Boyte Family papers, 1941-2018
Using These Materials
- Collection is open for research.
- Boyte family
- The Boyte Family Papers chiefly contain printed material, including photocopies produced for meetings, conventions, and other group activities; periodicals, flyers, brochures, pamphlets, posters and booklets; correspondence; and reports, minutes, notes and other organizational records. Also included are drafts of essays and articles, photographs, notebooks, and audio tapes. The collection focuses on the careers of Harry C. Boyte, political organizer and writer, in the 1960s and 1970s, and to a lesser extent his father, Harry G. Boyte, in the 1950s and 1960s.
- 14.9 Linear Feet
- Collection ID:
- Scope and Content:
Harry C. Boyte was involved in the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and New American Movement, a national socialist organization with a Chapel Hill-Durham, North Carolina chapter. He was a member of the National Interim Committee for NAM, a steering committee for local groups. He wrote regularly for NAM and other socialist publications on socialist theory and organization. The Boyte Family Papers, 1941-1981 (bulk 1968-1977), chiefly contain printed material, including photocopies produced for meetings, conventions, and other group activities; periodicals, flyers, brochures, pamphlets, posters and booklets; correspondence; and reports, minutes, notes and other organizational records. Also included are drafts of essays and articles, photographs, notebooks, and audio tapes. While useful for a study of political and social activism and community organizing in post-World War II United States at local, regional and national levels, the collection contains little on the personal lives of the Boyte family. The collection focuses on the careers of Harry C. Boyte, political organizer and writer, in the 1960s and 1970s, and to a lesser extent his father, Harry G. Boyte, in the 1950s and 1960s. Social action organizations represented prominently in the collection include the New American Movement (NAM), the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC), and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
Harry C. Boyte was involved in the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and New American Movement, a national socialist organization with a Chapel Hill-Durham, North Carolina chapter. He was a member of the National Interim Committee for NAM, a steering committee for local groups. Literature from these and other groups with which Harry C. Boyte was affiliated, such as ACT in Durham, the New University Conference, the Southern Student Organizing Committee and Students for a Democratic Society is located in the Subject Files of the Harry C. Boyte Series. Together with publications in the early 1970s from other groups in the Printed Material subseries, these files represent issues including the Vietnam War and conscientious objection, socialism, feminism, labor rights, civil rights, gay and lesbian rights and the impeachment of Richard M. Nixon.
Harry C. Boyte wrote regularly for NAM and other socialist publications on socialist theory and organization. Drafts of some of his articles, along with correspondence containing critiques by his associates can be found throughout the NAM and DSOC files in the Harry C. Boyte Series. Correspondence in those files and in the National Democratic Left Relations folder between Boyte and his associates contains discussion of the implementation of socialist theories in contemporary American society. These exchanges were conducted more formally through Discussion Bulletins, contained in the files.
Papers in the Harry C. Boyte Series also relate to local organizing efforts in Chapel Hill and Durham, N.C., concerning health care, welfare, industrial safety and inflation. The information is contained in folders titled ACT, Health Care, Occupational Health, People's Association for a Cooperative Commonwealth, Utilities and Tenants' Rights. A small amount of material relates to student activism at Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
There is some material on the women's movement and the career of Boyte's wife, Sara Evans Boyte, who received a Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and became a professor of women's history. She was involved in a Chapel Hill women's group called Lollipop Power, a folder for which exists in the Harry C. Boyte Series. There is also material scattered through the NAM files about the Charlotte Perkins Gilman chapter, a socialist feminist group. Examples of feminist literature can be found in the Printed Material subseries and in the Robert P. McMahon Series.
Harry C. Boyte's father, Harry G. Boyte, left the American Red Cross to work in race relations. Eventually he was appointed the first white man on the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference under Martin Luther King, Jr. Boyte's job search is documented by correspondence in the Harry G. Boyte Series. Contacts included the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Friends Service Committee, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Urban League, SCLC, the Southern Conference Education Fund, and the Southern Regional Council. The letters provide background information on Boyte's previous experience in Civil Rights projects. While on the staff of SCLC, he headed Operation Dialogue. There is material in the Correspondence and SCLC files of this series about this program intended to foster interracial communication.
Correspondence in the Harry G. Boyte Series also covers the later years of Boyte's Red Cross career and his initial involvement in desegregation efforts in Atlanta. He served as chairman of HOPE, Inc. (Help Our Public Schools) and as Executive Director of the Greater Atlanta Council on Human Relations. He was also instrumental in organizing an Atlanta chapter of the Unitarian Service Committee. The bulk of the Education files of this series is comprised of material relating to Harry G. Boyte's work for the American Friends Service Committee.
