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Guide to the Maxine and Roy C. Blackburn Papers
MS 13  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Access Restrictions
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Custodial History
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Separated Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Maxine and Roy C. Blackburn papers
    Dates: 1915-1979
    Collection number: MS 13
    Collection Size: .25 linear feet (1 box)
    Repository: African American Museum and Library at Oakland (Oakland, Calif.)
    Oakland, CA 94612
    Abstract: The Maxine and Roy C. Blackburn Papers include clippings, correspondence, certificates, photographs, and programs relating to the lives and careers of Maxine Blackburn and her brother, Roy C. Blackburn.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access

    No access restrictions. Collection is open to the public.

    Access Restrictions

    Materials are for use in-library only, non-circulating.

    Publication Rights

    Permission to publish from the Maxine and Roy C. Blackburn Papers must be obtained from the African American Museum and Library at Oakland.

    Preferred Citation

    Maxine and Roy C. Blackburn papers, MS 13, African American Museum and Library at Oakland, Oakland Public Library. Oakland, California.

    Acquisition Information

    Part of the collection of the Center for Afro-American History and Life.

    Custodial History

    Part of the collection of the Center for Afro-American History and Life.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Maxine Blackburn
    Born in Oakland and the sister of Roy, Sidney, and Gretchen Blackburn, Maxine Blackburn became a well-known musician in Oakland, California. As a child, she studied piano with Elmer F. Keeton and then went on to study at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She received an appointment as organist and choir director at Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church, a post she held for many years.
    Maxine participated in the formation and direction of many different musical groups in Oakland. In partnership with Beatrice Leacock, she performed in a piano duo program on the lunchtime concert program of radio station KLS. She also performed in an octet at the Women's City Club. In addition, Maxine helped to organize the United Choirs of Oakland and San Francisco, which gave monthly concerts at churches in the Bay Area. She also organized the Gospel Singers' Fellowship Circle on March 19,1943 at St. Paul's AME church in Berkeley. Designed to establish links between church choirs, this group also gave performances throughout the Bay Area.
    Maxine Blackburn died on September 25,1975.
    Roy C. Blackburn
    An Oakland native, Roy C. Blackburn attended the University of California at Berkeley. During the early 1930s, he worked as Langston Hughes's secretary. He became a clerk and worked for the State Relief Administration and was appointed Director of Negro Publicity for the World's Fair in Los Angeles. After fulfilling this post, Blackburn began serving as the Pacific Coast Manager for the African-American tenor, Roland Hayes. He joined the Oakland Police Department in 1943 and worked as an administrator in the jail division for 27 years. In 1968, he won a special award for streamlining the bail-out process. He retired from the Oakland police force in 1970.
    Blackburn participated in many different political, charitable, and religious organizations in Oakland. He served as a member of the Republican State Convention in 1936 and as a leader of the Young Republican Movement in the East Bay. In addition, he was very active in the Alameda County Central Committee of the Republican Party. Blackburn also devoted many years of service to the Board of Trustees of First AME Church and to the Board of Directors of the Fannie Wall Children's Home, serving as president of the board for fifteen years.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Maxine and Roy C. Blackburn Papers include clippings, correspondence, certificates, photographs, and programs relating to the lives and careers of Maxine Blackburn and her brother, Roy C. Blackburn. Maxine's accomplishments as a pianist, organist, and choral director are documented in clippings and programs about various local concerts she participated in or organized. Roy's civic activities as a member of the Republican party and as a member of the Oakland Police Department are documented in newspaper clippings and pamphlets. The papers include correspondence received from Roland Hayes while he worked as his Pacific Coast Manager. Newspaper clippings also document Roy's role as Director of Negro Publicity for the 1939 World's Fair and as a clerk for the State Relief Administration in the late 1930s. A majority of the photographs are family and friends of the Blackburn family.

    Arrangement

    Series I. Maxine Blackburn Series II. Roy C. Blackburn Series III. Photographs

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Blackburn, Maxine, 1908-1975.
    Blackburn, Roy C., 1912-2000.
    Hayes, Roland, 1877-1977.
    African Americans--Music--1900-1940.

    Separated Material

    The New National Baptist Hymnal (1977), with the hymn Lead Me, Guide Me arranged by Maxine Blackburn, was placed in the African American Museum and Library at Oakland's library collection.