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The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Carnegie Corporation project

Repository: Columbia University. Center for Oral History

Collection Description (CRHP): This collection includes two parts, see also http://oralhistoryportal.cul.columbia.edu/document.php?id=ldpd_5459604

See the interviews with the following:

Laughlin McDonald, discusses Operation Southern Justice: desegregation of prisons, juries, the bar; legal defense of Ku Klux Klan's right to assemble in Saucier, Mississippi; Voting Rights Project: efforts to redistrict southern states, majority bloc voting, struggle with southern barratry statutes designed to stymie civil rights lawyers, description of typical southern district court judge, negative impact of racial politics on legislative, judicial systems.

John C. Taylor, discusses work for Legal Defense Fund giving legal advice to black entrepreneurs in 1950s; reflections on presidency of Alan Pifer: ideas on civil rights, innovation, belief in funding small organizations; relation of civil rights-oriented legal reform to Carnegie charter

Eli N. Evans, discusses activities at the Carnegie Corporation: funding of projects in favor of the civil rights movement

Anthony W. Jackson, discusses middle-class neighborhood in central L.A., bussed to junior high and high school in West LA, awareness of, but little involvement in, civil rights movement; creation and organization of “Black Families and the Medium of Television” conference

Collection Description (Extant): This project traces the first 58 years of Andrew Carnegie's central philanthropic organization. Officers, staff members, and grant recipients discuss its work in adult education, area studies, art education, cognitive research, education testing, library science, music education, national security, social science research, teacher education, and other areas. The Corporation's relations with other Carnegie institutions over the years are delineated in many memoirs. Others detail the Corporation's own administrative history, as well as its relations with other major foundations and the federal government. Others trace the work of independent agencies which originally received all or part of their funds from the foundation. In general, the design of the project was to provide comprehensive and candid information about the foundation, its work, and those who have served "to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding."The material is rich in personal recollections of grantees and members of the Corporation's board and staff.

This project, funded by grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, continues the history of Andrew Carnegie's central philanthropic organization from 1970 until the close of the twentieth century. In more than 270 hours of interviews including 63 hours shot on high definition video, Carnegie Corporation staff, trustees, and grant recipients discuss the institution's contributions to regional, national and global welfare. Major thematic areas discussed in Part II of the Corporation's history include its national work in childhood development, research, education and media (including Sesame Street); and the Corporation's international work in nuclear disarmament, and legal and educational reform. A central focus of the Part II interviews with grantees is the impact of the Corporation's work in South Africa, where the Corporation funded economic research into black poverty as well as legal reform during the decades of apartheid. Also discussed are the Corporation's public programs such as educational exchange, conflict prevention, adolescent and family development, and support of pro-democracy and economic development work. In addition, the interviews document Carnegie's changes in leadership, organizational structure, board and staff, and the evolving role of women in the Corporation during the last quarter century. Interviewees also reflect on philanthropy's role in American culture, and the global impact of American philanthropy in societies transitioning to democracy. The Carnegie Corporation grant for this project included a commitment to explore the contribution of video to the scholarly and public practice of oral history. A selection of video and audio interviews, along with transcripts, can be accessed through the Oral History Research Office website. The website features a documentary made based on the Corporation's century-long presence in South Africa, “Voices of South Africa.”

Collection URL: http://oralhistoryportal.cul.columbia.edu/document.php?id=ldpd_4072539 External Link

Date(s): 1966-1970, 1996-2004

Digital Status: No

Extent: Transcripts: 9,948 leaves

Language: English

Interviewees: Laughlin McDonald, John C. Taylor, Eli N. Evans, Anthony W. Jackson

Rights (Extant): Permission required to cite, quote, and reproduce. Contact repository for information.

Subjects:

Charities
Ku Klux Klan (1915- )--Mississippi
Lawyers
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
School integration--California--Los Angeles
Voting

Genres:

Interviews
Transcripts

 

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   March 5, 2012
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