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Ex libris :
b journal of the USF Library Associates.
n Vol. 6, no. 2 (winter 1984).
p Winter 1984
Tampa, Fla. :
USF Library Associates.
c winter 1984
Exhibits -- Robert and Helen Saunders, the NAACP, and the pursuit of civil rights -- La Union Marti-Maceo : focus of Afro-Cuban heritage in Tampa -- Major acquisitions -- Associates events and activities -- The pervasive manifestation of racism in 19th century America as illustrated through stereotypical imagery of black Americans -- University of South Florida Library Associates.
Note: Marked as Volume 6, no. 1, actually is no. 2
University of South Florida.
USF Library Associates.
Ex Libris: Journal of the USF Library Associates
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Exhibits EXHIBITS of rare and unusual items from the Univers ity's collections are displayed in the Library on a continuing basis. Display areas ar e located in the first floor lobby and on the fourth floor, both in the lobby and the Special Collections reading room. CURRENT EXHIBIT First Floor Lobby: "Spirits of Christmas Past" The color and warmth of Christmas in America's past is captured in the 19th and early 20th century books, greeting cards and other materi als comprising this exhibit. It will be on display from November 26 to December 31, 1984. Fourth Floor Lobby: "Acting Editions o f America Plays, 1790-1890" In the days before television and movies, the theat er played a much more prominent role in the lives of Americans than it does today. This exhibit features acting editions of the plays that brought romance and excitement to 19 th century American audiences. It will remain on display until December 31, 1984. SPRING SEMESTER First Floor Lobby: "Pilgrimages to Canterbury" One of the best known journeys in literary history is the 14th century trip of Geoffrey Chaucer's pilgrims to Canterbury. This exhibit cons ists of early editions of Chaucer, supplemented by major critical works. It will be on display from January 7 to April 19, 1985. Fourth Floor Lobby: "The Stratemeyer Syndicate and Juvenile Fiction" Edward Stratemeyer (1862-1930) developed a literary factory for the production and marketing of children's books that for decades virt ually dominated the series book field. Some of the most famous "authors" of ch ildren's books, like Carolyn Keene of Nancy Drew fame, and the Hardy Boy s' Franklin W. Dixon, were actually Stratemeyer-owned pseudonyms under wh ich contract writers worked anonymously. The Stratemeyer Syndicate has b een responsible for over 1,300 books, with sales estimated at 200,000,000 co pies. Through materials drawn from the Harry K. Hudson Collection of Americ an Boys' and Girls' Series books, this exhibit will examine the works o f the Stratemeyer Syndicate and their impact on American children's literature. The exhibit will be on display from January 7 to April 19, 1985.
CONTENTS Exhibits .............................. Inside Fron t Cover Robert and Helen Saunders ......................... .......1 La Union Marti-Maceo .............................. ........5 Major Acquisitions ................................ .............9 Associates Events ................................. ............10 The Pervasive Manifestation ....................... .....11 Cover : Original architect's rendering of the Marti-Maceo Club's building. The handsome brick structure was razed during the Urban Renewal program of the 1960's. Programs, activities, and services of the Universit y o f South Florida are available to all on a non-discriminatory basis, without regard to ra ce, color, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin, or handicap. The University is an affirmative action Equal Opportunity Employer. Ex Libris Vol. 6, No. 1 Ex Libris is published by the USF Library Associates, Univers ity of South Florida, Tampa, Florida. Please address suggestions and comments to J. B. Do bkin, Executive Secretary, USF Library Associates, USF Library, Tampa, Fla. 33620. Not printed at State expense. Except as noted, illustrations in Ex Libris are reproduced from works in the Special Collections Department of the University of South F lorida Library. Photography is by the photography department of USF's Division of Educati onal Resources.
ROBERT AND HELEN SAUNDERS, THE NAACP, AND THE PURSUIT OF CIVIL RIGHTS by STEVEN F. LAWSON SEVENTY-FIVE years ago, a group of blacks and white s meeting in New York City set in motion a chain of events that ultimately led to sweeping social changes throughout the South. In 1909, progressive social workers, edu cators, publicists, and the descendants of former abolitionists established the National As sociation for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to challenge the system of r acial inequality that prevailed not only in the South but also throughout the country. In fact, the year before, vicious mob attacks on blacks had broken out in Springfield, Il linois, the home of the "Great Emancipator", Abraham Lincoln. This eruption of violenc e grimly reflected the racial climate of the nation. Lynchings were occurring at a fright ening rate and were designed to maintain the system of segregation, disfranchisemen t, and second-class citizenship dictated by law and custom. The task of the NAACP s eemed somewhat quixotic as its founding members tilted their lances at the windmil ls of racial discrimination built solidly on the ground of white supremacy. Though these visionary pioneers tried to topple the existing structure of racial oppression, neither their goals nor strategy was re volutionary. The NAACP simply wanted blacks to be able to exercise the full right s and responsibilities of American citizenship. Without civil rights, blacks would nev er have an equal opportunity to develop their talents and abilities in the "pursuit of happiness" promised by the Declaration of Independence. To secure these basic rights, the NAACP intended to work in an orderly fashion through the legal system. Recruitin g some of the best lawyers in the land, the association embarked on a patient struggle in t he courts. Their persistence eventually paid off and resulted in landmark judicial rulings that laid a solid foundation to reshape race relations. NAACP victories outlawed the exclus ionary Democratic white primaries, restrictive covenants in housing, and, perhaps most notably, school segregation. At the same time, the organization lobbied Congress to ena ct legislation enforcing these court decisions, and the passage of several monumental la ws in the late 1950's and 1960's rewarded their determined efforts. Throughout its existence, the NAACP has derived muc h of its strength from its local chapters. Established at the city, county, and stat e levels, these grassroots affiliates have watched vigilantly for practices of racial discrimi nation and have investigated complaints from possible victims. In addition, they have been active in conducting voter registration drives in the belief that suffrage holds the key to unlocking the door to genuine racial equality. The branches also raise funds for the nat ional headquarters and work closely with their officials to implement programs. To stre ngthen this relationship, the NAACP has appointed field directors to coordinate statewi de operations and lend assistance to local chapters. Dr. Steven F. Lawson is Associate Professor and Cha irperson of the Department of History at the University of South Florida. He is t he author o f the forthcoming book "In Pursuit o f Power: Southern Blacks and Electoral Po litics, 1965-1982".
