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Charles A. Hill Family Papers, 1917-1981 (majority within 1939-1970)

2.7 linear feet

Charles A. Hill was African American pastor of Hartford Avenue Baptist Church (renamed Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in 1981) in Detroit, Michigan; collection includes church materials, scrapbooks and photographs, information collected about Hill and his activities by the Detroit Police Department, and family information.

The Charles A. Hill Family Papers are comprised of 2.7 linear feet and range in date from 1970 to 1981. The collection focuses primarily on the life and work of Charles A. Hill, Sr., although papers concerning other family members are also included. The collection is arranged into four series: Hartford Avenue Baptist Church, Charles A. Hill and Family, Red Squad Files, and Scrapbooks/Photographs.


Robert L. Potts papers, 1923-2005 (majority within 1967-2002)

6.5 linear feet — 1 oversize volume — 1 oversize folder

Robert L. Potts was a community organizer, educator, and Episcopal priest. The Robert L. Potts Papers documents his many professional obligations, including his community endeavors in Detroit, his service within the Ann Arbor Public Schools, and his involvement with the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan.

The Robert L. Potts Papers documents his many professional obligations. It includes his community endeavors in Detroit, his service within the Ann Arbor Public Schools, and his involvement with the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. Speeches, reports and executive board meeting minutes constitute much of the archive.

The collection is arranged into four series: Personal/Family, Civic Organizations, Ombudsman, and Episcopal Priest. It is important to note that photographs and correspondence are nested within the various series.


Moses L. Walker papers, 1926-1950

0.2 linear feet

First president of the Detroit chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and chairman of the defense fund during Dr. Ossian Sweet trial. Co-founder of the Great Lakes Mutual Life Insurance Company at Detroit, Michigan.

Correspondence concerning the Plymouth Congregational Church of Detroit, Michigan, local politics, social issues, and civil rights; and partial transcript of the Ossian Sweet Murder Trial. Correspondents include Prentiss M. Brown, Wilber M. Brucker, James J. Couzens, Clarence Darrow, Frank Murphy, and George Murphy.

Also, a portrait circa 1940s (photonegative).


Blair Moody Papers, 1928-1954 (majority within 1934-1952)

27.5 linear feet (in 29 boxes) — 29 film reels — 60 phonograph records — 37 GB (online)

Detroit newspaperman and United States Senator from Michigan. Correspondence chiefly concerning his 1952 senatorial campaign and his newspaper work in the United States and abroad during World War II; scrapbooks of newspaper articles written by Moody and published for the most part in the Detroit News and Barron's; tape recordings of public affairs radio program; photographs and motion pictures of public affairs interview programs.

The Blair Moody collection documents the career of a Washington-based newspaper correspondent and columnist and United States Senator. The collection covers the period 1928 to 1954, though the bulk of materials date since the mid-1940s. Much of the collection pertains to that period of time when Moody was in the Senate or was running for election to the Senate, although his newspaper career is also well documented. The collection has been divided into the following series: Biographical; Correspondence; Personal/Family; Newspaper Career; Gridiron Club; Senatorial Papers; Speeches; Scrapbooks; Sound Recordings; and Visual Materials.


Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion records, 1941-2011

9 linear feet — 21 oversize volumes — 1 oversize folder

Organization established to promote values of religious and racial tolerance; scrapbooks, program files, records of the women’s division, and photographs.

The records have been arranged into the following series: Scrapbooks; Program files; Women’s Division of the Greater Detroit Round Table; Photographs; Board of Directors; Different People…Common Ground workshop; and Miscellaneous. Although the records date from approximately 1941 to 2011, the individual series do not cover this span and thus a full record of the organization’s history is missing.


Allan L. Dreyfuss papers, 1948-1991

4.5 linear feet

Foreign correspondent for Stars and Stripes and Reuters stationed in Germany after World War II, speech-writer for New York mayor Robert F. Wagner and for executives of the Ford Motor Company, member of the Public Affairs staff of the New Detroit Committee; articles and speeches written, various topical files from his work with Ford and New Detroit; and miscellaneous news articles from his years as correspondent for Reuters.

The Allan Dreyfuss collection has been arranged into the following series: Career (prior to 1963); Articles / Speeches written; New Detroit Committee; Ford Motor Company; and Political. Although there is some documentation of Dreyfuss's career as a foreign correspondent stationed mainly in Germany following World War II and as a publicity director for 20th Century-Fox, the bulk of the papers relate to his work after 1963 when he came to work with the Ford Motor Company as a speech writer for the company's top executives: Henry Ford II, Alex Trotman, Donald Petersen, H. A. Poling among others. These men trusted Dreyfuss with the Ford message, especially when they traveled abroad and the notes and comments he received about the speeches reflect that trust. No doubt for this reason, Henry Ford II allowed Dreyfuss to work with New Detroit as historian and note-taker at the meetings of the organization's executive committee.


