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Collection Number: 03823

Collection Title: North Carolina Commission on Interracial Cooperation Records, 1922-1974

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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 3.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 2100 items)
Abstract The North Carolina Commission on Interracial Cooperation was established in 1921 as a state affiliate of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation to work toward improved race relations in the state. Like its parent organization, the NCCIC, sought both to alleviate injustices and to change prejudiced racial attitudes. Its efforts included meetings with individuals, correspondence, press releases, radio programs, pamphlets, local meetings, and state-wide conferences. After closing its offices in 1949, the NCCIC became an affiliate of the Southern Regional Council in 1951 and, in 1955, changed its name to the North Carolina Council on Human Relations. The collection consists of correspondence and financial, legal, and other materials. Correspondence is primarily that of the directors of the North Carolina Commission on Interracial Cooperation concerning daily operations of the NCCIC and its county and city affiliates, investigations of instances of injustice and violence towards African Americans, and financial matters. Included are letters from officers and organizations including the Commission on Interracial Cooperation, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Southern Regional Council, and the North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company. There are also financial and legal materials, 1928-1949, including a 1946 agreement of affiliation between the Southern Regional Council and the NCCIC; a study concerning a Hamlet, N.C., murder in 1928; and an investigation of a Pender County, N.C., lynching in 1933. Other materials include pamphlets and other printed materials, speeches, radio program materials, reports, and other writings on topics such as race relations, education, religion, crime, discrimination, and civic involvement; responses to a 1948 survey of North Carolina public libraries about their holdings on minorities; conference materials; meeting minutes; and constitutions, by-laws, and resolutions.
Creator North Carolina Commission on Interracial Cooperation.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
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 North Carolina Commission on Interracial Cooperation Records #3823, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Sometime after the closing of the NCCIC offices in 1949, these papers came into the possession of Guy B. Johnson, professor of sociology and anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Johnson transferred them to the Southern Historical Collection in September 1969.
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 the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 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

Following World War I, a group of southern churchmen established the Commission on Interracial Cooperation, based in Atlanta, Ga., to work toward improved race relations in the South. In 1921, a group of North Carolinians founded the North Carolina Commission on Interracial Cooperation as a state affiliate of the CIC. With the governor as honorary chair, the group had quasi-official status. The NCCIC's first chair was William Louis Poteat, president of Wake Forest College, and its first director was L. R. Reynolds. Reynold's office was in Richmond, Va.; he was director of both the NCCIC and the Virginia CIC from 1920 to 1942.

The NCCIC, like its parent organization, sought both to alleviate injustices and to change prejudiced racial attitudes. Its efforts included meetings with individuals, correspondence, press releases, radio programs, pamphlets, local meetings, and state-wide conferences. It also encouraged the development of affiliated local committees, and by 1935, 50 such organizations were operating. The NCCIC was initially made up of a small group of prominent individuals, both African American and white, and mostly ministers and educators. The membership grew to 2,500 at its height, with representatives from every county and major town in the state. Chairs in the 1930s and 1940s included Professor Howard Odum and Episcopal Bishop Edwin Pennick. Directors who followed Reynolds were Reverend Ernest Arnold and Cyrus M. Johnson.

After World War II, various problems, perhaps most importantly internal disagreement over desegregation, led to the closing of the NCCIC offices in 1949. The organization continued to exist skeletally, and in 1951 technically became an affiliate of the Southern Regional Council. In the wake of the Supreme Court's Brown vs. Board of Education decision in 1954, the NCCIC was reorganized. In 1955, its name was changed to the North Carolina Council on Human Relations.

For additional information see material in folder 84 of this collection and "Critical Years: The North Carolina Commission on Interracial Cooperation, 1942-1949," by Elizabeth Earnhardt, M.A. Thesis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1971.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Illustration, probably for a NCCIC pamphlet, [1948]. Series 3. Other materials, folder 63

ALT TAG

Correspondence is primarily that of the directors of the North Carolina Commission on Interracial Cooperation concerning daily operations of the NCCIC and its county and city affiliates, investigations of instances of injustice and violence towards African Americans, and financial matters. Included are letters from officers and organizations including the Commission on Interracial Cooperation, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Southern Regional Council, and the North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company.

Financial and legal materials include financial statements, 1942-1949, budget sheets, income tax returns, an audit report, and two NCCIC account books. Legal items include the agreement of affiliation between the Southern Regional Council and the North Carolina Commission On Interracial Cooperation, 1946; and "Act To Create The North Carolina Commission On Interracial Cooperation," 1949; a study concerning a Hamlet, N.C., murder in 1928; and an investigation of a Pender County, N.C., lynching in 1933.

Other materials include pamphlets and other printed materials, speeches, radio program materials, reports, and other writings on topics such as race relations, education, religion, crime, discrimination, and civic involvement; responses to a 1948 survey of North Carolina public libraries about their holdings on minorities; conference materials; meeting minutes; and constitutions, by-laws, and resolutions.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1922-1974.

