from 1943-1945. She married...
Dates: 1911-1990 (bulk 1947-1985)
Overview Established in 1969 as a division of the National Center of Afro-American Artists, the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists is an art museum dedicated to the education, promotion, exhibition, and collection of African, Caribbean, and Afro-American fine arts worldwide.
Overview Natalie Ammarell earned her Master's degree in Urban Affairs at Boston University in 1973 and her Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems at Fielding Graduate University in 1999. From 1972 to 2002, Ammarell worked as an organizational consultant with a special focus on Boston-area community-based human service organizations.
Dates: 1967-2008 (bulk 1981-2000)
Overview The National Center of Afro-American Artists was founded by Elma Ina Lewis in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1968. The Center's founding was a response to concerns over a lack of a comprehensive, national institutional center for African American artists.
Overview The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) was founded in New York City in 1936 in response to the conservative American Bar Association. The Massachusetts chapter (NLGMC) formed soon after. At the founding convention in Washington D.C. in 1937, the National group formally opened itself to all lawyers regardless of race, sex, or political beliefs and started campaigning for anti-lynching legislation, legal protections for collective bargaining, full scale social security, and federally funded...
Overview Phyllis Milgroom Ryan (1927-1998) began her career as a political activist while a student at Northeastern University. Following her graduation from Northeastern University in 1950, she worked as a psychiatric social worker in the Massachusetts state mental health system. In 1951, she married William J. Ryan, Jr. with whom she shared a passion for social justice and collaborated in political action for the next several decades. By the early 1960s Phyllis M. Ryan served as a media advisor and...
Dates: 1959-1988 (bulk 1961-1988)
Overview In 1989 and 1990, Milton Derr, Mel King, and Byron Rushing, three prominent members of Boston's African American community, were interviewed about their lives and work in preparation for a book by Ronald W. Bailey with Diane Turner and Robert Hayden, entitled Lower Roxbury: A Community of Treasures in the City of Boston. Milton Derr, a painter, illustrator and retired teacher, was born in 1932 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He moved to Boston to study at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and took...
Overview RMSC is a social service agency modeled after the 19th century settlement house where all client services were located under one roof. It began as a three-year demonstration project in 1964 to provide services to the Roxbury and North Dorchester neighborhoods of Boston. From its inception, the mission of RMSC has been to offer programs and services designed to empower the residents of Roxbury and North Dorchester to become economically and socially self-sufficient. RMSC was originally funded by...
Overview The George Lewis Ruffin Society was founded in 1984 in response to dwindling numbers of minority police officers in the Boston Police Department. Its goals are to create greater understanding and communication between minority communities and the criminal justice system through annual convocations, events, courses, workshops and "The Long Road to Justice" traveling exhibit which documents the history of African Americans in Massachusetts.
Dates: n.d., 1848-2009 (bulk 1984-2005)
Overview United South End Settlements is a non-profit social service agency located in the South End of Boston, Massachusetts, whose mission is to foster well-being, nurture personal growth and development, build a sense of community, and maintain an environment where all can thrive. In 1950, five settlement houses (South End, Lincoln, Hale, Harriet Tubman, and Ellis Memorial) and the Children's Art Centre, agreed to share their resources and formed the Federation of South End Settlements. In 1960,...
Dates: 1891-2010 (bulk 1980-2005)
Overview The Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, (a community-based movement devoted to empowering African Americans and other people of color to enter into the economic and social main stream), began its work in 1917 when a group of citizens led by Eugene Kunkle Jones met to discuss ways to help the growing number of black migrants from the South and immigrants from the West Indies find housing and employment in Boston. Once established, it became an affiliate of the National Urban League and...
Dates: 1953-2007 (bulk 1985-2000)
Overview Born in Philadelphia in 1947, Zuline Gray Wilkinson (ZGW) attended Temple University earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1968. In 1972, she received a Master's of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work where she later returned as a doctoral student. She has been involved in the field of social work ever since, holding director positions at several service organizations including the Roxbury Multi-Service Center (RMSC) in Boston, Massachusetts. Through RMSC, she...