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Earl E. Thorpe papers, 1942-1990 2 Linear Feet — 1225 items

Historian, professor, clergyman, and activist; resident of Durham, N.C. The papers of Earl E. Thorpe span the years 1942-1990, the bulk of the materials having been generated during the years 1965 to 1982. Primarily, materials in the collection address Thorpe's work at North Carolina Central University (formerly North Carolina College), and his tenure as visiting professor at Harvard and Duke universities. Topics include student activism, teaching, racial and departmental politics on campus, and the development of viable African American Studies programs. Thorpe's service as chair of the program committee for the 1979 meeting of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (ASALH), and his term as president of the ASALH in 1980 are also well represented. Personal correspondence with family and students, and material reflective of Thorpe's life in the ministry are scattered throughout. Some materials also touch on North Carolina and Durham politics and race relations.

The papers of Earl E. Thorpe - historian, clergyman, and activist - span the years 1942 to 1990, the bulk of the materials having been generated during the years 1965-1982. The collection consists of six series: Correspondence, Writings and Speeches, Pictures, Printed Material, Clippings, and Genealogical Papers. Primarily, materials in the collection address Thorpe's work at North Carolina Central University (formerly North Carolina College), and his tenure as visiting professor at Harvard and Duke universities. Thorpe's service as chair of the program committee for the 1979 meeting of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (ASALH), and his term as president of the ASALH in 1980 are also well represented. Personal correspondence with family and students, and material reflective of Thorpe's life in the ministry are scattered throughout.

The bulk of the collection consists of the personal and professional correspondence of Thorpe. To 1970, material in the Correspondence Series centers on departmental politics at North Carolina College - specifically confusion and dissension over Thorpe's promotion to the chair of the history department. Letters from Thorpe's daughter at Spellman College in Atlanta, missives from friends and former students, a World War II era note from Thorpe to Martha V. Branch - Thorpe's future wife - and a small amount of professional correspondence are also represented.

Beginning in 1971, correspondence turns to Thorpe's appointment as a visiting professor of Afro-American Studies at Harvard University. The letters reveal the substance of Thorpe's classes, and the intellectual environment at Harvard - especially as it concerns the Afro-American studies department. The challenges fading the organization and the development of a viable Afro-American Studies program emerge in correspondence between Thorpe and Ewart Gunier - chair of the Harvard black studies program - letters copied to Thorpe from others, and internal memoranda from Harvard's Afro-American Studies program.

From 1972 through 1978, correspondence focuses again on Thorpe's duties at North Carolina Central University: tenure proceedings, student activism, class organization, personnel searches, and race politics on campus. Of particular interest are letters concerning the appointment of a white instructor to teach NCCU's Afro-American history survey, and the organization of the Helen G. Edmonds history colloquium. Matters unrelated to the history department or the workings of the campus are touched upon - planning for family reunions, and correspondence concerning Thorpe's health, for example.

Beginning in 1978, correspondence turns to Thorpe's duties as chair of the program committee for the 1979 meeting of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (ASALH). In some detail, the letters recount the organization of the ASALH conference program - especially the politics and compromise involved in such a labor. Principal correspondents are ASALH officials, but included are notes from prominent African American historians. Panel and papers abstracts submitted for the committee's consideration are filed in the Writings and Speeches Series. A number of letters and abstracts represent efforts by the Association of Black Women Historians to organize panels at the meeting.

In 1980, correspondence shifts to matters concerning Professor Thorpe's tenure as president of the ASALH. The organization of the 1981 conference in New Orleans is prominent. Correspondence pondering the future of the ASALH in light of recent mismanagement is also present. Of material not related to ASALH in this period, correspondence between Thorpe and Lerone Bennet, Jr. is especially interesting. In 1981, Thorpe charged Bennet with plagiarizing Thorpe's work in preparing a piece for Ebony magazine. As if preparing for a trial, Professor Thorpe went so far as to collect evidence and build a case. The matter, however, was never fully resolved.

Paul Zwillenberg has written a history honors thesis probing Professor Thorpe's thoughts and writings. "I Dream a World: An Intellectual Biography of Earl Endris Thorpe" may be examined in the reading room of the Rubenstein Library.

