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Racial Violence in America

This course examines the nature and history of race violence in the United States from the end of the Civil War to the present.

Manuscript Collections

Fred Alexander, Sr.

Manuscript Collections consists primarily of unpublished documents such as literary manuscripts, letters, diaries, cartoons, photographs, architectural drawings, and organizational, church and governmental records.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.

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.

Suggested Collections

 The following is a list of manuscript collections that can be used for your archives assignment. 

The titles link to the collection inventory (a.k.a. collection finding aid), which you will use in completing your assignment.

T. J.  Reddy Papers

Papers of a Charlotte artist, poet, civil rights activist, and UNC Charlotte alumnus, highlighting his role as one of the Charlotte Three and his interest in the civil rights movement. Consists primarily of correspondence, legal documents, and other material concerning his controversial arrest, trial and conviction for arson; subsequent legal proceedings; and the activities of the North Carolina Political Prisoners' Committee. Also includes files on the Wilmington Ten, the North Carolina Prisoners' Labor Union, the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice, and periodicals and monographs published by left-wing and civil rights groups.

Frederick Douglas Alexander Papers

Public 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 (1965-74) and as a North Carolina state senator (1975-80).

 Charles McLean Papers

Collection contains the papers of Charles A. McLean, primarily during his work as an officer of the North Carolina NAACP. Other papers were produced as a result of his business activities or by his family.

Jo Mahaffey Papers Concerning the American New Left

Pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers, and other printed items published by various radical groups based largely in the Midwest, especially Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Material addresses such issues as the Vietnam War; United States political involvement in Latin America and other regions; civil rights, racism, and black power; socialism and communism and their relevance to the United States; economics and labor; and women's liberation.

Stanford Brookshire Papers

Chiefly official papers of Charlotte's first four-term mayor (1961-69). Comprised of subject files, correspondence, and speeches documenting almost a decade of change, particularly in regard to desegregation, and reflecting the increasing role of the federal government in addressing urban problems. Also includes material relating to national municipal organizations and to his family and personal life.

Reginald Hawkins Papers

Papers of a Charlotte dentist, minister, and civil rights activist, who was the first African-American to run for governor of North Carolina. Consists chiefly of clippings and correspondence documenting his involvement in the desegregation of schools, public accommodations, hospitals, the North Carolina Dental Society, and the Shrine Bowl.

Julius Chambers Papers

Files of a Charlotte attorney and his firm, Chambers, Stein, Ferguson, and Lanning, relating to their representation of the plaintiffs in the landmark case, Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, that established bussing as a constitutional method for desegregating schools. Includes pleadings prepared by Chambers and by attorneys for the Board of Education at the district, circuit, and supreme court levels; court rulings and opinions; research materials; statistics; desegregation plans prepared by the board and court consultant John Finger; transcripts of proceedings; and depositions, briefs, and notes.

Cameron Morrison Papers

This collection contains various information on Cameron Morrison who was Governor of North Carolina during the 1920s. Concerning race relations, Morrison's views were shaped by the traditional social environment in which he lived, though he did make genuine efforts to improve conditions for African-Americans. He established the North Carolina Commission on Interracial Co-operation, and he also staunchly opposed lynching and dispatched troops to any area where it appeared that racial violence may have emerged. In the last three and a half years of his term, there were no lynchings in North Carolina.

Kelly Alexander, Sr. Papers

Papers documenting Alexander's service with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, including the Charlotte branch, his presidency of the North Carolina State Conference of Branches, and his membership on and chairing of the national board of directors. Includes minutes, correspondence, reports, speeches, programs, news releases, membership records, documentation on NAACP-initiated court cases, and material on voter education projects. Also includes material on the 1965 bombing of his home, the Charlotte Area Fund, health care, school desegregation, and housing.

Kelly Alexander, Sr. Papers Concerning the NAACP

Papers documenting the activities of the NAACP, with an emphasis on the work and correspondence of Kelly Alexander, Sr. and his sons Kelly Alexander, Jr. and Alfred Alexander. Includes papers from the National Board, the North Carolina chapter and the Charlotte chapter. Contains minutes, correspondence, reports, speeches, press releases, membership records, photographs, and memorabilia. Topics covered include school segregation, housing and employment discrimination and the Charlotte Area Fund. [Note: this collection has been digitized].

Harry Golden Papers  Pt. 1

Papers of a journalist, best selling author, and civil libertarian. Consists chiefly of material generated as editor (1944 68) of the Charlotte-based Carolina Israelite but also documenting his involvement in the Democratic Party, the civil rights movement, and Jewish issues.