Tag Archives: Civil Rights

New Items Related to Martin Luther King, Jr., Added to NC Digital Collections

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, we have added 74 new items from the Daniel K. Moore governors’ papers collection to the Civil Rights digital collection. These items mostly consist of correspondence and clippings from 1968 relating to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Continue reading

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Women’s History Month 2018 – Gertrude Weil

[This blog post was written by Kim Andersen, Audio Visual Materials Archivist in the Special Collections Section of the State Archives of North Carolina.]

Gertrude Weil (11 December 1879 – 30 May 1971)

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Suffragettes, including Gertrude Weil, far left, May Borden Graham, fourth from left, and Rowena Borden, far right, circa 1920. General Negative Collection, State Archives of NC. [source]

Humanitarian, feminist, and social activist Gertrude Weil was born in Goldsboro, NC, in 1879 into a prominent family of Jewish merchants.  Gertrude Weil attended local public schools before enrolling at Horace Mann for secondary education.  While at Mann she became friends with teacher Margaret Stanton Lawrence, daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, one of the founders of the woman’s suffrage movement.  Already drawn to public service and philanthropy by the example of her mother, Mina Rosenthal Weil, Gertrude was inspired in part by her associations with Lawrence and Staunton to dedicate her considerable energies to the fight for gender equality and later racial equality. Continue reading

African American Education Spotlight Series: Charlotte Hawkins Brown

This month we are highlighting our African American Education Digital Collection in celebration of Black History Month. Currently, this collection contains materials from the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum as well as materials from the Division of Negro Education of the Department of Public Instruction.

Today’s post features Charlotte Hawkins Brown. As an educator, civic leader, and founder of the Palmer Memorial Institute, she was a pioneer in education and demonstrated unwavering dedication to helping her students reach their greatest potential.

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Charlotte Hawkins Brown, top center, is seen photographed with four other Palmer Memorial Institute faculty members, ca. 1902. Photo courtesy of the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum. African American Education Digital Collection. State Archives of NC. [source]

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African American Education Spotlight Series: James Henry Harris

This month we are highlighting our African American Education Digital Collection in celebration of Black History Month. Currently, this collection contains materials from the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum as well as materials from the Division of Negro Education of the Department of Public Instruction.

Today’s post features James Henry Harris, an eloquent spokesman for a variety of causes, including equal access to education for African Americans and an end to legal discrimination—in North Carolina and beyond.

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The New England Freedman’s Aid Society appointed James Henry Harris “a teacher of freed people in North Carolina” on August 31, 1865. James Henry Harris Papers. Private Collections. Civil War Digital Collection. State Archives of NC.

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African American Education Spotlight Series: Joseph Charles Price

This month we are highlighting our African American Education Digital Collection in celebration of Black History Month. Currently, this collection contains materials from the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum as well as materials from the Division of Negro Education of the Department of Public Instruction.

Today’s post features Joseph Charles Price: black educator, orator, and civil rights leader. Price established Livingstone College in 1882 (originally established as Zion Wesley Institute) in Salisbury, North Carolina and served as its first president.

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A photograph of Salisbury’s J. C. Price High School. This photo was taken for the Sesquicentennial International Exposition in 1926. The school was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010. Division of Negro Education. Public Instruction Records. State Archives of North Carolina.


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Summer of the Archives Series

Have you ever scrolled through the many items in the North Carolina Digital Collections and discovered a hidden treasure? Each week this summer we will highlight an item from our collection in the hopes of inspiring you to discover new-to-you materials in our digital collections.

Fifty-five years ago this week, on July 26, 1960, the first African Americans were served at the lunch counter in the Greensboro, N.C., Woolworth. Almost six months previously, on February 1, 1960, four African American students from North Carolina A & T State University had attempted to integrate the “whites only” lunch counter, but were refused service. The students had just purchased school supplies in the store, and argued that if the store was willing to take their money for goods, they should also be willing to serve them at the lunch counter. Even though they were repeatedly asked to leave by the lunch counter staff and by police, the four students stayed seated until the store closed that night. The next day, twelve African Americans came to sit at the Woolworth lunch counter.

African American men seated at lunch counter, 1960.  [Call no. NO.2.10.1960.fr6a]

African American men seated at lunch counter, 1960. [Call no. NO.2.10.1960.fr6a]

The lunch counter sit-in protests quickly spread to other cities in North Carolina and across the South, and, in the end, these demonstrations led to the desegregation of many public spaces.

This photograph is part of the News and Observer Photograph Files, State Archives of North Carolina, and can be found in the Civil Rights digital collection at North Carolina Digital Collections. The Civil Rights collection includes photographs and documents from the 1950s through 1970s related to the Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina. Check out these articles at NCpedia for more information on the Greensboro Four and African American Civil Rights in North Carolina.

Civil Rights Movement Digital Collection

In celebration of African American History Month this February, we are pleased to announce a new digital collection relating to the Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina from the 1950s to the 1970s. The items in this collection contain letters, speeches, reports, booklets, photographs, news clippings, court records, and proposed legislation, on topics such as school desegregation and busing, voting rights, and civil rights protests and demonstrations. The majority of the items presented here were selected from our State Agency records, with an emphasis on Governors Papers. In preparing this collection, we have made an effort to include documents that represent a range of opinions both from those who favored civil rights, and from those who opposed them. In addition to the official records of elected officials, this collection contains many letters from ordinary citizens expressing their concerns, fears, and hopes.

Among the items in this collection you can find:

  • Materials from the North Carolina Voter Education Project which sought to help the poor and disadvantaged become more active and involved in the democratic process.
  • N.C. House Bills which tried to preserve racial segregation in public schools even after the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education.
  • Reports from law enforcement officers describing various civil rights demonstrations throughout the state.
  • A telegram from NAACP representative Brenda Johnson to the Governor requesting police protection for civil rights demonstrators after violence nearly erupted in Edenton.
  • A Statement from Gov. Sanford to Good Neighbor Council about ending discrimination in training and job opportunities for African Americans.
  • Meeting minutes from the Department of Social Services Civil Rights Strategy Committee which describe objectives and plans for assuring compliance with the Civil Rights Act.
  • A transcript of a conversation between Gov. Hodges and Edward Harrigan, Vice President of F.W. Woolworth Company, regarding how the company deals with the issue of deciding whether or not to serve African American customers.
  • A statement from the Durham Committee on Negro Affairs supporting the dignified actions of student demonstrators in the sit-in movement.
  • A telegram from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Gov. Sanford asking to release protestors in Edenton who had been arrested.

This digital collection represents only a small sample of Civil Rights materials available at the State Archives. We hope to add more to this collection in the future. To see what else the State Archives has on the Civil Rights Movement, check out our Civil Rights Research Guide.

To learn more about the Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina visit NCPedia.