For the last several months, I have been processing the collection of the Duke University Union for the Duke Archives. The collection contains a wide variety of records and information: want to know how many people were injured during the Grateful Dead concert at Duke? Check the Union records! Interested in a local artist that showed her work at Duke in the 1970s? The Union records are the place to be! But the subject of this blog post involves this curious, unsigned letter that I found in the records:
CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality, was an interracial civil rights organization that, according to its website, began as “a nonhierarchical, decentralized organization funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of its members.” By the early 1960s, chapters and projects existed in many states and were self-funded and self-led.
The early 1960s were a pivotal time for CORE chapters, particularly those throughout the south. 1960, of course, saw the Greensboro sit-ins, and CORE was instrumental in formulating responses throughout the region. In 1961, CORE chapters, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and other civil rights organizations both participated in and organized “Freedom Rides” throughout the segregated south in order to desegregate interstate travel. And during 1964′s Freedom Summer, CORE members James Chaney, Andrew Goldman, and Michael Schwerner were murdered in the infamous “Mississippi Burning” case.
Perhaps it was something about the “nonhierarchical, decentralized” language that piqued the curiosity of Duke administrators and compelled them to check with both the United States Department of Justice and the House of Unamerican Activities Commission before approving a CORE chapter at Duke. The motivation behind such actions may have been lost to time . . . or maybe it’s buried deeper in the Union records!
Post contributed by Maureen McCormick Harlow, Drill Intern for the Duke University Archives.
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The Devil’s Tale Archive
- Theater Three Collaborative records, 1970-2014. July 22, 2014
- Williamston, N.C. Civil Rights journal, 1963 November 11-20. July 22, 2014
- Ellsa Lucile Hozman travel diary, 1913 April 29-1913 August 28. July 21, 2014
- Letter, account, and dividend book, 1839-1867 and undated. July 18, 2014
- Eckard V. Toy Jr. papers, 1975-1995. July 16, 2014
- Das veränderte Russland : in welchem die ietzige verfassung des geist- und weltlichen Regiments : der Krieges-Staat zu Lande und zu Wasser, wahre Zustand der russischen Finantzen, die geöffneten Berg-Wercke, die eingeführte Academien, Künste, Manufacturen, Verordnungen, Geschäffte mit denen asiatischen Nachbaren und Vafallen, nebst der allerneuesten Nachricht von diesen Völckern : die Begebenheiten des Czaergangene, und was sich sonst merckwürdiges in Russland zugetragen, nebst verschiedenen andern bissher unbekandten Rachrichten in einem biss 1720 gehenden Journal vorgestellet werden, mit einer accuraten Land-Carte und Kupfferstichen versehen. July 17, 2014
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- Beytrag zur Geschichte Russlands vom Jahr 1727 bis 1744 : nebst einem Anhange über die damalige Beschaffenheit des Kriegs- des Seewesens, des Handels, der Academie &c. &c. : mit Charten und Planen : aus einer franzöisischen Handschrift. July 17, 2014
- Rhyme? and reason? July 14, 2014
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- Year book the Episcopal Churchwomen of St. Philip's Parish (Volume 1971/1972 c.1) July 21, 2014
- Year book the Episcopal Churchwomen of St. Philip's Parish (Volume 1967/1968 c.1) July 21, 2014
- Year book the Episcopal Churchwomen of St. Philip's Parish (Volume 1965/1966 c.1) July 21, 2014
- Year book the Episcopal Churchwomen of St. Philip's Parish (Volume 1963/1964 c.1) July 21, 2014
- Year book the Episcopal Churchwomen of St. Philip's Parish (Volume 1962/1963 c.1) July 21, 2014