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African American Illustrated Postcards (Down in Sunny Dixie) Collection

  • US TxAM-C 689
  • Collection
  • 1938

This collection consists of an illustrated mailer postmarked New Orleans, and hand-addressed to Toledo OH, containing 18 accordion-folded 6in x 4in color photos purporting to show (stereotypical happy variety) black life in the south, with two songs, "Dixie Land" and "Dixieland for M" printed on the inside of the mailer with a cypress tree on one side of the fold and a photo of a black man and woman next to the address label.

These were reproduced from hand-tinted black and white originals. Postcard-size images, but double-sided without space for messages.

African American Professional Organization (AAPO) Records

  • US TxAM-C C000071
  • Collection
  • 1991-2010; 2016-2017

This collection includes the organization's development materials, bylaws, minutes, correspondence, programs, newsletters, and 1st Friday programs in print and digital formats.

Created in 1991, this African American organization has as its mission to serve as a vehicle through which African Americans are fully recognized as contributing members of Texas A&M University, its local system components, and the community-at-large.

The African American Professional Organization's goals are to:

  • Provide assistance and support to Texas A&M African American students, faculty, staff, and citizens in the community.
  • Assist and advise Texas A&M on issues related to the enhancement of African American faculty, administrators, staff and students, and community citizens.
  • Develop a political initiative to monitor, interact, or intervene with legislative bodies at local, state, and national levels relative to African American issues and concerns.
  • Work with the myriad of African American and other organizations who aspire to "speak to" and "speak for" African American people on African American issues at Texas A&M and the Bryan-College Station community.

African American Professional Organization

African American Southern Family Scrapbook

  • US TxAM-C 688
  • Collection
  • 1900

This collection consists of a photo scrapbook with six small charcoal images that depict African-American life in the rural south with an unrelated pictorial on-lay on the upper cover, all tied together with string.

Africana Studies Collection

  • US TxAM-C 786
  • Collection
  • 1883-1956; Undated

This collection encompasses a number of resources obtained with the support of A&M's Africana Studies Program. Box 1, Teaching Aids, consists of chromo card albums that were published in continental Europe by various companies to garner support for the continuation of the control over colonies across Africa and Asia. Also, many of these albums intend to educate on the natural resources of the colonies and their indigenous inhabitants. Box 2, Cards and Chromo Albums, consists of cards produced by various European companies that depict African lifestyle and diaspora. Some cards also depict many stereotypes widely held by mainland European society. Also included are albums that may have been intended to educate the collector on topics such as the fauna of Africa, and the practice of hunting. Box 3, Oversize Items, consists of more Chromo trade albums, teaching aids, ballots, and posters.

Afro-American Society Collection

  • US TxAM-C 208
  • Collection
  • 1967-1968

Original black students' association charter. Authored by Ken Lewallen and Antwine Jefferson in Fall 1967-68.

Alex Haley Collection

  • US TxAM-C C000012
  • Collection
  • 1949-1965, 1967, 1991

The Alex Haley Collection consists of one box of material that includes heavily edited and complete manuscript pages from the Autobiography of Malcolm X, his writings on Mahalia Jackson, Wilma Rudolph, the story Queenie, a follow-up to Roots, and other writings. Also included are his notes regarding the re-run of the mini-series Roots. He mentions a meeting he had with Warren Beatty where they discussed Roots. The notes are titled "Re: Roots Re-Run for TV Guide. Between the Covers acquired the collection from a bookseller who bought it directly from the estate of Virginia Hannon. A group of early letters from Alex Haley it's seven letters sent between 1949-1954 (one from 1967) to close family friend, Virginia Hannon. The letters present Haley, then a journalist in the Coast Guard, trying to get his writing career started and relating thoughts about his working habits, carious siblings, and plans for the future. All letters are written light, optimistic, and sometimes flirtatious style. Accompanying them are several related photographs, including one of Hannon in uniform, and a copy of Haley's posthumous novel Queen inscribed to her by his brother, George.

