The papers of Francis A. Kornegay document four decades of service with the Detroit Urban League. These files which Kornegay categorized as personal and thus kept separate from the records of the Detroit Urban League which are also housed at the Bentley Library are a mixture of Urban League and non-Urban League related materials. The researcher interested in either Kornegay or the history of the Detroit Urban League during the Kornegay years (1944-1978) will need to examine both collections for relevant materials.
The Kornegay papers came to the library in two major accessions both of which required extensive processing. The two accessions were not interfiled, thus there are some files that might properly be placed elsewhere within the collection. The files received in 1977 (boxes 13-18) consisted primarily of materials which were generated after the initial papers were received and files which were active at the time of the initial deposit of material in 1969. The series received in 1969 were titled General Chronological and Topical Files. The materials received in 1977 were processed into five series: Correspondence, Speeches, Personal, Detroit Urban League, and Organizational Affiliations. On its surface, these appear to be six distinct series. On examination, however, there are some materials that could have been grouped together if the two accessions had been interfiled. The Correspondence series could have been interfiled with the General Chronological, for example; or the Detroit Urban League files to be found within the Topical Files series could have been placed with the Detroit Urban League series. The finding aid is small enough that the researcher should be able to locate similar files within the six series.
Francis A. Kornegay was born in Mt. Olive, North Carolina in 1913. He attended and graduated from North Carolina College in Durham, North Carolina in 1935 with a B.A. degree in biology and mathematics. He received his M.A. degree in guidance and personnel from the University of Michigan in 1941. In 1944, he entered the Ph.D. program and in 1973, he received his doctorate. His thesis was entitled "A community survey of the inner city area of Detroit."
In 1944, he joined the staff of the Detroit Urban League as vocational secretary with the responsibility to convince business and industry to give African Americans a chance at better jobs. In 1947, he was named vocational services secretary with increased duties; and in 1950, his area was made a department within the Urban League and his title was changed to vocational services director. He was named assistant executive director in 1956 and executive director in 1960 replacing John C. Dancy. Kornegay retired in 1978.
In addition to his varied Urban League responsibilities, Kornegay was a member of various Detroit and Wayne County business and civic organizations. His organizational affiliations included the Detroit Commission on Community Relations, the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company, Detroit TAAP (Total Action Against Poverty), among others.