During the heyday of the civil rights movement, Flo rida had very active NAACP leadership at both the local and state levels. The Tampa branch, established in 1917, initiated a suit following the Supreme Court's hist oric 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which ended sixteen years later in a nationally-acc laimed school desegregation plan for Hillsborough County. In 1960 its Youth Council mounted successful sit-in demonstrations against downtown d epartment store lunch counters barring blacks from service. During the 1960's, the Tampa NAACP, as well as other chapters throughout the state, helped lead the way in the desegregation of municipal facilities and public accommodations, and opened th e path toward equal employment opportunities. Most recently, the NAACP has been in strumental in presenting court challenges against at-large elections, a practice t hat tends to dilute minority voting power. Although the local battle in Tampa and Hillsborough County remains tied up in litigation, efforts around the state have been impressive: the number of black elected officials in Florida jumped from thirty-six in 1970 to 118 in 19 82. During the crucial decades following World War II, statewide supervision of the NAACP rested in very capable hands. After the war, Harry T. Moore, President of the Florida Conference of NAACP Branches, attacked raci sm in the Sunshine State along a variety of fronts. He formed a voters' league which succeeded in tripling the number of registered blacks after the white primary was overt urned, and he undertook a campaign to equalize the salary of black school teachers with t hat of whites. Furthermore, in November 1951, when the Lake County sheriff shot an d killed one unarmed black prisoner and wounded another, both of whom were in his custody for allegedly raping a white woman in Groveland, Moore complained vigorous ly about police brutality. However, such "funny ideas" were still too dangerous for blacks to espouse, and on Christmas Eve, 1951, a bomb exploded in Moore's house, killing him and his wife. The assailants were never brought to trial. Despite this violence, black Floridians did not retreat from their march toward freedom. Selected to replace the slain Harry Moore in 1952, Robert W. Saunders was dedicated to picking up where his brave predecessor had left off. Born in Tampa in 1921, Saunders attended local schools and graduated from Middleton High School in 1940. He completed two years at Bethune Cookman College before being drafted into the Army in 1942. During the war Saunders was stationed at the Tuskegee Army Air Field, and he endured the hardships of segregated military life in a Deep South town. In 1946, he returned to Tampa and worked for the Florida Sentinel Bulletin, the city's black newspaper. The next year brought him to Detroit where he earned a Photograph of Robert W. Saunders, November 1952.
B.A. degree from the Detroit Institute of Technolog y. After graduation, Saunders entered the University of Detroit School of Law, but he int errupted his studies to join the NAACP staff. After Moore's murder, Saunders was assigned by the association as its Florida Field Director. Moving back to Tampa, he met his future w ife, Helen, and they were married in 1953. Mrs. Saunders had originally come from Mims, Florida, and, ironically, one of her school teachers had been Harry Moore. She shared he r husband's concern for civil rights and has served as Secretary and as President of the NAACP chapter in Tampa. Robert Saunders' years as Florida NAACP Director were exciting ones. The association helped persuade Governor LeRoy Collins to commute the death sentence of the convicted Groveland defendant; it launched a prolonged judicial battle to desegregate public schools and institutions of higher learning; and joined in non-violent direct action protects against Jim Crow practices, including participation in the widely-publicized Tallahassee bus boycott in 1956. These efforts brought NAACP leaders notoriety and the opprobrium of state elected officials. During the late 1950's, a legislative committee headed by State Senator Charley Johns, Florida's version of Joseph McCarthy, ordered the organization to turn over its office records for inspection. Presumably in search of communist infiltration, the Johns Committee adopted the same technique other southern states were employing to harrass the association's membership. To avoid submitting the documents for a probe they considered unconstitutional, Saunders and NAACP officials in the state shipped their files to the national office. (Today, these documents are part of the NAACP archives available for research in the Library of Congress.) The Supreme Court subsequently upheld their position. In the meantime unable to uncover subversion, Johns shifted his attention away from the NAACP and aimed his sights on the University of South Florida where he looked for Reds and homosexu als, again to no avail. The NAACP managed to survive the terror and intimid ation and succeeded in leaving a legacy of accomplishment. Fortunately, Bob Saunde rs has also persevered and has continued to battle for equal justice. After steppi ng down as NAACP Field Director in 1966, he moved to Atlanta to head the Southeast reg ional civil rights section of the Office Helen and Robert Saunders at an NAACP South Eastern Regional Meeting held at the Cuban Club in Tampa during the 1960s. Helen Saunders (left) and office secretary Mazie Br axton in front of the Tampa NAACP office at 705 Harrison Street ci rca 1955.