About 990 items.

Arrangement: chronological by NCCIC director.

Correspondence is primarily that of the directors of the North Carolina Commission on Interracial Cooperation concerning daily operations of the NCCIC and its county and city affiliates, investigations of instances of injustice and violence towards African Americans, and financial matters. Included are letters from officers and organizations including the Commission on Interracial Cooperation, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Southern Regional Council, and the North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.1. Correspondence, 1922-1941.

Correspondence created during the directorship of L. R. Reynolds

Folder 1

Correspondence, 1922-1929 #03823, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence, 1922-1941." Folder 1

Topics include racial conditions in New Bern, N.C.; an NAACP appeal for state support in a case involving the fatal shooting of Claude Robinson, an African-American man, by Will Berry, a white policeman in Hamlet, N.C.; and an incident in Virginia concerning segregated toilet facilities on the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad.

Folder 2

Correspondence, 1931-1937 #03823, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence, 1922-1941." Folder 2

Topics include studies of opportunities for African Americans in secondary and higher education, African-American voter registration, an incident concerning an African American student's application to the graduate school of the University of Virginia, and a lynching in Franklin County, N.C., circa 1935.

Folder 3

Correspondence, 1938-1939 #03823, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence, 1922-1941." Folder 3

Includes discussion of employment of African Americans.

Folder 4

Correspondence, 1940 #03823, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence, 1922-1941." Folder 4

Folder 5-6

Folder 5

Folder 6

Correspondence, 1941 #03823, Subseries: "1.1. Correspondence, 1922-1941." Folder 5-6

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.2. Correspondence, 1942-1946.

Correspondence created during the directorship of Ernest J. Arnold

Folder 7-8

Folder 7

Folder 8

Correspondence, 1942 #03823, Subseries: "1.2. Correspondence, 1942-1946." Folder 7-8

Includes discussion of operations of the NCCIC, including an enclosure giving the history of interracial work in North Carolina.

Folder 9

Correspondence, 1943 #03823, Subseries: "1.2. Correspondence, 1942-1946." Folder 9

Includes discussion of transportation of African Americans.

Folder 10-12

Folder 10

Folder 11

Folder 12

Correspondence, 1944-May 1946 #03823, Subseries: "1.2. Correspondence, 1942-1946." Folder 10-12

Includes responses from various North Carolina counties to Arnold's request for information on racial conditions in each county.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.3. Correspondence, 1946-1949.

Correspondence created during the directorship of Cyrus M. Johnson

Folder 13-15

Folder 13

Folder 14

Folder 15

Correspondence, August-December 1946 #03823, Subseries: "1.3. Correspondence, 1946-1949." Folder 13-15

Folder 16-26

Folder 16

Folder 17

Folder 18

Folder 19

Folder 20

Folder 21

Folder 22

Folder 23

Folder 24

Folder 25

Folder 26

Correspondence, 1947-1948 #03823, Subseries: "1.3. Correspondence, 1946-1949." Folder 16-26

Topics include employment of African Americans as policemen, doctors, and extension workers; jury duty for African Americans; and the outlook of higher education for African Americans, especially in western North Carolina. Other topics concern ministerial involvement in interracial work, and the formation of a college interracial committee.

Folder 27-29

Folder 27

Folder 28

Folder 29

Correspondence, 1949 #03823, Subseries: "1.3. Correspondence, 1946-1949." Folder 27-29

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1928-1949.

About 400 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Materials are almost entirely financial statements, 1942-1949, listing contributions to North Carolina Commission on Interracial Cooperation from NCCIC members, various organizations in North Carolina, and a few other sources. Other financial material includes budget sheets, 1942-1949; state and federal income tax returns, 1946; an audit report, 1947; and two NCCIC account books, 1944-1949. Legal items include the agreement of affiliation between the Southern Regional Council and the North Carolina Commission On Interracial Cooperation, 1946; and "Act To Create The North Carolina Commission On Interracial Cooperation," 1949; a study concerning a Hamlet, N.C. murder, 1928; and an investigation of a Pender County, N.C., lynching in 1933.

Folder 30

Financial and legal materials, 1928-1945 #03823, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1928-1949." Folder 30

Includes investigation of a Pender County, N.C., lynching in 1933.

Folder 31

Financial and legal materials, 1946 #03823, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1928-1949." Folder 31

Includes agreement of affiliation between the Southern Regional Council and the North Carolina Commission On Interracial Cooperation and state and federal income tax returns.

Folder 32-39

Folder 32

Folder 33

Folder 34

Folder 35

Folder 36

Folder 37

Folder 38

Folder 39

Financial and legal materials, 1947 #03823, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1928-1949." Folder 32-39

Includes an audit report.

Folder 40-44

Folder 40

Folder 41

Folder 42

Folder 43

Folder 44

Financial and legal materials, 1948 #03823, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1928-1949." Folder 40-44

Folder 45-47

Folder 45

Folder 46

Folder 47

Financial and legal materials, 1949 #03823, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1928-1949." Folder 45-47

Includes an "Act To Create The North Carolina Commission On Interracial Cooperation"

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Other Materials, 1922-1974.

