The Hickerson Family Papers includes photographs, newspaper clippings, cards, programs, certificates, and musical scores related
to the Hickerson and Swayzee families and their friends. The papers also document the Hickerson Family's involvement with
the Oakland, CA First African Methodist Episcopal (First A.M.E.) Church and other Christian and civic organizations. The papers
are arranged in five series: Dorothy Harris Hickerson, Joseph W. Hickerson, Religious Activities, Assorted Print Material
and Publications. The photographs are arranged in four subseries: Dorothy Hickerson Harris, Family Portraits, First African
Methodist Episcopal (1st AME) Church, and Assorted.
Joseph William Hickerson (1883-1971) was born Wilkesboro, North Carolina. His first wife Florence Hickerson (née Swayze) (1888?-1944)
was born sometime in Louisiana between 1888-1890. They married in 1912 and had two daughters, Emma Hickerson (1913-1918) and
Dorothy Hickerson Harris (1916-1989). Emma died of pneumonia at the age of 5.
Both Joseph and Florence were members of the First African Methodist Episcopal (First AME) Church of Oakland, California and
of the Acacia Lodge no. 7 of the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge. In 1944 Florence died, however the family papers include no documentation
as to the cause of her death. Joseph later married Vivian A. Hickerson. Again, the family papers do not include documentation
of Vivian's maiden name or the date of the marriage. Vivian was married to Joseph at the time of his retirement in 1948.
Joseph worked for the United States Mint in San Francisco, California retiring in 1948. In interviews with local newspapers,
he expressed a desire to spend more time on his hobbies which included fishing and fixing toys for neighborhood children.
His memorial service took place at the First AME Church in 1971, and his pallbearers were members of the Brothers of the Acacia
During her youth, Dorothy was an active participant in the First AME church and the YWCA. She later became a member of the
California Association of Colored Women and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1950
she married Louis Harris at the First AME Church. Throughout her life, Dorothy remained a member of the First AME Church.
2.5 linear feet
(3 boxes + 1 oversized box)
Permission to publish from the Hickerson Family Papers must be obtained from the African American Museum & Library at Oakland.
No access restrictions. Collection is open to the public.