of Equal Opportunity. In the mid 1970's, he returne d once again to Tampa and was appointed Director of the Hillsborough County Equal Employment Opportunity Office, where he presently exerts his influence on behalf o f those who continue to strive for a fair share of the American Dream. Although much remains to be done in the struggle fo r black equality, the worst offenses of racial discrimination have been overcom e. Nevertheless, the very successes of the civil rights movement have left younger generat ions of students virtually unaware of just how tough and painful it was to achieve the pr ogress they take for granted. Consequently, it is essential to remind them that the op portunities that exist today for the advancement of both blacks and whites in the South stem in large part from the contributions of organizations like the NAACP. The task of preserving and disseminating the history of civil rights in Florida has been mad e easier by the donation of the papers of Robert and Helen Saunders to the Special Collection s Division of the University of South Florida Library. These records cover the period of Mr. Saunders' work as Field Director during the late 1950's and 1960's and of Mrs. Saund ers' tenure as President of the NAACP's Tampa branch during the 1970's. Because the Saunders were so intensely involved in the fight against racial oppression, th eir gift contains a rich collection of documents and photographs that will keep alive the heritage of the most stirring movement for social change in modern America.
LA UNION MARTI-MACEO: FOCUS OF AFRO-CUBAN HERITAGE IN TAMPA by SUSAN D. GREENBAUM LA UNION MARTI-MACEO is an Afro-Cuban organization established at the turn of the century by immigrant cigarworkers in Ybor Ci ty. It was one of five ethnic societies founded at about the same time (including also Cent ro Espanol, Centro Asturiano, Circulo Cubano, and L'Unione Italiana). It can be f airly stated that insufficient attention has been paid to the contributions and historical s ignificance of all these ethnic societies. However, there is a yawning gap in the existing rec ord when it comes to La Union MartiMaceo. The accomplishments of Afro-Cubans have been traditionally swept under the same moldy rug that long obscured all black history in Tampa. La Union Marti-Maceo is rarely more than a footnote in accounts of Ybor Cit y's history: often it is not mentioned at all. Such omissions are not only a disservice to Af ro-Cubans, they also serve to distort public understanding of the community in which we l ive and the process by which, for good or ill, it came to be what it presently is. Fortunately, conditions now exist to begin correcti ng this oversight. During the past year, the membership of La Union Marti-Maceo deposi ted the organization's past records, library, and photographs in the Special Collections Department of the USF Library. This transfer was designed to ensure preservation and cu ration of these valuable documents, and to provide a basis for research on the history of the Afro-Cuban community. The officers agreed to place these materials in the library on an indefinite loan as part of a collaborative effort which also includes faculty and students in the USF Departments of Anthropology and History. The minutes, correspondence, and financial records of La Union Marti-Maceo provide fascinating insights into the workings of what was an extremely complex and effective system of medical and social welfare benefits that greatly facilitated the early adjustment of Afro-Cuban immigrants in Tampa. The shifting size of membership, the fluctuating fortunes of the club treasury, and the issues raised and discussed at meetings through the years constitute a concise record of continuity and change in Tampa's Afro-Cuban community. In addition to the La Union Marti-Maceo documents, the research also focuses on oral histories and an analysis of data from census schedules and city directories. The research got actively underway during the past summer. Although still in an early stage, the results First page of a 1904 list of the founding members of the Marti-Maceo Club.
thus far yield a broad outline of the major events and forces affecting the development of the Afro-Cuban community in Tampa. Afro-Cuban immigrants first arrived in Tampa as par t of the large group of Cuban cigarworkers who came from Key West in 1886. As wit h. their white counterparts, many black Cubans of that era were heavily involved in a iding the war for independence in Cuba. The site of the monument to Jose Marti, at 13 th Street and 8th Avenue in Ybor City, was once the home of Ruperto and Paulina Pedr oso, Afro-Cubans who were close associates of Marti Ruperto Pedroso was also one of the founders of La Union MartiMaceo, which was named to honor both Marti and Anto nio Maceo, the legendary black Cuban general. With the end of the war in Cuba, the immigrant ciga rworkers disbanded the many patriotic organizations they had formed in Tampa. T hese clubs had been racially integrated, but the mutual aid organizations that r eplaced them (Circulo Cubano and La Union Marti-Maceo) were segregated. The separate es tablishment of these two organizations in 1899 and 1900, respectively, repre sented a non-negotiable concession to the prevailing requirement that blacks and whites c ould not socialize with each other. These circumstances drove a wedge between black and white Cubans who, not long before, had been unified in a struggle to free thei r common homeland. These divisions deepened with time, and the Afro-Cuban community de veloped its own distinctive character. No longer able to fully associate with their white compatriots, the Afro-Cubans also had little opportunity or proclivity to establish t ies with the Afro-American community. Their shared physical resemblance was superficial i n comparison with the differences in language, religion, culture, and history that divid ed them. Afro-Cubans enjoyed marginal advantages not shared by Afro-Americans, based on t he relatively high wages earned by cigarworkers and the paradoxical fact that foreign blacks were accorded more respectful treatment than native-born blacks in Tampa. Rather than assimilate into the larger black community, the early Afro-Cubans tended to retreat within the confines of their own group. La Union Marti-Maceo became a multi-purpose institu tion that, for the Afro-Cubans, became the focus of nearly all organized and inform al activities. Additionally, the members had