Gordon Blaine Hancock papers, 1928-1970 0.8 Linear Feet — 525 Items
The papers of Gordon Blaine Hancock, clergyman, journalist, educator, and civil rights spokesman, span the years 1928-1970, and include five series: Correspondence; Southern Regional Council; Clippings/Writings; Miscellany; and Photographs. The collection relates primarily to Hancock's efforts to increase opportunities for Blacks.
Among those efforts was a course he organized on race relations at Virginia Union University in 1922, which is believed to have been the first course of its kind in America. In the 1930's and 1940's, Hancock became an outspoken leader in the struggle for racial equality, speaking at over 40 black and white colleges and universities. He launched a one-man crusade under his "double-duty dollar" philosophy in 1933, contending that blacks should create an economy within their own communities, thereby providing jobs and better economic opportunities. In 1942, with P. B. Young, editor of the Norfolk Journal and Guide and black historian Luther P. Jackson of Virginia State College, he helped organize the Southern Conference on Race Relations. The conference was held in Durham, N.C., Oct. 10, 1942, and brought together black leaders from across the South. As a result of the conference, the group issued the "Durham Manifesto" in which they set forth the "articles of cooperation." The articles stated what blacks wanted and expected from the post war South and from the nation in the areas of political and civil rights, employment, education, agriculture, military service, and social welfare and health.
The Southern Regional Council series provides several references to this conference and to two that followed in Atlanta, Ga. and Richmond, Va. in 1943. Included is information about the conferences' early leaders and printed information issued as a result of the conferences. The series also contains correspondence and background information about the origins of the Council, and its relationship to the conferences, and to its predecessor organization, the Commission on Interracial Cooperation. Correspondents include P. B. Young, James E. Shepard, Benjamin E. Mays, Guy B. Johnson, Howard W. Odum, Jessie Daniel Ames, and Virginius Dabney.
The Writings/Clippings Series forms the bulk of the collection and consists primarily of photocopied newsclippings from Hancock's weekly syndicated news column "Between the Lines," which he wrote for the Associated Negro Press from 1928 to 1965. The column appeared in 114 black newspapers throughout the United States. The articles chiefly articulate the concerns of blacks in American society in the areas of politics, desegregation, economics, and black leadership, though a few relate to broader social and political issues. This series also contains poems, songs, and music composed by Hancock.
The few letters in the Correspondence Series, primarily relate to voting registration irregularities in Northampton County, N.C., and to Hancock's efforts to further social and economic justice for blacks.
The Miscellany Series includes writings and newsclippings about Hancock, a few written after his death; a statement reciting the history of the Richmond Urban League; a biographical sketch of P. B. Young; news columns by Luther P. Jackson; a few of Hancock's sermons and sermon notes; information relating to the history of Moore Street Baptist Church, where Hancock served as minister (1925-1963); and a few other papers. The Photograph series consists chiefly of two packets of souvenir photographs from Versailles, Vienna, and Berlin.