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Boston Society of Vulcans of Massachusetts records

 Collection
Identifier: M131

Scope and Content Note

The collection documents the administrative and public efforts of the Boston Society of Vulcans to raise the number of minorities in the Boston Fire Department; to support and council minorities within the fire service; to promote and teach fire safety, CPR, and community first aid training in designated high-risk neighborhoods; and to serve as a watchdog entity for the concerns of minorities employed within the fire service.

Record types include organizational correspondence, legal documentation, budget reports, newspaper clippings, fundraising material, negatives, photographs, audiocassettes, newsletters, documents from the annual Lloyd Phillips Scholarship, and memorabilia. The International Association of Black Professional Firefighters is made up of many individual organizations similar to the BSV, this collection also documents the activities of those organizations and the IABPFF. Also documented is the International Association for Black Professional Firefighters' function as the leader of member organizations such as the Boston Society of Vulcans, as well as many of the other member organizations that made up the IABPFF.

Dates

  • 1951-2004 (bulk 1970-2000)

Creator

Conditions Governing Access:

Personnel Records are restricted for 75 years from the date of their creation.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.

Historical Note

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 minorities represented 26% of the fire fighting force. In addition to recruiting, the Vulcan Society also works to create more upward mobility for minority firefighters, as well as performing charitable activity for local communities. Their mission statement is, "To serve as an advocate for the recruitment, support and advancement through the ranks and fair treatment of people of color in the fire service: to empower the low income and high risk communities of Boston through fire and life safety training, positive cultural activities and charitable support." (www.bostonvulcans.org) The Vulcan Society, with the cooperation of the Boston Fire Department, recruited and counseled people from 1976 to the present. In 1988, the Lloyd Phillips Scholarship Fund was established to assist students in the community to meet college costs. From the efforts of the Vulcan Society, other organizations and community leaders, the Boston Fire Department figures have increased from 18 in 1976, to over 500 African American and Hispanic firefighters in 2004.

The parent organization to the Boston Society of Vulcans is the International Association for Black Professional Firefighters (IABPFF). It the a unifying body for its many member organizations. In September of 1969, African American and minority fire fighters of all ranks from municipalities across the United States met in New York City for two days of discussion on the recruitment of minority youth into the fire service, firefighters-community relations, and the need to improve fire prevention programs in the areas of greatest need. Out of this meeting the International Association for Black Professional Firefighters was formed, it held its first convention in Hartford, Connecticut in 1970. The IABPFF defines its purpose and aims as: "To create a liaison between our Black Brothers and Sisters across the nation, to collect and evaluate data on all deleterious conditions incumbent in all areas where minorities exist in the working conditions in the Fire Service, and implement action to correct them. To promote interracial progress throughout the Fire Service, and to see that competent Blacks are recruited and employed as firefighters, wherever they reside, and to aid in motivating our Black Brothers and Sisters to seek advancement to elevated ranks throughout the Fire Service." (http://www.iabpff.org/index2.htm).

Presidents

  • 1972-1976 Charles Parris
  • 1977-1980 Roy E. Burrill
  • 1981-1986 Robert Powell
  • 1987-1990 Stanley D. Moore
  • 1991-1996 Walter Porter
1972-1976
Charles Parris
1977-1980
Roy E. Burrill
1981-1986
Robert Powell
1987-1990
Stanley D. Moore
1991-1996
Walter Porter

Extent

6.85 cubic feet (9 containers, 4 flat file folders)

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 recruiting, the Vulcan Society also works to create more upward mobility for minority firefighters, as well as performing charitable activity for local communities.

Overview

The collection documents the administrative and public efforts of the Boston Society of Vulcans to raise the number of minorities in the Boston Fire Department; to support and council those employed within the fire service; to promote and teach fire safety, CPR, and community first aid training in designated high-risk neighborhoods; and to serve as a watchdog entity for the concerns of minorities employed within the fire service. Record types include organizational correspondence, legal documentation, budget reports, newspaper clippings, fundraising material, negatives, photographs, audiocassettes, newsletters, documents from the annual Lloyd Phillips Scholarship, and memorabilia. Also documented is the International Association for Black Professional Firefighters (IABPFF), its function as the leader of organizations like the Boston Society of Vulcans, as well as many of the member organizations that made up the IABPFF.

System of Arrangement:

Organized into four series: 1. Administration; 2. Programs and Recruitment; 3. Outside Organizations; and 4. Audio and Visual Material.

Physical Location

58/3, FF5/D5

Related Materials:

The Archives and Special Collections Department capture the website content of the Boston Society of Vulcans, which is accessible at: http://wayback.archive-it.org/1747/*/http://www.bostonvulcans.org/

Bibliography

  • www.bostonvulcans.org
  • http://www.iabpff.org/index2.htm
Title
Finding aid for the Boston Society of Vulcans of Massachusetts Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by David Barnett
Date
June 29, 2007
Language of description
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US