access to medical benefits which provid ed the same range of health care services available to members of the other ethnic s ocieties in Ybor City. La Union MartiMaceo served all the same functions that the other ethnic societies provided their members: economic security, a place to socialize, a point of entry for the newly arrived, and an institutional basis for preserving national identity and culture. La Union MartiMaceo had the added function of enabling the black Cubans to escape some of the problems and indignities to which they were vulnera ble on account of their color. The medical benefits were particularly important in vie w of the extremely inadequate health care otherwise available to blacks in Tampa at that time. Segregation excluded AfroCubans from virtually all forms of public recreatio n, but within the walls of La Union Marti-Maceo they were able to construct their own s ocial world. They produced plays, sponsored orators, purchased recreational equipment established a library, and maintained a cantina. Men gathered each day after w ork to play dominoes and socialize. Children learned to play musical instruments and we re offered supplementary instruction in Spanish. Women took an active although subordina te role in the club. There was a
Ladies Committee which was mainly responsible for o rganizing socials. The club provided an organizational framework withi n which the Afro-Cuban community became encapsulated. The Afro-Cubans soci alized mainly with each other, and through all of their various activities maintai ned a strong sense of ethnic and national identity. This pattern of isolation continued until the 1930's when large-scale layoffs in the cigar factories prompted more than half of the Afro-Cubans to migrate to northern cities in search of work. The sharp decline in the size of the AfroCuban community had a severe impact on La Union Marti-Maceo. The reduced membership size greatly diminished the financial base of the organization and left fewer people to take part in the club's activities. Remedies for both problems were found through increased interaction with black Americans. La Union Marti-Maceo was able to maintain solvency through the depression largely because black Americans regularly rented th e club on weekends. The dancehall at La Union Marti-Maceo was considered to be the best such facility available to blacks in Tampa at that time and was in constant use. These r ental transactions brought black Cubans and black Americans into more frequent conta ct with each other. As increasing numbers of black Americans moved into Ybor City and West Tampa, members of the two groups came to know each other more often as ne ighbors. Intermarriage became more frequent, because of the increased opportuniti es for contact and the diminished number of Afro-Cubans from whom to select marriage partners. The growing relationship between these two groups was further solidified dur ing the 1960's, when Civil Rights offered a base of common struggle somewhat analogou s to the earliest joint effort of black and white Cubans to win independence for thei r homeland. The increasing tendencies for assimilation into the larger Afro-American community in Tampa did not, however, result in a loss of Cuba n identity by secondand even thirdgeneration Afro-Cubans. Pressures to assimilate wer e mitigated by the continued existence of La Union Marti-Maceo, and by the fact that many Afro-Cubans maintained extensive contact with friends and relatives still living in Cuba and with Afro-Cubans who had migrated north during the 1930's. La Union Marti-Maceo now, as before, serves as the focal point for the Afro-Cuban community in Tampa. It is perhaps even more importa nt. Now dispersed among many neighborhoods and no longer sharing employment in t he cigar industry, the activities at La Union Marti-Maceo represent the primary basis fo r maintaining social ties and a sense of common history. Life-sized portraits of Jose Mar ti and Antonio Maceo still hang on the wall of the auditorium. Meetings are conducted entirely in Spanish. Banquets include traditional Cuban food, and the music played at the dances is primarily Afro-Cuban, alternating occasionally with soul. Within the cont ext of the dances, banquets, meetings, and other club activities the Afro-Cuban community of the 1980's reflects considerable continuity with local traditions that are now nearl y a century old. La Union Marti-Maceo has not been maintained withou t difficulty. In addition to the Officers of the Marti-Maceo Club, circa 1940.
problems experienced during the 1930's, the origina l clubhouse at 6th Avenue and 11th Street was demolished by Urban Renewal during the 1 960's. This came at a time when the membership had dipped to its lowest level and r epresented a major crisis for the community. Another building was eventually purchase d, at 8th Avenue and 13th Street, but there were no longer any organized activities. In the early 1970's, however, a curious demographic convergence resuscitated the club, more than doubling the membership and bringing a return of banquets, dances, and other fo rmal activities. The young adults who travelled north during the 193 0's began reaching retirement age in the 1970's. Many have chosen to return to Ta mpa and resume membership in La Union Marti-Maceo. Their arrival has increased the size of the organization and this has made it possible to reinsititute many activities th at had lapsed. The resumption of organized functions has revitalized the Afro-Cuban community in Tampa and has focused renewed attention on the significance of ma intaining La Union Marti-Maceo. Many of the members are now concerned that current plans to redevelop Ybor City will result once again in the loss of their buildin g. One of the purposes of the research that is presently underway on the history of the Af ro-Cuban community is to focus attention on the role of Afro-Cubans in the histori cal development of Ybor City so that the importance of La Union Marti-Maceo will be weig hed accordingly in the plans that are being drawn. If the new Ybor City is to be anyt hing more than a glittering facsimile of a past that never was, there needs to be much mo re attention paid to the contributions of all the immigrants. The welcome revision of Tamp a's history that now increasingly pays heed to the role played by Afro-Americans will be further enriched by a better understanding of the role of black immigrants in th e early development of the city.