The July 2015 addendum includes an archive of seven Typed Letters Signed from Alex Haley sent between 1949-1954 (with one from 1967) to a close family friend, along with related photographs and the first edition of Queen Inscribed by his brother George Haley. The letters are overall near fine with typical folds from being mailing and light toning, with their original mailing envelopes that show wear including are nick, tears, and chip, but all are present; the photos are fine. The book is fine in a fine dustwrapper.

The letters, which are signed both as "Alex" and "Palmer," his middle name, were written to Virginia Hannon, a woman who taught Alex Haley French at Alcorn College before he left to join the Coast Guard. The letters begin after he's become a journalist writing for Coast Guard Magazine, and it seems, after an absence from Hannon. The letters are very familiar and playful with references to her French class, updates on his brothers George and Julius, and although married, some flirtatious comments about her breasts, "they were not as you say, spinsterly," and his faraway demeanor in class, "believe me, love, I was not, when you observed me, thinking about any damned touchdowns." There is also lots of talk about Haley's writing career. The early letters from 1949 included his thoughts on his drive to be a writer: "I'm trying pretty hard and have thus far had some minor successes," as well as his bad habits: "I'm essentially lazy, but I love to write once I get started." It's during an extended hospital stay for the treatment of a pilonidal cyst in 1953 that he seems to really make headway: "I never had so much time on end to write in my life. I have to stand up to type, to be sure, but - boy, am I turning out the words! Things I've wanted to work on for ages." In a letter the next year he excitedly describes what was his first big career break: "The prime accomplishment to date, a milestone in my life, I guess, was the sale two weeks ago, of 'The Harlem that Nobody Knows,' a 4,000-word piece, to Reader's Digest ... As a result, I, last week, got taken in the stable of Ruth Aley, probably one of the top 5 literary agents in the country. I am working like a bastard, to put it bluntly." The job led to a series of articles in the magazine and an assignment with Playboy interviewing many of the most important African-Americans of the day. The final letter from 1967 takes the form of two short but sweet holograph notes to Hannon written on the margins of a form letter and a photocopied travel article. They show a busy, successful writer still trying to keep in touch with an old friend.

The letters are accompanied by a black and white photograph of a young Hannon in a military uniform (possibly Red Cross), along with two later color photos of George with Wynelle [Hannon's sister] and George with President Bill Clinton. Plus, there is a copy of Haley's book Queen, published posthumously, and warmly Inscribed by George: "To my dear sister, Virginia Rose Hannon With love, respect and appreciation Your brother George Haley - and all the rest of the Haley Family 12 June 1993." An interesting and intimate collection of early correspondence from one of the most influential African-American writers of the 20th Century.

Haley, Alex

Angela Y. (Yvonne) Davis Collection

  • US TxAM-C 20
  • Collection
  • 1971; Undated

The collection consists of written correspondence primarily in the form of postcards, handmade cards, or other support materials from individuals in Germany. Many of the postcards have colored flowers and colorful artwork, some are from mechanical postcards distributed to school children and individuals in Germany to write in support of Angela Davis. These cards and correspondence are in response to a solidarity campaign of support called "A Million Roses for Angela Davis" started in East Germany. Some of the postcards are addressed to Marin County Courthouse in California and others are addressed to the United National Committee to Free Angela Davis in New York.

Davis, Angela Y., 1944

Berenice Napper Collection

  • TxAM-CRS 172
  • Collection
  • 1949-1958

This collection includes an exchange of letters between Berenice Napper and an official of Connecticut's Commission on Civil Rights, six items concerning Napper's membership in the National Council of Negro Women, eight printed ephemeral items including a photograph of Berenice Napper with three other individuals looking over a copy of Walter White's book How Far the Promised Land?, and a small group of newspaper clippings concerning her work as a field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Napper, Berenice

Black Soldiers of the 349th Field Artillery, Battery D Photo Album

  • US TxAM-C 3876191
  • Collection

This photo album is composed of photographs of African American soldiers assumed to be stationed at Fort Clark, TX as that is the title on the front of the album. Some of the photos have signs of flags of the Army 349th Field Artillery Battery D.

