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Collection Number: 50004

Collection Title: Durham Fact-Finding Conference Records, 1929-1930 and 1942-1945

This collection has use restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the James E. Shepard Memorial Library at North Carolina Central University. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web.


Portions of this collection have been digitized as part of "Content, Context, and Capacity: A Collaborative Large-Scale Digitization Project on the Long Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina." The project was made possible by funding from the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

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Size 1.5 feet of linear shelf space
Abstract The Durham Fact-Finding Conference, a congress of African American leaders in business, education, and religion, was held three times--7-9 December 1927, 17-19 April 1929, and 16-18 April 1930--at the North Carolina College for Negroes (later North Carolina Central University) in Durham, N.C. The collection contains correspondence, speeches, articles, statements, reports, brochures, and newspaper clippings related to the 1929 and 1930 meetings of the Durham Fact-Finding Conference and to two subsequent conferences that grew out of the Fact-Finding Conference: the 1942 Southern Conference on Race Relations and the 1944 Durham Race Relations Conference. Correspondents in letters addressed to the conferences' chair and college president, James E. Shepard, represent a wide array of African American colleges and universities, businesses, press, and organizations such as the NAACP, the Associated Negro Press, and the Federal Council of Churches. Notable correspondents include W.E.B. DuBois, Hugo L. Black, Frank Porter Graham, Charles S. Johnson, Walter White, William Hastie, Langston Hughes, A. Phillip Randolph, E. Franklin Frazier, Alain Locke, P.B. Young, Gordon B. Hancock, Claude A. Barnett, and George E. Haynes. The collection also contains excerpts from speeches given at the 1929 Durham Fact-Finding Conference and the 1944 Durham Race Relations Conference, meeting agendas, public statements resulting from conferences, articles, and newspaper clippings.
Creator Durham Fact-Finding Conference.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No image in this collection may be reproduced without the permission and consent of North Carolina Central University.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Durham Fact-Finding Conference Records, 1929-1930 and 1942-1945. University Archives, Records and History Center in the James E. Shepard Memorial Library, North Carolina Central University.
Acquisitions Information
The records originally existed in the files of James E. Shepard, president of the North Carolina College for Negroes (later North Carolina Central University) in Durham, N.C. After Shepard's death in 1947, the papers were housed in the Clyde B. Hoey Administration Building. In 1982, Archivist and University Historian Brooklyn T. McMillon transferred these records to the University Archives, Records and History Center, in the James E. Shepard Memorial Library, North Carolina Central University.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which North Carolina Central University assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Historical Information

The Durham Fact-Finding Conference, a congress of African American leaders in business, education, and religion, was held three times--7-9 December 1927, 17-19 April 1929, and 16-18 April 1930--at the North Carolina College for Negroes (later North Carolina Central University) in Durham, N.C. The conferences focused on the local African American community and concerns related to business, public health, religion, politics, education, the press, and race relations. James E. Shepard, president of the North Carolina College for Negroes, sponsored and presided over the conference, and both black and white experts in various fields spoke. Subsequent meetings grew out of the Durham Fact-Finding Conference, most notably the Southern Conference on Race Relations on 20 October 1942 and the Durham Race Relations Conference in 1944, both held at the North Carolina College for Negroes.

1919 The Commission on Interracial Cooperation (CIC) was formed in Atlanta, Ga., in reaction to growing racial tensions in the nation during and after World War I. The CIC enjoyed its greatest influence in the 1920s, 1930s, and early 1940s and served an important role in educating southern whites to racial injustice, in examining the economic problems of the South's poor, and in making lynching an unacceptable practice.
1927 The First Annual Durham Fact-Finding Conference met in Durham, N.C., on 7-9 December 1927. James E. Shepard of the North Carolina College for Negroes presided.
1929 The Second Annual Durham Fact-Finding Conference met in Durham, N.C., on 17-19 April 1929. James E. Shepard of the North Carolina College for Negroes presided. The stated objective was to ascertain true facts regarding various problems confronting the Negro as a group in the United States and to offer some practical program for their solution.
1930 The Third Annual Durham Fact-Finding Conference met in Durham, N.C., on 16-18 April. James E. Shepard of the North Carolina College for Negroes presided. The theme of the conference was The Economic Problems of the Negro, and the purpose was to ascertain the real facts concerning the progress of the race at the present time and if possible through existing organizations seek to apply the remedy.
1935 Executive director of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Charles C. Spaulding invited a group of Negro citizens to meet and discuss black life in Durham, N.C. More than 150 African Americans met at the Algonquin Tennis Club House in Durham, N.C., on 15 August 1935. Brief remarks were made by Spaulding, James E. Shepard, Conrad O. Pearson, Richard L. McDougald, Rencher N. Harris, James T. Taylor, and William D. Hill. After discussions, the group agreed to form a representative body that would address all matters related to African Americans in Durham, N.C., including their educational, economic, political, civic, and social welfare. James E. Shepard and other African American leaders were nominated to the executive committee of the Durham Committee on Negro Affairs.
1942 The Southern Conference on Race Relations brought 59 black leaders from ten southern states to North Carolina College for Negroes in Durham, N.C., on 20 October 1942. They met to discuss the Southern Negroes' status and the changes which, in [their] opinion, would benefit not only Negroes themselves but the South and the Nation. In December 1942, a conference committee headed by Charles S. Johnson of Fisk University released a public document that became known as both the Durham Statement and the Durham Manifesto. The document's authors demanded voting rights and equal educational and job opportunities for African Americans.
1943 White southerners from ten states made a formal response to the Durham Manifesto in the spring of 1943 following a conference held in Atlanta on 8 April 1943. The Atlanta Statement had more than 300 signatures. Out of these two conferences grew a third, the Durham and Atlanta Conference held in Richmond, Va., on 16 June 1943. This conference differed from its predecessors in two significant ways. The meeting was integrated, and the participants were delegates. The Collaboration Committee, a group of both African American and white delegates, issued the Richmond Statement. The Collaboration Committee appointed a group of 22 whites and 19 African Americans who met in Atlanta on 4 August 1943. Recognizing that war conditions necessitated a new approach to the South's race problems, the group resolved itself into the Southern Regional Council and instructed the co-chairs Charles S. Johnson and Howard Odum to build the organization.
1944 An outgrowth of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation, the non-profit and non-denominational Southern Regional Council formed to seek racial equality and harmony in the American South.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection contains correspondence, speeches, articles, public statements, reports, brochures, and newspaper clippings related to the 1929 and 1930 meetings of the Durham Fact-Finding Conference and to two subsequent conferences which grew out of the Fact-Finding Conference: the 1942 Southern Conference on Race Relations and the 1944 Durham Race Relations Conference. These meetings were all hosted at the North Carolina College for Negroes (later North Carolina Central University) in Durham, N.C., and the college's president James E. Shepard presided. Correspondents in letters addressed to Shepard represent a wide array of African American colleges and universities, businesses, press, and organizations such as the NAACP, the Associated Negro Press, and the Federal Council of Churches. Notable correspondents include W.E.B. DuBois, Hugo L. Black, Frank Porter Graham, Charles S. Johnson, Walter White, William Hastie, Langston Hughes, A. Phillip Randolph, E. Franklin Frazier, Alain Locke, P.B. Young, Gordon B. Hancock, Claude A. Barnett, and George E. Haynes. The collection also contains excerpts from speeches given at the 1929 Durham Fact-Finding Conference and the 1944 Durham Race Relations Conference, meeting agendas, public statements resulting from conferences, articles, and newspaper clippings.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1942-1945.