MAJOR ACQUISITIONS BY the time this issue of Ex Libris, reaches print, the USF Library will have added its one millionth volume. Appropriately, this landmark volume is no ordinary one. It is a copy of the 1796 Cedula Real, better know as the "Pinckney Treaty". This treaty b etween Spain and the United States established, among othe r things, the northern boundary of Florida. The Cedula Real, though perhaps the most spectacular, is not the onl y major acquisition the Library has made since the last iss ue of Ex Libris. There has been significant growth in all of our research collectio ns, particularly in the area of 19th century literary works. Growth of our holdings of 1 9th century children's literature and early American schoolbooks has been very encouragin g, largely due to continued support from the Library Associates. We are especially pleased with the recent growth in our collection of early American almanacs. Although this collection has been under d evelopment only a short time, it now totals nearly four hundred items, the earliest dati ng 1705. There are 95 titles represented in the collection. The Library has been particularly fortunate over th e past few months in acquiring a number of highly significant manuscript collections Providing the basis for scholarly research, these unique bodies of historical materia l are notable acquisitions indeed. Robert W. and Helen S. Saunders Papers This extensive collection, occupying in excess of t hirty linear feet of shelving, documents the careers of Mr. and Mrs. Saunders as o fficers of the NAACP during the crucial early years of the civil rights struggle in Florida. Covering roughly 1952 to 1983, the Saunders papers will prove invaluable to histor ians and other students of the Black historical experience in Tampa and Florida. The col lection includes correspondence, working papers, photographs, and publications. F. Lee Moffitt Papers During the past summer, distinguished USF alumnus a nd Florida state legislator F. Lee Moffitt donated 47 large boxes of papers relati ng to his legislative career to the library. Mr. Moffitt, who received his undergraduat e degree from USF in 1964, began his legislative career in 1974. He became Speaker of th e Florida House of Representatives in 1983. His legislative papers will admirably complem ent those of former Florida legislators Louis De La Parte and Terrell Sessums, which already form part of the Library's manuscript collection. Olive Dame Campbell Papers Lois Bacon of Tampa has presented to the Library a valuable collection of papers belonging to her late aunt, the noted folklorist Ol ive Dame Campbell. The Campbell papers, covering the period 1909 to 1944, relate pr imarily to Mrs. Campbell's extensive studies relating to folk songs of the Southern moun tains. The collection includes words and music to many songs collected by Mrs. Campbell during the early years of the 20th century among the Appalachian mountaineers.
Howard Wilsky Papers An interesting body of papers relating to the life and career of the late Howard Wilsky, first athletics coach at Tampa's Hillsborou gh High School, was presented to the Library by his widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Wilsky of Land O'Lakes. In addition to his work with Hillsborough High, Mr. Wilsky was active in th e sports program of the Tampa YMCA during the early years of this century. The Wi lsky collection includes many photographs of early Hillsborough High and Tampa YM CA athletic teams, as well as rare early 20th century Tampa printed ephemera. The Wils ky papers are a valuable addition to the Library's growing local history collection. Cigar Label Lithographic Art One of the nation's largest lithographic firms has committed itself to donate a large collection of original lithographic proof books for late 19th and early 20th century cigar labels to the USF Library. The collection is curren tly undergoing an independent appraisal preliminary to being transferred to the L ibrary. Each proof book consists of pages for each of the colors used in the label, som etimes with the original art work laid in the front. The collection includes numerous early T ampa and other Florida labels. It constitutes the first part of a continuing gift, wi th further groups of labels scheduled to arrive over the next few years. Catledge Donation of Series Books Well-known boys' book collector and dealer Tracy Ca tledge recently donated over four hundred boys' and girls' series books to the L ibrary. This gift is only the most recent of several which Mr. Catledge has made. His continu ing interest has resulted in the filling of many gaps in the holdings of our Hudson Collecti on of American Boys' and Girls' Series Books.
ASSOCIATES EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES Dreyfus Lecture ON OCTOBER 11, noted British typographic expert Joh n Dreyfus presented an excellent slide show on the life and works of famed British hand bookbinder T. J. Cobden Sanderson, founder of the celebrated Doves Press. S peaking to a small but enthusiastic audience, Mr. Dreyfus presented an interesting and informative program. Mr. Dreyfus' visit was co-sponsored by the Library Associates an d the Konglomerati Foundation. Sixth Annual Library Associates Book Sale The Library Associates' annual book sale took place on November 4-6 in the University Center ballroom on the USF Tampa campus. The sale opened on the evening of Sunday, November 4 with the traditional preview for members of the Associates only, and concluded at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 6. With books priced at 25¢ for paperbacks and 50¢ for hardcovers, thousands of boo ks were sold during the three day sale. Staffing for this year's sale was provided by volun teers from the Library's professional staff, organized by the Library's Comm ittee on Professional Concerns. Particular thanks goes to librarians Sonja Garcia a nd Donna Reece for coordinating the COPC effort. Thanks also goes to the many friends w ho donated books for the sale, and especially to Thomas Brasser of Brasser's Books and James Bledsoe. Both of these gentlemen have supported the Associates' sales with large annual donations since the first sale in 1978. A special vote of gratitude goes to M r. Thomas B. McFarland, who has helped out at the sales for the past several years. Tony Pizzo Lecture in Tampa History The third annual Pizzo lecture took place on the ev ening of Wednesday, November 7 in the Special Collections department of the Librar y. Named in honor of Ybor City historian Tony Pizzo, this Library Associates annua l event features presentations by historians and other authorities on specific aspect s of Tampa's colorful past. This year, Dr. Susan D. Greenbaum of the USF Anthropology depa rtment presented a highly informative program dealing with the history of the Marti-Maceo Club and Tampa's unique Afro-Cuban community. Dr. Greenbaum's presen tation was followed by a reception and refreshments. Numerous members of the Marti-Maceo Club, Tampa's historic Afro-Cuban mutual aid society, were presen t for the program as guests of the Library Associates. Saunders Reception The first Associates event of 1985 will be a recept ion in honor of Tampa civil rights leaders Robert W. and Helen S. Saunders in February The reception will mark the formal presentation of Mr. and Mrs. Saunders' papers to th e Library (see "Notable Acquisitions" in this issue), and will be held in the Special Col lections department of the Library. Further information about the event will be sent to Associates members as plans are developed. The timing of the Saunders reception is particularl y appropriate. Not only is February Black Emphasis Month, but this February marks the 2 5th anniversary of the first Tampa
sit-ins protesting racial segregation.
