Courtland Cox papers, 1963-2021
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- Cox, Courtland, 1941-
- Courtland Cox (1941- ) is an African American civil rights activist, former member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and a co-founder of the Drum and Spear Bookstore in Washington, D.C. His papers consist of materials related to the Drum and Spear Bookstore and associated organizations, folders related to his tenure as the Secretary General of the Sixth Pan-African Congress in Tanzania, as well as subject files on the civil rights movement in the South during the 1960s. Includes some photographs of events, a photograph album beloning to Cox, and a group of audiocassette recordings as well as electronic records.
- 3.0 Linear Feet
- Materials in English
- Collection ID:
- Scope and content:
Collection contains materials related to Cox's management of the Drum and Spear Bookstore and Press in Washington, D.C., his tenure as the Secretary General of the Sixth Pan-African Congress in Tanzania, and his collected subject files on the civil rights movement in the South. Non-paper formats include photographs of events, a photograph album belonging to Cox, and a group of audiocassette recordings as well as electronic records.
Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.
- Biographical / historical:
The Drum and Spear Bookstore was founded in 1968 by SNCC veterans Charlie Cobb, Judy Richardson, Courtland Cox, and Curtis Hayes (later Muhammed), developing out of the civil rights/black power movement in Washington, DC. It specialized in books written by black authors and books on Asian, African, and African American subjects. The founders took the name Afro-American Resources, Inc., and operated Drum and Spear Bookstore, Drum and Spear Press, and the Center for Black Education. The center held classes for community youth and sponsored educational forums and speakers. The Drum and Spear operated from 1371 Fairmont Street, Washington, D.C. NW, until its closure in 1974.
Courtland Cox was born in 1941 in New York City. While a Howard University student, Cox became a member of NAG and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He worked with SNCC in Mississippi and Lowndes County, Alabama, was the Program Secretary for SNCC in 1962, and was the SNCC representative to the War Crimes Tribunal organized by Bertrand Russell. In 1963 he served as the SNCC representative on the Steering Committee for the March on Washington. In 1973 Cox served as the Secretary General of the Sixth Pan-African Congress and international meeting of African people in Tanzania. He co-owned and managed the Drum and Spear Bookstore and Drum and Spear Press in Washington, D.C. Cox was appointed by President Clinton to serve as the Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) at the Department of Commerce, a position he held until January 20, 2001. He is currently on the board of the SNCC Legacy Project.
[Adapted from the SNCC Legacy Project website, 2019]
- Acquisition information:
- The Courtland Cox papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a gift from 2016-2019.
- Processing information:
Processed by Katrina Martin and Paul Sommerfeld, December 2016. Updated by David Romine, Oct. 2017; Meghan Lyon, Mar. 2019. Updated by Tracy M. Jackson, March 2022, to include materials incorrectly associated with the John Hope Franklin papers.
Accessions described in this collection guide: 2016-0283, 2017-0134, 2017-0157, 2019-0037.
Arranged into the following series: Drum and Spear Bookstore, Pan-African Congress, Subject Files, Audiovisual Materials, and Electronic Records.
- 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.
- African Americans -- Civil rights -- Southern States
Civil rights workers -- Alabama
Civil rights workers -- Mississippi
- John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture
Drum and Spear Bookstore
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)
Black Panther Party
Pan African Congress
Cox, Courtland, 1941-
Cobb, Charles E., Jr.
- Washington (D.C.)
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Original audiovisual materials are closed to use. To access them, listening or viewing copies must be made. Please contact the Rubenstein Library before coming to use these materials.
Collection contains electronic records that must be requested and accessed in our reading room. Please contact the Rubenstein Library before coming to use these materials.
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[Identification of item], Courtland Cox papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.