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John Wilson Fleming papers, 1948-2005 1.5 Linear Feet — 3 boxes

Collection comprises sermons, teaching materials, writings, and other professional papers of John Wilson Fleming, Baptist pastor and professor of history, philosophy, and religion at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Handwritten drafts of sermons date from the 1950s to the 2000s, and make up almost half of the collection. Other papers include: drafts of speeches, articles, and an unpublished full-length novel, Girded with strength; church programs; lecture notes, syllabi, and a few student papers; Shaw University administrative papers; papers pertaining to politics and school districts in Raleigh, North Carolina, 1964; and some biographical materials, including a resumé and obituary. Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

Collection comprises sermons, teaching materials, writings, and other professional papers of John Wilson Fleming, Baptist pastor, university administrator, and professor of history, philosophy, and religion at Shaw University. Handwritten drafts of sermons date from the 1950s to the 2000s, and make up almost half of the collection. Other papers include drafts of speeches, articles, and an unpublished full-length novel, Girded with strength; church programs; lecture notes, syllabi, and a few student papers; Shaw University administrative papers; papers pertaining to politics and school districts in Raleigh, North Carolina, 1964; and some biographical materials including a resumé and obituary.

The sermons and other writings by John W. Fleming, make up the bulk of the collection. There are only small amounts of correspondence. Topics of significance in the papers include: African American perspectives on religion and Christianity; study and teaching of religion, theology, history, and philosophy; African American educators and university administrators; and religious aspects of African American history, race relations, and the civil rights movement.

Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

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The Office of Black Church Studies was established as an initiative of the Duke Divinity School in the early 1970s. The office was created to support African American students and faculty in the Divinity School and sustain a specific curriculum on black preaching and the black experience with Christianity. There are materials related to African American churches, civil rights, and the status of African American students and faculty in universities across the country. Materials related to Martin Luther King, Jr.; Benjamin Chavis; Gardner C. Taylor; and Prathia Hall Wynn are included. Some items relate to black church studies at other academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and churches. The collection includes manuscripts, black-and-white and color photographs, digital images, and electronic records contained on compact discs. There are publications that predate the creation of the office.

The Office of Black Church Studies was established as an initiative of the Duke Divinity School in the early 1970s. The office was created to support African American students and faculty in the Divinity School and sustain a specific curriculum on black preaching and the black experience with Christianity.There are materials related to African American churches, civil rights, and the status of African American students and faculty in universities across the country. Materials related to Martin Luther King, Jr.; Benjamin Chavis; Gardner C. Taylor; and Prathia Hall Wynn are included.Some items relate to black church studies at other academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and churches. The collection includes manuscripts, black-and-white and color photographs, digital images, and electronic records contained on compact discs. There are publications that predate the creation of the office.

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William Clair Turner, Jr. earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Duke University in 1971, his M.Div. from Duke Divinity School in 1974, and his Ph.D. in religion in 1984. He has held several administrative positions at Duke, including Assistant Provost and Dean of Black Affairs and Acting Director of the Afro-American Studies program. In 1982 he became a full-time faculty member in the Divinity School, directing the Office of Black Church Affairs before being appointed Professor of the Practice of Homiletics. He has pastored several churches, including his current position at Mt. Level Baptist Church and was previously ordained in the United Holy Church of America, Inc. denomination. The collection documents Turner’s academic and personal activities. Materials include personal and administrative correspondence regarding Turner’s roles as pastor and administrator, manuscripts of lectures and sermons, syllabi and notes for courses taught, notes from classes taken while a student, subject files, and records of the United Holy Church of America. The collection also includes VHS, CD, and DVD recordings of some of his sermons.

The collection documents the academic and personal activities of William C. Turner, Jr., Duke alumni and faculty member at Duke Divinity School. Materials include personal and administrative correspondence regarding Turner’s roles as pastor and administrator, manuscripts of lectures and sermons, syllabi and notes for courses taught, notes from classes taken while a student, subject files, and records of the United Holy Church of America, Inc. denomination in which Turner was deeply involved and on which he wrote his Ph.D. dissertation. The collection also includes VHS, CD, and DVD recordings of some of his sermons. Major topics covered include black student life at Duke; Turner’s involvement in the Department of Afro-American Studies, Office of Black Affairs, and Office of Black Church Studies; Turner’s academic work on the Holy Spirit and black spirituality; pastoral work in African American churches in Durham; and the history of the United Holy Church of America, Inc.