THE PERVASIVE MANIFESTATION OF RACISM IN 19th CENTURY AMERICA AS ILLUSTRATED THROUGH STEREOTYPICAL IMAGERY OF BLACK AMERICANS by PHYLLIS McEWEN-TAYLOR When studying American history I use a yellow run-t hrough to highlight the white American iconography (all those golliwogs, sambo do lls, coon song sheet music covers, watermelon banks, pickaninny postcards, Aunt Jemima cookie jars, Rastus-on-the Cream o f Wheat, Aunt Carolina-on-the-rice boxes) all tho se images white folks haunted themselves with in their attempt to recapture "thei r 'property' in their kitchens, on their walls and on their bric-a-brac shelves. .... Toni Cade Bambara, "Salvation is the Issue." THE historical and anthropological records of the w orld are filled with panoramic descriptions of meetings of the races: They arrived upon our shores, in waterbound beasts with white manes made from the wood of trees. When they first set their covered fe et on our earth, we thought they were not of this earth, but something else . spirit, animal, God . . Faded with hair like grass or snakes and eyes the color of the sky. And: They were there watching us, first silently and the n, as we approached, they began to chatter in their strange piercing voice that sounde d somehow musical in its cadence; beautiful, but unmistakably primitive and unformed. They were dark of skin: Sienna, cocoa, coal ... The men were muscled and spindly li ke bark. The women were barebreasted with hair like black caps of wire and wool These humans, if they were humans, were enigma to us. We armed ourselves and proceeded ashore, fearing these beings, yet hoping that we might touch some strain of humanity in them, and find a way to communicate, conquer, and survive. These fictional accounts of human to human confront ations are characteristic of the feelings and thoughts experienced when Black meets white and white meets Black in the very early days of European exploration and exploit ation of the world. They relate the complex stories of the struggles for land, power an d freedom that resulted in systems of subjugation, enslavement and annihilation. From the se confrontations comes the basis of the stereotyping and racism prevalent in 19th centu ry America and which are present today in American culture. Stereotyping appears to be an innate part of interr acial relations. This phenomenon has thrived in the human experience and has not dim inished with the advancement of Ms. Phyllis M. Taylor is an Associate Librarian in the Reference Department of the University of South Florida Library.
learning and technology. It is important to note that it is not peculiar to white/Black Western America relations. But its pervasive and destructive nature, along with its stubborn longevity, make American racial stereotyping an interesting topic of study. In an abstract sense, stereotyping is a fairly innocuous human activity that serves to simplify the world into manageable parts a sociological way of coping with a diverse and progressively complex human community. These oversimplifications and distortions of realit y represent a way of categorizing human groups which precedes knowing and interaction and may erroneousl y be perceived as an innocent way of surviving. But since stereotypes are locked into processes of political, economic, and social bigotry, they must be scrutinized with c aution in the context of American history. In American society, all groups are assigned stereo types. They may be negative or positive, or combinations of both. They may contrad ict themselves and change with the political climate. When assigned to minority groups however, these images are generally detrimental and negative. Stereotypes, like propaga nda, must contain some tiny kernel of truth, or else they will not be effective. And it i s through these varying degrees of "truth" that damage is done. Writers on the subject make ge neralizations and assessments about the stereotyping frequency of ethnic groups in America and it may be surmised, by the study of both history and contemporary culture, that Black people have been given the cruelest blows of all. This phenomenon in the U.S. has resulted in a seemingly immutable tradition of insults and defamation. For Black people in America, stereotypes are dangerous mechanisms that have been effective in impeding the development of an open, receptive American society in which people of African descent can survive and prosper. By the 19th century, the native inhabitants of the country had been an-nihilated or incarcerated, and the European invasion was nearly complete. The barbaric "African Slave Trade" had flourished and waned. Sixty-five years into the century, this oppressive system of slavery was formally abolished. In the aftermath of the Civil War, the country began the arduous task Black stereotypes were widely exploited in nineteenth century America, as typified by this 1883 card distributed to advertise shoes. The Mammy stereotype portrayed on the cover of a piece of early twentieth century sheet music.