About 738 items.

Arrangement: by type of material.

Includes printed materials, speeches, radio program materials, reports, and other writings on topics such as race relations, education, religion, crime, discrimination, and civic involvement; responses to a 1948 survey of North Carolina public libraries about their holdings on minorities; conference materials; meeting minutes; and constitutions, by-laws, and resolutions.

Folder 48-50

Folder 48

Folder 49

Folder 50

Conference material, 1933-1949 and undated #03823, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1922-1974." Folder 48-50

Primarily consists of Race Relations Sunday Observance material, 1948, but also includes items relating to regional conferences, workshops and institutes, and the annual NCCIC conference.

Folder 51

Constitutions, by-laws, and resolutions, 1922-1948 and undated #03823, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1922-1974." Folder 51

Includes the constitutions of the NCCIC, the Charlotte and Salisbury Interracial Councils, and the proposed constitution of The Committee for North Carolina; by-laws of the NCCIC, the Southern Regional Council, Inc., and the Florida Division of the Southern Regional Council; and resolutions by such groups as the citizens of New Bern, N.C., the Georgia CIC, and the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen.

Folder 52

Library survey material, 1948 #03823, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1922-1974." Folder 52

Responses from North Carolina public libraries to an NCCIC inquiry about their holdings on minorities in the United States, with emphasis on African Americans.

Folder 53-60

Folder 53

Folder 54

Folder 55

Folder 56

Folder 57

Folder 58

Folder 59

Folder 60

Membership and other lists, 1938-1949 and undated #03823, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1922-1974." Folder 53-60

Includes a 1942 booklet listing NCCIC members and a set of 1949 membership cards, as well as other lists of members and committee members.

Folder 61-62

Folder 61

Folder 62

Minutes, 1936-1949 #03823, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1922-1974." Folder 61-62

Minutes primarily pertain to the NCCIC Executive Committee but also included are minutes from the North Carolina Conference for Social Service, the Raleigh Interracial Committee, the Durham Interracial Council, and a meeting of the Southern Regional Council state representatives.

Folder 63

Printed material: NCCIC, 1938-1949 and undated #03823, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1922-1974." Folder 63

Newspaper articles, brochures, and news releases concerning activities of the group.

Folder 64-65

Folder 64

Folder 65

Printed material: CIC, 1926-1942 and undated #03823, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1922-1974." Folder 64-65

Consists almost entirely of reprints of Commission on Interracial Cooperation-related articles concerning such topics as the progress of interracial work, crime, economics, education, and the media.

Folder 66

Printed material: Southern Regional Council, 1945-1946 and undated #03823, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1922-1974." Folder 66

Primarily concerns the training of African American veterans throughout the Southeast that was supported by the SRC.

Folder 67-72

Folder 67

Folder 68

Folder 69

Folder 70

Folder 71

Folder 72

Miscellaneous printed material #03823, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1922-1974." Folder 67-72

Magazine articles, news releases, newsletters, clippings, and pamphlets about subjects such as racial attitudes, interracial work, education, crime, and discrimination. Included is an oversize poster for National Brotherhood Week, February, 1943 (OP-3823/1).

Folder 73

Radio program material, 1946-1948 and undated #03823, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1922-1974." Folder 73

Concerns an NCCIC-sponsored series of radio programs intended to create public awareness of contributions by minorities.

Folder 74

"Source Book of Information," 1928-1942 #03823, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1922-1974." Folder 74

Lists NCCIC budgetary information, names of contributors, objectives and achievements, and immediate challenges.

Folder 75-86

Folder 75

Folder 76

Folder 77

Folder 78

Folder 79

Folder 80

Folder 81

Folder 82

Folder 83

Folder 84

Folder 85

Folder 86

Speeches, reports, and other writings, 1922, 1935-1949, 1974, and undated #03823, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1922-1974." Folder 75-86

Primarily consists of speeches given at NCCIC conferences by officers of the group or members of other groups interested in interracial cooperation. Topics include religion, the media, justice, health, education, social welfare, agriculture, and civic involvement.

Folder 87

John McNeill Smith Dinner, 1963 #03823, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1922-1974." Folder 87

Correspondence and other materials concerning a dinner given in honor of John McNeill Smith in Chapel Hill, NC. Included is correspondence of Dr. Wayne A. Bowers on arrangements for the dinner.

Folder 88

Miscellaneous material: Durham Council on Human Relations and North Carolina Council on Human Relations, 1966-1967 and undated #03823, Series: "3. Other Materials, 1922-1974." Folder 88

Includes printed materials, financial records, meeting minutes, bylaws, membership forms, and newsletters. Also included is a publication of the Greensboro Fair Housing Association.

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff, 1983, and Jessica Sedgwick, August 2008

Encoded by: Jessica Sedgwick, August 2008

Updated by: Amanda Loeb, March 2012

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