Black Superheroes, Sidekicks, and Characters Comic Book Collection

  • US TxAM-C 810
  • Collection

These comics were created in countries that were ruled by colonial powers in Africa, namely Italy, France, Belgium, and Spain. The comics are both individual copies and bound volumes with numerous copies. They date from around 1926 to 1973.

Charles Levy Civil Rights Collection

  • US TxAM-C C000013
  • Collection
  • 1863-1975

This collection contains nearly 1000 items related to the civil rights movement from 1955-1975. The early part of this collection (1955-67) formed the basic research for Levy's book Voluntary Servitude, Whites in the Negro Movement, (New York: Appleton-Century, 1968). The collection includes hundreds of pages of writings, publications, bulletins, internal memos, broadsides, hand-printed magazines, etc. Prominent figures of the civil rights and revolutionary movements, organizations, and committees are covered in the collection. The collection also includes two photographs of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act with Rev. Martin L. King, Jr. and other luminaries of the civil rights movement.

Cherokee Freedman Collection

  • US TxAM-C 231
  • Collection
  • 1900-1907

This collection is composed of written interviews of African Americans and Native Americans conducted by the Department of the Interior's Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes. The interviews, testimonies, and affidavits relate to applications of African Americans denied enrollment as Cherokee Freedmen during the Dawes Commission. "An act of Congress approved March 3, 1893, established a commission to negotiate agreements with the Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, Seminole, and Cherokee Indian tribes. The commission became known as the Dawes Commission, after its chairman Senator Henry Dawes of Massachusetts. The commission's mission was to divide tribal land into plots which were then divided among the members of the tribe. As part of this process, the Commission either accepted or rejected applicants for tribal membership based on whether the tribal government had previously recognized the applicant as a member of the tribe and other legal requirements. Applicants were categorized as Citizens by Blood, Citizens by Marriage, Minor Citizens by Blood, New Born Citizens by Blood, Freedmen (African Americans formerly enslaved by tribal members), New Born Freedmen, and Minor Freedmen.

The collection encompasses around 140 documents from 42 applications affecting over 100 people. Most of the documents are with their original envelopes, all but one of which is dated within a month of each other in 1904, though the documents themselves range in date within a six-year span. The majority of the hearings were conducted at Fort Gibson or Muskogee, and many of the applicants were either related or testified on one another's behalf. There is a high degree of intertextuality between files in regard to people and places mentioned. In addition to the interviews, there are also interdepartmental letters between various commissioners and the Secretary of the Interior, and notices to applicants and their lawyers. The collection offers a primary source on the arbitration involved in the decision of who did and did not count as Cherokee Freedmen, as well as frontier life in general both before and after the war. The language used vividly reveals the prevailing racial attitudes of the day, chiefly toward African Americans and Native Americans; casual use is made of pejorative terms, and open prejudice is occasionally voiced.

Many of the testimonies include personal histories, sometimes dating as far back as the 1830s, and great detail is given on the moving of slaves to and from the Cherokee Nation during the Civil War. Notable pieces include accounts of runaway slaves returning to their separated families, individual reactions to Emancipation, and a letter directly to the Secretary of the Interior personally written by an applicant, requesting that her case be re-opened. The letter, polite and heartfelt but clearly frustrated, is spelled phonetically. Another interesting letter that allowed for the subject listing to include "Leonid Meteor Showers" refers to one elderly woman's age was determined by the fact that she was 16 "the year the stars fell". The commissioner noted that that was in 1832, and he was there himself. The following year, '33, was the year that the Leonid shower was officially "discovered", and caused something of a panic in the eastern US; no one knew what meteors were, yet!