of rebuilding itself by licking its wounds, and try ing to restore some sense of unity. The African population of the southeastern U.S. was new ly liberated. Armed with the empty weapons of the Emancipation Proclamation-the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments-Black Americans began the long struggle to live and "purs ue happiness" in a place not of their own choosing, bereft of language, family structure, economic and military bases, educational systems and the other institutions upon which humanity depends to thrive. The sizable population of Black people who had not been imprisoned in the "plantation machine" of slavery, had participated widely in the abolition movement and, along with their brothers and sisters, faced the reactionary b acklash of this era. The Reconstruction movement of America was practically defeated by white supremacy. Though the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments were now permanent parts of the federal constitution, these rights were constantly attacked by white racists. The Black political development of this era, which is so often cited as proof of progress, was met with violence and bitter opposition. Any harmonious association which developed between Black and white did not survive. A case in point is the brief alliance of southern farmers during the time of the Populist movement. By the late 1880's racist social conditions and local and statewide le gislation overruled the U.S. Constitution. White supremacy, calculated and viole nt, strongly took hold. As the Jim Crow separate and unequal way of life flourished, B lack Americans were physically, economically and socially brutalized. For black Ame ricans survival was tenuous. Though slavery was now illegal, the same policies and cond itions that produced it were alive and well. Because stereotypes are largely a function of socio political atmosphere, dehumanizing imagery of Black people was, at this t ime, an integral part of the culture. Thomas Dixon and Thomas Nelson Page, popular white male 19th century novelists of the "Plantation School", skillfully manipulated the image of the African people to endorse the popular, reactionary, bigoted, politica l intention of the day. Caricatures like theirs are notorious representations of the kind of thinking that made the idea of serious, intelligent cultured Black people an alien concept to the white majority. An examination of the most often recurring imagery can be dissected into several general types. These stereotypes reveal much more a bout the group that created them, than about the object of the defamation. The stereo types can be divided into two main categories: Distortion of physical characteristics and distortions based on cultural and behavioral customs. Physical Features Any physical feature of the Afro-American that was different or mythologized as being different from that of white Americans was us ed to manipulate the imagery. This was manifested by: 1. Altered skin color, misrepresentations or ridicu le of skin color Black stereotype from a postcard, circa 1910.
2. Oversized physical features: feet, genitalia, ha nds, lips, etc. 3. Misrepresentation and ridicule of hair texture Cultural and Behavioral Aspects 1. Misrepresentation of lifestyle: eating customs, clothing, nonverbal expressions, kinship structures 2. Mockery and exploitation of speech patterns 3. Trivialization and exploitation of art forms: Af rican-American music, dance and oral traditions The ambivalent feelings the white American expresses about skin color are vividly portrayed in these images. Afro-Americans possessed a wide range of complexions, and yet it was only the richer, browner skin tones that were generally exploited. It is that hue that makes the starkest contrast with that of most white Americans and it was used in postcards, greeting cards, advertisements and other illustrations, with the most unflattering uses of light. Instead of shading the color of the skin and highlighting the planes and levels of the facial structure, the illustrations were colored in flat texture, thereby obscuring the features and subtleties. In photographs it was not uncommon to use makeup to further alter the color. Even white models were sometimes employed and painted in far-fetched parodies of the Black American complexion. The overall effect is a dehumanized, grotesque image. This hateful fascination with the skin color of Afro-Americans represents a complex psychological syndro me that may be a basic principle of racism and white supremacy. Dr. Frances Cress Welsi ng, M.D. has proposed in her work, "The Cress Theory of Color Confrontation and Racism ," that "the visceral white reaction to the skin color of Blacks and other non-whites is a deep and pervading sense of inadequacy and inferiority-the absence of something and the inability to produce melanin." She further hypothesizes that since over 3/4 of the world are people of color, the remaining 1/4 must struggle to maintain a sense of normalcy and well-being. Thus, the roots of this pathological behavior may be expl ained by this thesis. Another recurring theme is the oversized presentati on of body parts. In 19th century American culture, the overblown imagery of huge fee t, genitalia, hands, lips, and noses is especially ostentatious. Again, these images are ca st so as to present pictures of human beings that are not quite human, but bizarre and st range demi-humans. Once again, the stereotypes are based on depictions of features tha t may or may not be different from Whites in blackface, circa 1900. This illustration is from a set of four postcards serializing a dialect poem.
those of the white counterpart. As with skin color, stereotyping possibly infers personal anguish on the part of its creators and deep-seated doubts and inadequacies. In this case it is the fear of an undersized physical presence, the fear of the diminutiveness of body and spirit that activates the myth. It is not uncommon to find accounts in the annals of American history of members of white lynch mobs, multilating Black victims and retaining parts of the body as objects. The perpetrators, in this macabre way, finally possessed that part of themselves that was heretofore considered inadequate. These facts present a gruesome study in a collective pathology that, though shocking, is reminiscent of other sad phases in history. The misrepresentation of the hair texture of Black people is another example of physical stereotyping. The portrayal of Black people's hair as unattractive, aesthetically unpleasant, comical, and inferior to the hair of others, is carefully contrived. The complex and artistic braids, plaits, leather twists and other forms of hair sculpture were mocked and distorted to the extent that the stereotypical depictions became a stock feature of cultural annihilation. To represent the Afro-American hair as ugly, ungroomed and wild subjugates its positive natural characteristics: its fullness, its strength and vitality, its versatility of style. These distortions of Black hair are obviously the result of comparisons of the characteristic hair of non-Blacks reflecting their subconscious fears of inferiority. So severe is this distortion of true beauty that, among Black women today, there exists the strong belief that hair must be radically altered by thermal or chemical means to approximate the hair of non-Black people. It is significant to note that fictitious and bizarre images of the AfricanAmerican were a favorite marketing trademark, used widely in advertising. This is, no doubt, due to the fact that the white business person considered Black caricature on a circa 1880 Christmas card. Exploitation of Black stereotypes is evident in both the title and decoration of this 1911 piece of sheet music.