Arrangement: chronological

This series contains correspondence and attachments related to the Southern Conference on Race Relations and the Durham Race Relations Conference and addressed to the conferences' chair James E. Shepard. The bulk of the correspondence dates from 1942 to 1943 and includes exchanges concerning conference invitations, participants, travel, activities, and events. Correspondents represent a wide array of African American colleges and universities, businesses, press, and organizations such as the NAACP, the Associated Negro Press, and the Federal Council of Churches. Notable correspondents include W.E.B. DuBois, Hugo L. Black, Frank Porter Graham, Charles S. Johnson, Walter F. White, William Hastie, Langston Hughes, A. Phillip Randolph, E. Franklin Frazier, Alain Locke, P.B. Young, Gordan B. Hancock, Claude A. Barnett and George E. Haynes.

Folder 1

January-June 1942 #50004, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1942-1945." Folder 1

Folder 2

September 1942 #50004, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1942-1945." Folder 2

Folder 3

November 1942 #50004, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1942-1945." Folder 3

Folder 4-5

Folder 4

Folder 5

December 1942 #50004, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1942-1945." Folder 4-5

Folder 6-10

Folder 6

Folder 7

Folder 8

Folder 9

Folder 10

January 1943 #50004, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1942-1945." Folder 6-10

Folder 11-13

Folder 11

Folder 12

Folder 13

February 1943 #50004, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1942-1945." Folder 11-13

Folder 14-15

Folder 14

Folder 15

March 1943 #50004, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1942-1945." Folder 14-15

Folder 16

April-July 1943 #50004, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1942-1945." Folder 16

Folder 17

July-August 1943 #50004, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1942-1945." Folder 17

Folder 18

August-September 1943 #50004, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1942-1945." Folder 18

Folder 19

1944-1945 #50004, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1942-1945." Folder 19

Folder 20

Claude A. Barnette, 1941-1943 #50004, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1942-1945." Folder 20

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Speeches, 1929, 1944.

Arrangement: chronological

This series contains excerpts from speeches delivered at the 1929 Durham Fact-Finding Conference and the 1944 Durham Race Relations Conference hosted at North Carolina College for Negroes.

Folder 21

Speeches: Excerpts, 1929 #50004, Series: "2. Speeches, 1929, 1944." Folder 21

Folder 22

Speeches: Excerpts, 1944 #50004, Series: "2. Speeches, 1929, 1944." Folder 22

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Other Materials, 1929-1944.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Newspaper Clippings, 1928-1929.

Arrangement: chronological

This series contains newspaper clippings documenting the Second Durham Fact-Finding Conference in 1929.

Folder 29

1928-1929 #50004, Series: "4. Newspaper Clippings, 1928-1929. " Folder 29

Folder 30

1929 #50004, Series: "4. Newspaper Clippings, 1928-1929. " Folder 30

Oversize Paper 29-30

Opaper 29

Opaper 30

Items separated (two oversized newspaper clippings) #50004, Series: "4. Newspaper Clippings, 1928-1929. " 29-30

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Two oversize items from the newspaper clippings series are housed in the poster section of the NCCU University Archives, Records and History Center.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Andre D. Vann.

Finding aid authored by: Andre D. Vann.

Finding aid encoded by: Joyce Chapman.

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