Several of the locations mentioned, such as Armstrong's Academy, Concharta, OK, and Doaksville, OK, were involved in the war, and both Union and Confederate soldiers are among those interviewed. Doaksville was the site where the last remaining Confederate general, a Cherokee, surrendered. Also mentioned is Tahlequah, OK, the capital of the Cherokee Nation and location of the racially-motivated Going Snake Massacre. Several historical figures come into the documents, namely two of the attorneys for the Cherokee Nation, James Davenport and W. W. Hastings (in all likelihood, William Wirt. referenced as "W. W. Hastings" in transcripts, but a William Wirt Hastings, of Cherokee heritage and from Oklahoma, was an attorney who worked in private practice, as the attorney general for the Cherokee Nation, and then as the national attorney for the Nation from 1907. The dates do match up, and there is a W. W. Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah, given by William Wirt when he was in Congress, as a gift) both of whom later served as U.S. Representatives for Oklahoma. Briefly included is Judge Isaac Parker, known as "the hanging judge" of Fort Smith, Arkansas. Parker tried several well-known outlaws, including Crawford "Cherokee Bill" Goldsby. Occasionally the communities cited in the interviews have since become ghost towns, been absorbed into larger cities, or changed names.

The affidavits, correspondence, and any support materials are arranged in alphabetical order by the surname of the applicant. Note: File 22 is in critical need of preservation.

Chromo Trade Card Albums Collection

  • US TxAM-C 685
  • Collection
  • 1929-1987; Undated

This collection contains chromo card albums dating from the 1920s to 1970s, represented by sheets from the album rather than a bound album. The cards are colorful and represent cultures from countries throughout Africa that were under European colonial rule.
Given the strong presence of African cultural awareness in the colonial powers of Europe, a robust pop culture emerged in the form of children’s books, comics, and chromo trade cards. The latter were cards that were offered with food products, usually chocolate, meat extracts, tea, etc. A card would accompany each chocolate bar for instance and when you had completed the set of cards you could write away and get an album to paste the cards. Most card sets did not have an album, and only a few in each country dealt specifically with Africa. They were collected over ten years and were sourced from Germany, England, France, Belgium, and Spain.

Liebig Extract of Meat Company

Citizens' Fellowship Papers Collection

  • US TxAM-C 85
  • Collection
  • 1951-1967; 1994; Undated

This collection predominantly dates from 1958 to 1961 and includes correspondence to and from members of the Citizens' Fellowship, notes, minutes from meetings, and newspaper clippings. There are items regarding the integration of public schools, including the A&M Consolidated Independent School District. The collection contains information regarding the issue of African American employment and community programs sponsored by the Citizens' Fellowship.

Fenner, James H.

Civil Rights Film Collection

  • US TxAM-C 686
  • Collection
  • 1960-1970

This collection contains two Black Heritage series of reel-to-reel tapes and films that cover the early history of African Americans. Included are 40 audio programs produced by Classroom World Productions on African-American topics. They are monophonic, 1/2 track reel-to-reel audio tapes including some titles, no dates, but a search for similar items date from around the late 1960s to early 1970s.

Dolores Richter Collection

  • US TxAM-C 181
  • Collection

This collection was part of a gift given to the library by the Anthropology Department.  The collection documents the work and writings of Professor Dolores Richter. The collection includes photographs, negatives, writings, and news clippings related to Prof. Richter’s research in the Ivory Coast, West Africa, and Oceania and the publication of her book “Arts, Economics and Change: the Kulebele of Northern Ivory Coast” published in 1980.

Richter, Dolores

Dr. Gwendoline Y. Fortune Papers

  • US TxAM-C 2515959
  • Collection
  • 1983-2014

This collection consists of volumes of correspondence (bulk 2005-2014), video and audiotapes of Dr. Fortune's classical music performances, writings, business ventures, and research material for her published books.

Fortune, Gwendoline Y.