Black people to be synonymous with commerce and trade. In the marketing of machinery, to prove it works, put beside it that image of a person who was brought here solely for that purpose. The scenario goes: the machine works as well as the person pictured beside it. Buying the product then, is comparable to the transaction of "buying" a slave, thus keeping the ideas of African bondage in the conscious mind of Americans. It is no coincidence that Black men were often used in advertising machinery and farming products and that Black women were frequently pictured in food preparation and child-care activities. Vestiges of this practice are still in evidence today. Attacks upon the cultural and behavioral spheres of Black life were in-tensive and deliberate. The ironic depiction of Afro-Americans as lazy, stupid loiterers, relaxing in the fields, eating watermelons and stealing chickens is especially fallacious and cruel. Though slavery was legally ended its social and economic structures remained. The labor of Black Americans l iterally built the economic base for the southeast. This "free labor" provided an indust rial base that affects U.S. economy today. Slave labor was the source not only of indus trial prosperity, but also provided the freedom and comfortable lifestyle enjoyed by the so uthern planters and their community. In the harshest of working conditions these Black p eople not only farmed, but cooked, sewed, cleaned, tended children, invented and desig ned machinery, managed businesses and performed an endless list of other manners of w ork. That they would then be depicted as lazy, somnolent mindless beings is a direct upen ding of reality. While the African captive was executing these arduous, thankless tasks, it was the slavers who were in fact lazy, idle, unable and often unwilling to do their own work. The cultural preservation of African music and danc e has been one of the most remarkable triumphs of the human spirit. Trivializa tion and misunderstanding of it is often portrayed in the stereotypical imagery. While the white American may have viewed the creation of music as an entertaining pastime fo r these enslaved people, it was actually a multifaceted survival device, used elegantly and efficently in a variety of ways. As a secret system of communication and as a mysterious psychic power source, AfricanAmerican music sustained and buoyed its makers thro ugh slavery. The speech patterns that emerged from the synthesis of English and the various African languages have always been ridiculed and la beled as an entertaining dialects. White Americans in the 19th century found them fasc inating and entertaining as illustrated by the proliferation of songs and poetr y supposedly written in these patterns. Advertising card, circa 1900.
Most representations were inadequate or ex-treme parodies of the actual language. Dialects were viewed as inferior and comical modes of speaking, while they were actually graceful, efficient linguistic fusions. The behavioral aspects that the African personality acquired to survive in this atmosphere allowed fertile material for stereotyping. The intellectual agility involved in "puttin on ole Massa" represents some of the most creative uses of psychology in the history of human relations. The African captive was forced to feed the obscene ego of the slaver while retaining some sense of personal esteem. One had to be alert and inventive to survive, yet also appear servile and manageable. A smile, when a smile was necessary to assure appeasement of a blood-thirsty overseer, a mysteriously disabled machine to halt labor when on e's body required rest, laughter and music to camouflage serious political conspiraciesall clever ploys adopted for survival. The stereotypical images, then reflect the desires and requirements of the white racist personality: the smile they were seeing was just a smile; the inability to make the newfangled plow work-stupidity; the laughter, the musi c-activities of mindless chattel." The phenomenon of this kind of psychological projec tion has been identified as a probable source of such stereotyping and distortion This projection occurs when one group reflects upon others those things that they f ear are manifest in themselves, or as Bruno Bettelheim explains, "when people accuse othe rs of motives and characteristics they sense in themselves but can't face up to." Thu s we see racism casting a mirror reflection of itself in stereotypes. These ugly cre ations with swollen distorted features, odd coloring, vacant grins, and dumb countenances, are not the people they claim to depict, but are in fact self-caricatures of the per petrator-ugly pictures of what they fear themselves to be. The use and widespread cultivation of vicious stere otyping has had a marked success in stunting the psychic growth of the American peop le. These symbols of inferiority and racial supremacy have found places in our culture. Their destructive effects on the quality of Black life have been immeasurable. By nurturing the low level of consciousness necessary for bigotry and by poisoning minds of tho se who are easily influenced, generations of prejudiced white people are bred in this tradition. The constant barrage of negative images has taken its toll on Black America ns by creating an atmosphere in which it is mandatory to be both hypersensitive and paranoid to live and thrive. The stereotypes have been successful carriers of these conditions by keeping race relations rooted in primitive impressions and reactions. Rela tions continue with no more sophistication than those current among people of t he 16th and 17th centuries. These distortions which are cast as "light-hearted" and "humorous" are actually messages that are directly related to the life-thre atening attitudes and policies of white supremacy. The eerie images of Black people as cari catures of humans significantly contribute to the condoning of racial violence and exploitation. The holdings of the Special Collection that portray the stereotyping of Black This late nineteenth century advertising card uses exaggeration of Black physical characteristics and dialect to promote Silver Star Baking Powder.
Americans in the 19th century are important histori cal material. However, they must be examined with a sensitive and educated eye to fully "appreciate" their sociological worth. Though the pictures they paint are fictitious, they provide valuable primary sources in the area of American race relations, the nature of prej udice, and the white American collective consciousness. The postcards, sheet musi c covers, and advertisements in the collection are offensive and dangerous, to be sure. Their value, however, is as source material that may be used in the study of the past, and as graphic warnings for the future, so that we may be wary of the sickness that haunts and deforms the evolution of American culture.
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