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The March On Milwaukee Civil Rights History Project

Collections

 

Lloyd A. Barbee Papers, 1933-1982
Papers of Lloyd Barbee, a Milwaukee civil rights activist, lawyer and Wisconsin state legislator. Included are personal correspondence; legal files; campaign files; legislative subject files concerning abortion, the ERA, prison and court reform, the Assembly Judiciary Committee, the Democratic Party, the Judicial Council, and court reorganization; and files concerning his involvement in groups such as the Milwaukee United School Integration Committee (MUSIC), Freedom Through Equality, Inc., the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and Milwaukee Legal Services. Over half of the collection consists of research material and legal records of the class action desegregation suit Amos, et al. vs. Board of School Directors of the City of Milwaukee, et al. and its subsequent remand trial. Barbee served as counsel for the plaintiffs for the duration of the trial from 1965 to 1980.

Included are correspondence; transcripts, exhibits, and other court records; as well as charts, tables, graphs, maps, reports, school board minutes, and other materials concerning research on student, teacher, and administrative assignment patterns, pupil transfer policies, and building facilities.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives Department:
Milwaukee Manuscript Collection 16
Helen I. Barnhill Papers, 1963-1965
The digital history includes a selection of the papers of Helen I. Barnhill, the executive secretary of the Milwaukee Citizens for Equal Opportunity. Mrs. Barnhill was active in multiple civil rights organizations, and also worked with the allied Milwaukee United School Integration Committee (MUSIC).

This digital collection includes her copies of records of the Milwaukee Citizens for Equal Opportunity, particularly materials related to the Freedom School held in Milwaukee on May 18, 1964.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives Department:
Milwaukee Manuscript Collection 4
Congress of Racial Equality. Milwaukee Chapter: Records, 1963-1964
The Milwaukee CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) collection consists of materials that relate to the 1963-1964 protest against the Milwaukee public schools. These files include correspondence; curricula and other materials used in the Freedom Day program; reports, placards, and petitions; and research materials which indicate how the Philadelphia and New York City chapters of CORE handled similar problems.

The remainder of the collection lacks such a central theme, although it covers the same time span. It includes a copy of the constitution and by-laws of the chapter and the rules by which demonstrations sponsored by the chapter were to be conducted; programs, minutes of meetings, and the Education Committee report at the National CORE convention held in July 1964; and material relating to the civil rights programs in Mississippi, a placard announcing a protest march against Alabama Governor George Wallace, and the program of CORE's Wisconsin State Conference in 1964.
Nearly all of the collection is represented on the website.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives Department:
Milwaukee Manuscript Collection 27
Freedom Day School Poster, May 18, 1964
This poster was created during the civil rights era to promote the boycott of Milwaukee Public Schools and encourage attendance at temporary, alternative schools known as Freedom Schools. The boycott was part of an effort to desegregate the public school system and was led by the Milwaukee United School Integration Committee (MUSIC).

The poster dates from the first boycott, which was held on May 18, 1964. Approximately 11,000 children--roughly 60% of Milwaukee's black, inner-city school population--stayed out of school, and about 8,500 attended the freedom schools. The word "Here" handwritten on the poster indicates that it was likely placed at one of the freedom schools.

Printed on an off-white background with lettering in red and blue, the poster is glued down to a piece of tag board.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives Department:
UWM Manuscript Collection 268
James Groppi Papers, 1956-1978
The collection provides information about the activities and writings of one of the leading civil rights activists of 1960s Milwaukee, a white, Roman Catholic priest named Father James Groppi. The primary focus of the collection consists of correspondence that he received during the height of his activism in 1967.

Documents in the digital history include a few representative examples of support, critical, and hate mail that he received from not only local citizens, but also from people nationwide.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives Department:
Milwaukee Manuscript Collection EX
Jay and Hinda Larkey Papers, 1963-1968, 1987
Papers of an activist couple, the Larkeys, that includes newspaper clippings, photographs, and slides pertaining to Jay and Hinda Larkey's activites during the civil rights movement in Milwaukee in the 1960s. The collection includes clippings of Hinda Larkey's arrest when protesting school segregation, a dismantled scrapbook which largely documents a 1968 "Freedom-In" fundraising event held at the Larkey's home, and slides of a Milwaukee march to protest police action in Selma, Alabama in 1965. Additionally, there are photographs of a 1987 commemorative march across the 16th Street Viaduct.

All their images depicting the 1965 march to protest police action in Selma, Alabama are represented on the website.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives Department:
UWM Manuscript Collection 299
Milwaukee (Wis.). Mayor: Records of the Henry W. Maier Administration, 1960-1988
The official records of the Henry Maier mayoral administration (1960-1988) of Milwaukee, including audio tapes, correspondence, memorabilia, memoranda, reports, and speeches. The civil rights era is well-represented, especially the 1967 civil disturbances. Much information on affirmative action and the civil rights movement, especially in the 1960s and 1970s, is available in the records.