C. L. Franklin Papers, 1957-1991 (majority within 1963-1984)

0.7 linear feet — 1 oversize folder — 1 phonograph record

Detroit African American clergyman and civil rights activist. Papers accumulated by Franklin's daughter, Erma Franklin, relating to the life and career of her father; include biographical information, transcripts of oral interviews; scattered sermons and correspondence, including letters from daughter Aretha and from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; topical files about his church and civil rights activities; and photographs

The C. L. Franklin collection is a small but significant accumulation of materials relating to the life and career of this Detroit-based clergyman. Although the collection dates from the mid-1950s, most of the materials fall within the period of 1963 to 1984. The collection is comprised of photocopies and copyprints of materials made available to the library by Erma Franklin. The importance of the collection is for the sampling of Franklin sermons that have been preserved, for the scattered documentation of the important March of Freedom that took place in Detroit in the summer of 1963, and for the copyprints made of photographs of Franklin, his family and his friends and professional associates. The collection has been arranged into five series: Biographical Information, Various Papers, Topical Files, Photographs, and Sound Recordings.


Leon DeMeunier papers, 1960-1964, 1971

1 linear foot

Chairman of the Detroit Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) from its establishment in 1960 until sometime in 1962 or 1963. Papers include material on the operation of the Detroit chapter of CORE and its role in the national civil rights movement.

The Leon A. DeMeunier collection, covering the period of 1960 to 1964, documents the role of CORE in the civil rights struggle of the early 1960s. The focus of the collection is the national civil rights movement and its efforts to overturn the practice of segregation in the South. Although the materials have been donated as a personal collection, the files are those of Detroit CORE with the following series: Papers, Printed Materials, Newspaper Clippings and Magazine Articles, and Miscellanea.


Aberbach-Walker Detroit Riot Studies records, 1967-1971

24 linear feet

Records, 1967-1971, of the studies on the Detroit riot of 1967 conducted by Joel Aberbach and Jack Walker, staff members of the Institute of Public Policy Studies of the University of Michigan. Includes survey forms (1967, 1968 and 1971) and audio-tapes of interviews with Detroit civic leaders and administrative records of the project.

Measuring 24 linear feet, the records are divided into three series, one for each "wave" of interviews. The 1967 Survey Forms (13 linear feet) consists solely of completed survey forms. Each form is approximately 40 pages in length and asked respondents to answer a wide variety of searching questions. Information is regularly recorded on survey scales, but interviewers frequently augmented this information through annotations on the form.

The 1968 Survey material (3 linear feet) consists primarily of completed 1968 survey forms, which were about 30 pages each in length and similar in content to the 1967 instrument. In addition there are interviews with civic leaders that consist of both a survey form and a tape recording of the interview.

The 1971 Survey material (8 linear feet) consists primarily of survey forms that are very similar to those used in 1968.


Joseph L. Hudson Papers, 1967-1983 (majority within 1967-1969)

0.5 linear feet

Detroit (Mich.) businessman and chairman of New Detroit Committee, organization established after the 1967 Detroit Riot to investigate and remedy the causes of that civil disturbance. Correspondence, reports, speeches, articles, photographs, and printed material relating to the riot and to his work with New Detroit.

The papers of Joseph L. Hudson, Jr., date from 1967 to 1983 and measure 6 inches. The collection consists entirely of material relating to the New Detroit Committee, which Hudson chaired during its first year of existence.

The collection includes correspondence relating primarily to the composition of the Committee; membership lists; notes made by Hudson; speeches and articles by Hudson and by Kent Mathewson, who was chief executive officer of New Detroit; press releases and periodic progress reports of New Detroit; photographs; and newspaper clippings about the, riot and about New Detroit. Most of the material dates from the period 1967 to 1969, but a few progress reports from the 1970s and 1980s and a 1983 General Fact Book regarding New Detroit are also included.

The papers reflect the difficulties faced by Hudson and the Committee in trying to create an organization that included representatives of the white "establishment" and grass roots black organizations. It was necessary for the Committee to be responsive to the needs of various sectors of the community ranging from prominent white businessmen to militant blacks. A folder entitled "Important Considerations" contains a frank assessment--apparently by Hudson--of the credibility problems the Committee would face within the black community and outlining steps to be taken to mitigate such problems. The collection is also useful in documenting attitudes and divisions within the black community over the direction that should be taken in rebuilding Detroit. Included is correspondence of the Federation for Self-Determination, a militant black organization that rejected a grant from New Detroit and severed its relations with the committee early in 1968 because it found unacceptable the stipulation that a New Detroit Committee member oversee the project. Also included is correspondence of the more moderate Detroit Council of Organizations, which accused the New Detroit Committee of catering to militant blacks and ignoring the desires of moderate blacks.

Several photographs of the July 27, 1967 meeting of community leaders are contained in the collection.