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African-Americans and Education

ANDREWS, L.O. Letter, 1937. SC 1972. One item. No collection guide available. Natalie Fenelon, an African-American education student at Indiana University, was not permitted to do her student teaching at Bloomington High School due to that institution’s segregated practices. This letter, written by L.O. Andrews, assistant director of supervised teaching, IU, to Professor Teter in the Physiology Department, requests an excused absence from class for Fenelon to enable her to student teach at Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis.

BENEDICT, ELSON, Jr., and FRANK D. AQUILA. “History of the Indianapolis School Desegregation Case: 1968-Present.” SC 1974. One folder. No collection guide available. Using the 1968 Indianapolis Public Schools desegregation case as a springboard, Elson Benedict Jr. and Frank D. Aquila give a history of discriminatory practices in education within Indiana. This is followed by a chronology through 1979 of a lawsuit initiated by the U.S. Justice Department against IPS.

FRIENDS EDUCATION FUND FOR NEGROES. Records, 1945. SC 1866. One folder. No collection guide available. In 1922, the Quakers gave up control of the Indianapolis Asylum for Friendless Colored Children to the Marion County Board of Commissioners. Money from the asylum’s endowment, possibly originating from John Williams, a Washington County African-American resident, became the foundation for a scholarship fund for black students. This 1945 statement is an accountant’s verification of the fund.

HELLER, HERBERT L. (1908-1983). Collection, 1816-1970. M 0138. Five boxes. Collection guide in library. Herbert L. Heller, a native of Newcastle, graduated from Indiana University in 1931. An educator, he taught school at the secondary and college level. In 1952, he was awarded a Ph.D. in education. Throughout his life, Heller collected and wrote materials about Newcastle and Henry County. His published works include Newspaper Readings in the History of Newcastle and Historic Henry County. The collection contains a copy of Heller’s doctoral thesis “Negro Education in Indiana” and his research materials. Subjects covered include law and legal cases regarding the status of African-Americans, policies of Indiana colleges concerning black students, Heller’s analysis of the 1850 census as it relates to his research, and religious groups’ attitudes toward blacks.

INDIANA MID-AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY PROGRAMS PERSONNEL. Collection, 1975-1989. M 0615. Fifteen boxes. Collection guide in library. The Mid-American Association of Educational Opportunity Programs Personnel was founded as a regional organization in 1974. One of the state chapters affiliated with MAEOPP, Indiana Mid-American Association of Educational Opportunity Programs Personnel, was organized to execute the regional goals with a focus toward the needs of Indiana students and professionals. A primary goal of the state, regional and national (National Council of Educational Opportunity Associations-NCEOA) organizations is to promote secondary and postsecondary support programs designed to meet the academic, financial and sociocultural needs of minority, disabled and/or disadvantaged students. The collection is divided into three major parts including the records of I-MAEOPP and other state affiliates, MAEOPP and NCEOA. It contains annual reports, conference and workshop program booklets, election information, newsletters, secretarial and financial records, and membership directories.

“THE INDIANAPOLIS STORY: SCHOOL SEGREGATION AND DESEGREGATION IN A NORTHERN CITY” by Emma Lou Thornbrough. (1989). BV 2631. One bound volume. Collection guide online. The collection consists of one bound copy of Emma Lou Thornbrough’s original, unpublished manuscript “The Indianapolis Story: School Segregation and Desegregation in a Northern City.” The 620-page study, completed in 1989, contains a preface, 12 chapters, notes and a bibliography. Thornbrough provides an overview of the historically pervasive climate of segregated education in Indianapolis. She details the city’s desegregation strides from the passage of the 1949 Indiana school desegregation law. She presents in great depth the roles of the Indianapolis Public Schools Board, various advocacy groups and the public-at-large in response to a lawsuit initiated by the U.S. Justice Department against IPS. Although the lawsuit was brought in 1968, the case did not come to trial until 1971 when IPS was found guilty of practicing de jure segregation. The case, along with subsequently related trials, was held in the Federal District Court of Southern Indiana before Samuel Hugh Dillin. Although there were many changes instituted in the school district as a result of the lawsuit, the most dramatic consequence was the decision to impose one-way busing (black children were bused out of the inner city to predominantly white township schools) to achieve integration.

MCARTHUR CONSERVATORY. Records, 1946-1988. M 0529, OM 0260. One box, seven oversize folders. Collection guide online. The McArthur Conservatory of Music Inc. was an institution located in Indianapolis that provided recreational and commercial training for children and adults. The school was founded in 1946 by Ruth McArthur, a music supervisor for the Indianapolis Public Schools. The conservatory closed in 1963. The collection contains the general records of the school, including its articles of incorporation, correspondence, board of trustees and committee minutes, business and teacher contracts, and publicity materials. Also included are business records of the Hotelmen’s Club, a social organization begun in 1927, and several items from Rutherford McArthur, a physician and Ruth McArthur’s father.

