Skip to Main Content

African American Church/Civil Rights

This course is designed to introduce students to the critical, academic study of race, religion and movements of liberation. In addition, this course looks at the issues of ethnicity and race within the academic study of religion

Manuscript Collections

Manuscript Collections consist primarily of unpublished documents such as literary manuscripts, letters, diaries, cartoons, photographs, architectural drawings, and organizational, church and governmental records. Also included are some printed material, microforms, audio recordings, films and other items. Atkins Library's Manuscript Collections focus on materials related to the people and history of the greater Charlotte region, with particular attention to the Charlotte/Mecklenburg area.

More information about the materials held in Special Collections are available through the Library Catalog, the Special Collections website, and in the repository.


Suggested Manuscript Collections

Harry Golden Papers Part 1, Harry Golden Papers Part 2

Papers of a journalist, author, and civil libertarian. Consists chiefly of material generated as editor of the Charlotte-based Carolina Israelite but also documenting his involvement in the Democratic Party, the civil rights movement, and Jewish issues.

Frank O. Sherill Papers 

Collection 405 is a small collection of documentary materials (newspaper clippings and letters) collected by Frank O. Sherrill during the campaign to desegregate public accommodations in Charlotte. Sherrill was the co-founder of the S&W Cafeteria chain, which became the target of African-Americans in the spring of 1963. This collection of papers spans from March through July of 1963 and includes a telegram send by President John F. Kennedy, inviting Sherrill to the White House to attend a conference on racial desegregation.

William Arthur Cooper Papers

Papers of an African-American artist and minister of Charlotte's Clinton Metropolitan AME Zion Church during the 1930s. Includes correspondence and clippings, primarily relating to his attempts to gain recognition as an artist and arranging lectures and exhibits; reports on his lecture tours; the manuscript of and material relating to his book A Portrayal of Negro Life (1936); photographs; and financial information on AME Zion churches in the Charlotte District (1938-39).

Robert E. Scoogin Papers 

Papers of a member and grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan in South Carolina, primarily from the 1960s to the 1980s. This collection consists of publications of various Klan organizations, but also includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, periodicals, film footage, and personal information.

Frederick Douglas Alexander Papers 

Papers of a Charlotte politician and civil rights leader. Primarily material created and received by Alexander as the first African-American member of the Charlotte City Council in the 20th century and as a North Carolina state senator.

Charles A. McLean Papers

Papers of Charles A. McLean primarily in his role as the president of the North Carolina branch of the NAACP from the 1950s to the 1970. Also contains additional material on the Civil Rights movement and some personal and family papers.

Using the Collections

While using manuscript collections, please help us preserve our materials by following a few rules:

1. Only use pencil when using Special Collections materials.

2. Use only one folder at a time.

3. Handle documents with care by turning pages in folders as if you were turning the pages of a book.

4. Keep the documents in the same order.

5. Do not place personal items such as paper/notes books on top of Special Collections materials when taking notes.