Trinity University Archives and Special Collections Opens the Claude and ZerNona Black Papers for Research
The Claude and ZerNona Black Papers is open for research at Trinity University Archives and Special Collections, San Antonio, Texas. The papers of Claude William Black, Jr. and his wife, ZerNona Stewart Black, document their lives and impact on African American life in San Antonio, TX. The 100 cu. ft. collection makes an important contribution research of the civil rights movement in the Southwest United States, as there are relatively few large-scale, personal collections of African American individuals available in the region.
The finding aid is now available online: http://archon.library.trinity.edu/Archon/?p=collections/controlcard&id=1
The Digital Collection is also available online: http://cdm16264.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/p16264coll1
There is also a department blog that includes posts about the collection: http://archivestrinity.blogspot.com/
Claude William Black, Jr. (1916-2009) graduated in 1937 from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, and earned a Master of Divinity degree at Andover Newton Theological School, Newton, MA, in 1943. In 1949, Black became pastor of the Mount Zion First Baptist Church, and served there for 49 years. Through the church, Black created many social service organizations, and started the first African American credit union in the city. In the 1950s and 1960s, Black and other African American community members staged peaceful, civil rights protests that led to integration of lunch counters, and other public spaces.
From 1973 -1977, Black was elected City Councilman for the City of San Antonio. He was invited by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966 to participate in the White House Conference on Civil Rights and by President Bill Clinton in 1995 to participate in the White House Conference on Aging.
ZerNona Stewart Black (1906-2005) worked extensively with service organizations, with Reverend Black in civil rights activities. Originally from Muskogee, Oklahoma, a YWCA assignment in 1943 brought her to San Antonio to run the first local Negro USO Club. She was an educator, teaching college courses and Mount Zion First Baptist Church bible school programs. She taught at Langston College in Langston, OK and at St. Philip’s College in San Antonio, two historically Black colleges.
The collection is currently undergoing large-scale digitization. The collection contains handwritten notes and sermons, and recorded audio and video of sermons, talks, and events. Scrapbooks, photographs, pamphlets, political ephemera, and newspaper clippings, correspondence, and memorabilia reveal the history of the African American community in San Antonio and surrounding areas. For information regarding the collection, please contact Donna Guerra, Project Archivist, at (210) 999-8003 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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