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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Southern Elections Fund & Julian Bond papers

Repository: University of Virginia Library. Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

Collection Description (CRHP): Box 2 contains a profile and interview of Julian Bond from 1973.

Collection Description (Extant): This collection, 1965-1975, consists of correspondence, mailing lists, newsletters and other printed items, photographs, slides, and miscellaneous materials originated by officers, administrators, and sponsors of the Southern Elections Fund, Inc., including professional and political correspondence of Julian Bond, civil rights leader and chairman of the SEF board of trustees. Several prominent contemporary political and civic individuals and organizations, particularly African-Americans, are represented in the collection by correspondence and printed materials.

The SEF was established in August 1969 as a non-profit corporation to assist in electing local and state level candidates for office in the eleven states of the old Confederacy (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia). It provided technical assistance, moral support and grants ranging from $100 to $400 to slates or individual candidates, regardless of race, gender, religion, national origin or political affiliation. These grants, awarded by a bipartisan selection committee, provided financial grants-in-aid for election filing fees, campaign and office materials based on merit, campaign needs, and community support. The Fund began with a gift of $30,000 from an anonymous donor after Jack Chatfield, then working with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in southern Georgia (and later the SEF's first director), observed much work being done to register black voters "but little or nothing available to help black candidates for minor office."

Governed by a board of trustees, the SEF sought private and corporate donations with the goal of building a financial base of support for Southern politics within the African-American community. In 1970 its contributions to the South Carolina campaigns of three blacks and two in Alabama led to their becoming the first blacks elected to those states' legislatures since the end of Reconstruction. Between 1970 and 1975 the SEF contributed campaign funds and technical advice to over 800 candidates, 70 percent of whom were elected to office as part of a grass roots process that changed the nature and color of Southern politics.

Access Copy Note: There are no restrictions.

Date(s): 1965-1975

Digital Status: No

Existing IDs: Accession number: 10907

Extent: 8,000 items (66 feet)

Finding Aid URL: External Link

Language: English

Related Archival Items: See the Papers of Julian Bond 1897-2006 and from the Julian Bond Library, Nathaniel Rochester Community School at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.

Interviewees: Julian Bond

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


African American politicians
African Americans--Politics and government
Elections--Southern states
Southern States--Politics and government




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   May 15, 2015
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