Eldridge Cleaver Archives

  • US TxAM-C C000011
  • Collection
  • 1959-1981

Eldridge Cleaver, a founding member of the Black Panther Party, was also an author, Black power activist, who in his later life became a patriot and Mormon.

The Eldridge Cleaver Archives contains over 1000 individual items of his writings and letters from his prison stints from 1959 to 1966 after he published his seminal work, “Soul on Ice;” BPP writings, his exile in Cuba, Algiers, Paris and other writings; newspapers and other publications. The collection contains rare and unique items from founding members and insider within one of the most notorious and progressive organizations this country has ever witnessed.

There is extensive correspondence from his wife Kathleen that includes correspondence written by and to her, writings to and correspondence from journalists, activists, and from friends.

Cleaver, Eldridge, 1935-1998

Guadalupe Baptist Association Collection

  • US TxAM-C 187
  • Collection

The collection documents the life of Reverend William M. Taylor and his pursuit of education in various cities in Texas. A biography provides details about his education, religious vocation, and family life in Texas that provide a glimpse into the trials and tribulations Blacks faced in attaining any type of progress. This small collection is also rich in the history of the Guadalupe Baptist Association, Guadalupe College, and the community life for African Americans in Texas.

Taylor, William

Illustrated European Periodicals of African Military Expeditions

  • US TxAM-C 812
  • Collection
  • 1821-1906

This collection includes over 11 different groupings of approximately 1 to 10 issues in each grouping. The latter half of the collection includes illustrations of African and African Americans in European periodicals.

Imamu Amiri Baraka Collection

  • US TxAM-C 298
  • Collection

This collection contains over 100 items, primarily books that are cataloged and available via the Libcat system. The manuscript and drawings are also cataloged and available via the Libcat system.

Baraka, Amiri, 1934-2014

J. B. Rayner Letter

  • US TxAM-C 687
  • Collection
  • 1900-10

The collection contains a letter written by J. B. Rayner announcing a forthcoming visit to Edna, Texas, dated October 19, 1900 (envelope included), and a handbill announcing Rayner's talk on October 27, 1900.

Rayner, John Baptis

JeFF Stumpo - Javashock Collection

  • TxAM-CRS 188
  • Collection
  • 1998-2008; Undated

The collection covers the personal, academic, and professional life of Jeff Stumpo and his founding of the Java Shock slam poetry event held initially in College Station, but now based in Bryan, TX.

Stumpo, Jeff

Larry Yarak Collection

  • TxAM-CRS 1549
  • Collection

This collection contains African, Central American, and South American serials, books, and newspapers.

Liebig Card Sets Depicting the Middle East and Africa Collection

  • US TxAM-C C000014
  • Collection
  • 1906-1969

This collection contains Liebig card sets which are trading cards that depict scenes and peoples from the Middle East and Africa including images of Muslims, flags, and maps. The cards are primarily written in French, with a few in English. Most of them were created to advertise the Liebig business.

Liebig Extract of Meat Company

Maurice M. Bailey Collection

  • TxAM-CRS C000323
  • Collection
  • 1942-1945

This small collection includes 11 letters from Maurice Bailey, 6 photos from Stanley C. Jordan, and 18 photos of other African Americans serving in the armed forces during World War 2 in two theatres Naples and Marseille France.

The collection is of a black soldier from Chemung County, New York, named Maurice M Bailey (1906-?). There are 11 letters he wrote to his sister Beatrice Craig, who lives in Harlem. Enlisting at the age of approximately 36 on May 27, 1942, Maurice M Bailey was a Private in the Branch Immaterial or General Officers branch of the Selectees during World War II. At the time of enlistment, Maurice M Bailey was single, with dependents, stood 70 inches tall, weighed 179 pounds, and had an education level of 2 years of college. He landed in Oran in April 1943 as part of the 99th Quartermaster Company RHD and was a baker. Before the war, he was an electrician. His service number was 32344461. He refers to Mussolini as "their famous spaghetti boy Mussi". He describes his stay in Naples, where high-ranking fascists stayed. He describes being on guard duty in Oran during an axis air raid. He cares for his sister deeply, who is not well, and he talks about his plans when he gets back and the things he misses. Noteworthy is his generosity towards his sister, and when he sees how pricey everything is in Naples he prefers to give his money to her.

