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WVRHC Subject Guides: African American collections

Archival Material

Storer College, Administrative and Operational Records Records of Storer College, West Virginia's first African American institution of higher learning, located in Harpers Ferry. This collection contains mainly administrative and operational records of the college. Types of records include annual reports, publications, memorabilia, artifacts, and other material.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Charleston, West Virginia Branch Records Typescript records of the Charleston, West Virginia branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) c.1922-1936

Edward J. Cabbell, Historian, Papers The papers of Edward J. Cabbell, an author, poet, editor, and historian documents subjects regarding African-American history in Appalachia, encompassing the colonial period through 1988

James Produce Company Papers Copies of correspondence and business records of Charles H. James, founder of the James Produce Company, one of the first totally black owned and managed businesses in West Virginia.

Ancella Bickley, Historian, Research Papers regarding African-Americans This collection documents the research, public service, and life of Ancella Bickley, writer, educator, speaker, and historian. Includes writings, research materials, and more, focusing on the history of African Americans in West Virginia and the black experience in West Virginia.

Franklin Cleckley Papers Papers of Franklin Cleckley, lawyer, judge, and professor of law in West Virginia. Appointed to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in 1994 by then Governor Caperton Gaston, Cleckley was the first African-American Justice in West Virginia.


Be sure to check out the Black and African American Genealogy tab on our Genealogy guide

Printed Ephemera Collection

Collection of The Black student at WVU pamphlets

Democratic red book, Negro Democratic State Executive Committee of West Virginia.

Negro housing survey of Charleston, July 1934., West Virginia. Bureau of Negro Welfare and Statistics. Summarizes the results of a survey to "ascertain the types of homes and the general living conditions of the Negro population of Charleston." The survey was "intended to serve as a guide for the entire state in an effort to promote and stimulate means of providing better living conditions for the Negro citizens."

Second Ward School : a legend lives.

Look away : 50 Negro folk songs. (1960s)

Pluck! : the journal of Afrilachian arts & culture.

Jefferson County West Virginia African American Heritage Trail

Oral History Collection

137. ANDREW DIXON. Omar, Logan County, WV, 16 July 1971. An interview with Dixon, a retired Afro‐American coal miner, conducted by Paul and Linda Nyden, concerning his escape from Alabama after union activities, his migration north and his life and work in the southern West Virginia coalfields. One reel (5") 1 7/8 ips. (R106)

155. HENRY GWINN. Beckley, Raleigh County, WV, 21 June 1973. An interview with Gwinn, a retired Afro‐American coal miner, born in 1880, conducted by Bill Taft and Lois McLean concerning the consequences of mechanization in the coal industry for the Afro‐American miners. Partial reel (7") 3 3/4 ips, notes available. (R133)

167. MOSIL THOMAS. Red Star, Fayette County, WV, 1973. An interview with Thomas, a 102 year old retired Afro‐ American miner, conducted by Bill Taft and Lois McClean concerning the involvement of black coal miners in unionization and the activities of "Mother" Jones in various West Virginia coal camps. Partial reel (7") 3 3/4 ips. (R150)

C417 R525-R528 Keystone , McDowell County West Virginia. August 4 1987. An interview by Matthew Sorel. Suzanne Slaughter discusses from an African American perspective, the early days of Keystone West Virginia. One cassette 1 7/8 quality good. Notes available, transcript available.