MAYE, KATHERINE DAVIS. Hall of fame project, 1968-1986. SC 2256. Three folders. Collection guide online. In 1968, Katherine Davis Maye, a teacher at the Indianapolis Public Schools #87 initiated a Hall of Fame wall to proclaim the achievements of a select group of alumni. The purpose of the Black History Month exhibit was to surround the school’s students with an atmosphere of success, to honor former students, and to spotlight careers uncommon in the black community. Honorees included a cardiologist, public affairs director of a television station, an author, attorneys, a foreign diplomat and a deputy assistant secretary of the Navy. The collection contains photographs, biographical information and news articles related to the Hall of Fame inductees.

MT. PLEASANT LIBRARY. Records, 1842-1869. SC 2440. Two folders. Collection guide online. The Mt. Pleasant Library was established at Beech Settlement in 1842. Beech Settlement, located north of Carthage in Rush County, was an African-American rural community founded during the 1820s by a family surnamed Roberts. According to Xenia Cord, the Robertses later moved with the Waldens and Winburns to northern Hamilton County to establish Roberts Settlement prior to developing rural communities in Vigo County. Although there is evidence that the library was later moved to the Union School, the subscription library opened in the community’s meetinghouse. The small collection contained books pertaining to religion, geography and philosophy. Operated by a board of trustees, a librarian and a secretary, the library’s membership was composed of men and women from the community who paid 25 cents to $1.50 to join. The collection contains two notebooks pertaining to the Mt. Pleasant Library in Rush County. Volume I (1842-1867) contains the Mt. Pleasant Library constitution, a list of subscribers and minutes from the board of managers meetings. One of the last entries indicates that the trustees planned to move the library to the Union schoolhouse. Volume II (1842-1869) contains a circulation record of the library. It lists patrons, due dates (inferred by the number of weeks of the loan), a number code for the books, and whether or not the item was returned. Surnames that appear regularly are Bass, Brooks, Clark, Jeffries, Roberts, Watkins and Winburn.

NEAL-MARSHALL ALUMNI CLUB. Records, 1977-1983. M 0659. Three boxes. Collection guide online. The Neal-Marshall Alumni Club was organized in 1977 out of the office of George Taliafero, special assistant to the president of Indiana University. Its main purpose was to encourage the participation of African-American graduates in alumni affairs. The club was named to honor the earliest African-American male and female graduates of IU. Marcellus Neal graduated in 1895, and Frances Marshall Eagleson received an associate’s degree in English in 1919. The major emphasis of the club has been the sponsorship of an annual reunion and development efforts for the establishment of a Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center on the Bloomington campus. The first reunion was held at the Fourwinds Hotel and Marina, south of Bloomington, in July 1978. Subsequent reunions have been hosted in other cities; however, most of the reunions have been in Bloomington. The collection contains the club’s constitution, Reunion and Executive committee minutes, and general correspondence. There is also biographical information in various formats pertaining to numerous Indiana University African-American alumni, financial records and a proposal for a new African-American culture center for the campus.

NEWSOME, MAENELL H. Collection, 1937-1976. SC 1976. One folder. Black Women of the Middle West. No collection guide available. The bulk of this collection documents some of the activities of Maenell Newsome of Indianapolis. Newsome was a teacher and head of the foreign language department at Broad Ripple High School. The focus of the collection is the Crispus Attucks Orchestra-Band Parents’ Club, of which Newsome was a supporter. The club was founded by Newsome’s husband, Lavern, in 1940. Mr. Newsome was a longtime music teacher at Crispus Attucks High School. Also included in the collection is a 1957 newspaper article on integration of the Indianapolis Public Schools, which includes a picture of Newsome in her classroom.

UNION LITERARY INSTITUTE. Collection, 1845-1891. BV 1972. One bound volume. No collection guide available. Union Literary Institute, located in Randolph County, was one of few 19th-century Indiana educational institutions that encouraged the enrollment of African-Americans. The institution began in 1846 under Ebenezer Tucker, a white Congregational minister who was newly graduated from Oberlin College. Anti-Slavery Friends, who had splintered from the larger body of the Society of Friends in 1842 over the issue of slavery, liberally supported the school. The school, located in Randolph County, was surrounded by three thriving African-American rural communities, Greenville, Cabin Creek and Snow Hill. Well-known graduates of the institute include James Hinton, John G. Mitchell, Hiram and Willis Revels, and Samuel Smothers. The volume contains the board of managers’ minutes and the constitution of the institution.

WABASH COLLEGE. Oral History Project. M 0647, CT 593-701. Three boxes, 109 cassette tapes. Collection guide online. The Wabash College Oral History Project grew out of the school’s sesquicentennial celebration planned during the 1980s. The faculty’s Minority Studies Committee successfully proposed an oral history project focused on African-Americans at Wabash. As a response to the paucity of records available about the history of blacks within the Crawfordsville community, the project was expanded to include the city. The collection contains 48 transcriptions and 109 tapes. It is divided into two parts, denoting interviews associated with the college and the city. The transcriptions, removed from eight loose-leaf notebooks, remain in their original order. Both sets of interviews (the college and the community) are preceded by background information pertaining to the project, its history and editorial policy for interviews and transcriptions, along with biographical summaries of each interviewee. The information preceding the Wabash College interviews also includes an index that cross lists names of individuals who are mentioned during the interviews. The list contains the names of several prominent individuals, including Imaru Baraka, Stokely Carmichael, Angela Davis, Richard Nixon, George Wallace, and Malcolm X, many who visited Wabash College as speakers.