All the letters are from his service overseas during the war. His pay was only $5.30. He comments "Time heals all wounds. Even war.". He goes on "I must mention how a colored USO show here brought the house down when the girl from Brooklyn sang "Not now baby I'll tell you when". She really was a scream. Why even I fell for the jive and I am not a hip cat". These are just samples of what he has written. Interesting content on both war and reflections of his home by an African-American serving in North Africa, Italy, and France.

Also included are 6 photos from a black soldier named Stanley C Jordan (1921-?) who was a trombone player with the 1333 Eng. Regiment band in World war 2. The photos show Jordan participating in the victory day parade in Marseille France on May 9, 1945. Jordan enlisted when he was 21 on December 21, 1942. At the time of enlistment, he was single, with dependents, stood 70 inches tall, weighed 139 pounds, and had an education level of 4 years of high school. He came from Baltimore, Maryland. His service ID was 33390589.

Also included are 18 photos of African Americans serving in the armed forces during World War 2, in both theatres. Photos from Camp Ellis in Illinois, some photos have descriptions on the reverse.

Jordan, Stanley C., 1921

Slavery and Emancipation Documents

  • US TxAM-C C000006
  • Collection
  • 1737-1875

This collection contains 58 items are related to slavery or emancipation in the states of Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Texas and the countries of Cuba, the Caribbean, Jamaica, and Paris, France.

The descriptive write-up provided by Respess and William Reese, Company is used in the listing of documents. Each document purchased has a title, date, and some have an abbreviated transcription of the text.

The Texas document recounts the hiring, auctions, renting, and transferring ownership of slaves. The Missouri documents concern the purchase and transferring of ownership of slaves named Nancy, George, Phebe, Washington, Lucinda, Madison, Benjamin, and Sarah. No last names or additional information is provided except that Nancy is a Mulatto Woman and George is "of the age of seventeen or thereabouts." Of particular note are two documents, a Texas free woman of color filing a complaint regarding an illegal beating by a group of five men one and the other document is from Missouri and details a sale of slaves by a woman, a rarer document than those recording sales by men.

William Harrison Mays Papers

  • US TxAM-C C000003
  • Collection
  • 1866-1982

This collection contains a variety of documents related to William Harrison Mays, an African American cowboy living in Corpus Christi, TX during the late 19th and early 20th century, and his family. The collection consists of tax receipts, promissory notes, land deeds, and receipts for lumber and building loan payments, photographs, and correspondences from which the researcher is able to track the development of a family over the course of three generations.

Of particular interest is a letter written by W. H. Mays' grandson, Roby Williams, dated September 12, 1982, in which he claims that his grandfather, "was a gun toten cow puncher with the Kings and Kennedys who used to ride over the border and steal Mexican's cattle and bring them back to Kings ranch and brand them KR. Grandpa knew he was living such a hard and risky life, he knew he was subject to being killed on some of these adventures and cattle drives up to Abilene, Kansas, so he didn't buy anything in his name. If he was arrested for cattle rustling, they couldn't take his property." One of the deeds dated 1872 may dispute this claim as it conveys to "Harrison Mays, Colored" a property in Corpus Christi for the sum of twenty-five gold dollars. However, all the tax receipts thereafter for the property are made out to a Clarissa Sinclair (also known as Alice Sinclair, William Harrison Mays' wife).

Other items of interest include a photograph, circa 1865, of two African-American men each standing with a leg up on a wooden box with a large bag marked "$1,000." The handwritten caption on the back reads: "Uncle Willie Cox on left. Just after a win in a cock's fight. Bag contains $1,000.00 in gold. San Luis Portisi, Mexico."

Mays, William Harrison