Studies in the early 1960s on acculturation and public schools, funded by the Ford Foundation, provide insights on the status of African-American Milwaukeeans in the early 1960s. In 1968, the city began a "Learn By Doing" program to provide educational, cultural, and recreational jobs for disadvantaged youths. Of particular interest is the log kept by the mayor's office during the July 1967 civil disturbances. Audio tapes of Maier's meeting with Father James Groppi in August 1967 are available in Tape 1235A. Extensive files also exist on the city's affirmative action program, the "War on Prejudice," and the Commission on Community Relations and its implementation of the Greenleigh & Associates study on Milwaukee race relations.
Relatively little information can be found on the bussing and integration of Milwaukee public schools, largely because Maier did not become actively involved in the issues, and the staff usually directed constituent correspondence to the School Board. The controversies over the police department's treatment of minorities are not well documented. Patrons can, however, find some information in the files on Ernest Lacy and the Police Department.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives Department:
Milwaukee Series 44
Oral History Interviews of the March on Milwaukee Oral History Project, 2007-2008
The March on Milwaukee Oral History Project was designed to help document the open housing movement in Milwaukee, Wisconsin of 1967-1969, led by Father James Groppi, Alderwoman Vel Phillips, and the Milwaukee NAACP Youth Council. The oral history interviews were conducted by Amanda Wynne, a UWM history graduate student intern; undergraduate students in Professor Michael Gordon's fall 2007 senior history seminar; and by Michael Gordon himself. The collection consists of taped interviews and abstracts of the interviews. Topics covered typically include biographical information, involvement in or recollection of the open housing marches in Milwaukee, and race relations in past and present Milwaukee. Many of the interviewees discuss their reflections on the civil rights movement in light of their religious affiliations.

The interviews on the website are only a portion of the entire set. The rest can be found in University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives Department.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives Department:
UWM Manuscript Collection 281
Oral history interview with William J. Miles, 1994
This interview is of Rev. William Miles by Marc S. Rodriguez, in 1994. The interview provides information on Miles' experiences during the civil rights movement in Milwaukee circa 1964-1969. Miles discusses his role in the Milwaukee United School Integration Committee (MUSIC) of which he was a founder. Topics include the Freedom Schools in Milwaukee; Fr. James Groppi; Lloyd Barbee; and MUSIC's relationships with UW-Milwaukee and Marquette University. Miles also discusses the reaction of his parish, the Anglican Church, and the broader community to his actions. He also provides some information on his experiences with retail (Porters of Racine).

The original collection, comprising audio recordings, is represented on the website, and is complemented here by a full transcript.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives Department:
UWM Manuscript Collection 280
Milwaukee United School Integration Committee Records, 1964-1966
Records of an organization that worked to end school segregation and other forms of racial discrimination in Milwaukee. Under the leadership of Milwaukee attorney Lloyd Barbee and Marilyn Morheuser, MUSIC sponsored a "Freedom Day School" on May 18, 1964, to teach black students about their heritage and history, and called for similar Freedom Schools and student boycotts of segregated schools in 1965 and 1966. Among MUSIC's other projects were Freedom Camps I and II, 1964; rallies for better housing and jobs, 1964; questionnaires sent to school board candidates in 1965; marches, demonstrations, speakers, and fund-raising events.

The collection includes a small file of correspondence; copies of memos, flyers, and other promotional and descriptive materials regarding the school boycotts; schedules, curricula, and lessons for the Freedom Day Schools; a few press releases; and fragmentary printed flyers and papers concerning other MUSIC projects.

Nearly all of the collection is represented on the website.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives Department:
Milwaukee Manuscript Collection 5
More Than One Struggle Oral History Project Records, 1939-2004
This series contains a selection of oral history interviews, consisting of audio recordings and transcripts, conducted between 1995-1996 by historian Jack Dougherty while researching his book More than One Struggle: the Evolution of Black School Reform in Milwaukee. Interviewees provide insight into Milwaukee school reform activism through their discussions about the Coalition of Parents for Quality Education, Committee of One Hundred, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), Federation of Independent Community Schools, Freedom Schools, MUSIC (Milwaukee United School Integration Committee), Milwaukee Urban League, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), North Division High School, Parents Action Committee for Education (PACE), Sherman Park Community Association, Triple O-Blacks For Two-Way Integration, Urban Day School, and Washington High School.

The interviews on the website are only a portion of the entire set.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives Department:
Milwaukee Manuscript Collection 217
Study of Community Opinions Concerning the Summer 1967 Civil Disturbances in Milwaukee (Slesinger Report)
Report by former University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Social Welfare faculty member Jonathan Slesinger. The study provides a detailed analysis of white and African-American opinions on the causes and outcomes of the July 1967 civil disturbances in Milwaukee.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives Department:
UWM Archival Collection 24
Milwaukee Journal Stations Records, 1922-1997
This collection consists of film footage pertaining to the Milwaukee television and radio stations owned by the Journal Company (now Journal Communications, Inc.). The stations operated for many years under the call letters WTMJ. The approximately 2 million feet of 16mm news film is the original edited footage used on the air to illustrate news stories from 1950 to 1980.

The website features 26 clips of WTMJ news footage concerning the Milwaukee civil rights movement. Much more of it can be found at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives Department.



University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives Department:
Milwaukee Manuscript Collection 203
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