There is material in the Clippings, Correspondence and Racial files of the Harry G. Boyte Series regarding civil unrest in Monroe, N.C., in the late 1950s and early 1960s. During his short stay there, Boyte and his family hosted Freedom Riders and lent support to local NAACP leaders. Racial files include material relating to other Civil Rights programs and events in North Carolina and Georgia conducted by groups such as the Southern Regional Council, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and SCLC. There is also some literature from CORE in a separate folder.
Robert McMahon was associated with Harry C. Boyte after becoming a member of the Chapel Hill-Durham chapter of NAM. He was also involved in the local chapter of the New University Conference and the Chapel Hill Peace Center. While a student at the University of Virginia, McMahon served as President of the Newman Student Federation, and as Chairman of the Southern Student Organizing Committee between the years 1967-1968. The Robert P. McMahon Series contains information on the organization, planning and programs of these two groups. Some documentation of his political involvements can also be found in the Harry C. Boyte Series.
- Biographical / Historical:
Harry C. Boyte Date Event 1945, April 26 Born, Washington, D.C. 1963-1964 Founder, Duke-Durham chapter of Congress of Racial Equality 1964-1965 Field Secretary for Southern Christian Leadership Conference in North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida 1966, June 5 Married Sara Margaret Evans of McCormick, S.C. 1967 Received B.A. with distinction in Psychology from Duke University, Durham, NC 1967-1968 Attended University of Chicago Divinity School 1968-1970 Community organizer, Operation Breakthrough, Durham, N.C. 1970-1971 Editor, ACTION newspaper 1971-1975 Member of the founding body and National Interim Committee of the New American Movement 1976-1981 Member of the National Board and Executive Committee of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee 1977-1978 Program advisor, Field Foundation 1978-1979 United States correspondent, Tempo magazine 1980 Published The Backyard Revolution: Understanding the New Citizen Movement 1980-1981 Senior Neighborhoods Policy Analyst, New Careers Training Laboratory, City University of New York 1981- Director, Citizen Heritage Center
Mr. Boyte, a freelance writer, has one son, Craig and one daughter, Rachel. He is the author or coauthor of numerous articles and books about left wing political and social concerns.
Harry G. Boyte Date Event 1911, June 26 Born Charlotte, N.C. 1936 Married first wife, who died the same year 1942-1944 Served abroad as Assistant Field Director, then Field Director for American Red Cross Foreign Service 1944, Jan. Married Janet Chatten in Evanston, Ill. 1944-1945 Assistant Chief of Personnel Administration for Red Cross Service to U.S. Armed Forces in Washington, D.C. 1946 Executive Director of American Red Cross of Greater Atlanta 1948-1959 Manager, Atlanta chapter of American Red Cross 1959-1962 Involved with civil rights organizations in Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia 1962 Directed community relations project for school desegregation in Prince Edward County, Va., for American Friends Service Committee 1963-1965 Employed as Special Assistant to Martin Luther King, Jr. for Southern Christian leadership Conference in Atlanta, Ga. 1965 Director of "Operation Dialogue" program for SCLC 1966 Employed as Technical Assistance Officer, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Atlanta, Ga.
Mr. Boyte is a member of the Society of Friends. He has one son, Harry Chatten Boyte, and one daughter.
- Acquisition Information:
- The Boyte family papers, 1941-2018, were donated to the Special Collections Department from 1967-2018 by Harry C. Boyte and Sara Evans Boyte.
- Processing information:
Processed by Denise Dolan
Completed October 29, 1991
Encoded by Alvin Pollock
- Rules or Conventions:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.
Segregation -- Virginia
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975
Socialism -- United States
College students -- Political activity -- Virginia
College students -- Political activity -- North Carolina
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.)
Democratic Socialist Orgnizing Committee (U.S.)
New American Movement (organization)
New University Conference
ACT (Durham, N.C.)
American Friends Service Committee
Southern Student Organizing Committee (Nashville, Tenn.)
McMahon, Robert Patrick
Boyte, Harry Chatten, 1945-
Boyte, Harry G., 1911-
Boyte, Sara Evans
- North Carolina -- Race relations
Using These Materials
Collection is open for research.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
The copyright interests in the Boyte family papers have not been transferred to Duke University. For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the Special Collections Department.
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- PREFERRED CITATION:
[Identification of item], Boyte Family Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.