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Sacramento Observer records
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Collection Contents


Series 1. William and Kathy Lee Papers

Physical Description: 1 box

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series is made up of personal and professional correspondence and documents from the office of William Lee. Professional correspondence is related to Lee’s honors and awards, including a letter from Governor Ronald Reagan on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Sacramento Observer. Other correspondence and documents relate to Lee’s involvement with the NAACP, Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce, the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the West Coast Black Publishers Association, and the Afro American Festival (1969). Records and correspondence relating to financial issues are prevalent, including two files on financial and legal issues regarding Lee’s eldest son Roderick, who served as the music editor for “The Happenings,” the Sacramento Observer’s entertainment guide. This series is made up of 22 folders (one oversized), or approximately 0.75 cubic feet.
Box 1:1

Address Book undated

Box 1:2

Correspondence 1969-1986

Box 1:3

Lee Honors 1972-1983

Box 1:4

Lee correspondence 1974-1989

Box 5:5

Correspondence 1970-1986

Box 5:6

Correspondence NAACP 1980-1990

Box 5:7

Correspondence - Black Chamber of Commerce 1986-1989

Box 5:8

Black Organizations 1970-1991

Box 5:9

COMO Turner/NARCEPT 1973

Box 5:10

Correspondence and Financials 1974-1983

Box 5:11

Political Correspondence - Greater Sacramento 1969-1990

Box 5:12

West Coast Black Publishers Association undated

Box 5:13

National Newspaper Publishers Association 1971-1979

Box 5:14

West Coast Black Publishers 1983

Box 5:15

National Organizations 1968, 1982

Box 5:16

Appraisal of 1800 Broadway undated

Box 5:17

Afro-American Festival 1969

Box 5:18

Afro-American Festival 1969

Box 5:19

Miss Soul “69” Contest 1969

Box 5:20

Ten Best Dressed Women 1970

Box 5:21

Roderick Lee 1974-1977

Box 5:22

Bankruptcy Court Forms undated


Series 2. Sacramento Observer

Physical Description: 5 boxes

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains documents, photographs, ephemera, and media pertaining to the administration of the Sacramento Observer. It is organized in five subseries, as follows, and is made up of 77 folders, 10 special edition publications, and one box containing ephemera and miscellaneous media assets.

Subseries 2.1 Administrative Files 1969-1980

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries contains historical and background documents on the Sacramento Observer, general information, special issues materials, advertising materials, employee handbooks, staff photos, communications and form letters, subscription forms, and federal correspondence.
Box 1:23

History and Background undated

Box 1:24

The Stockton Observer 1970-1981

Box 1:25

Special Issues Materials 1969-1977

Box 1:26

General Information 1969-1988

Box 1:27

Advertising Materials 1961-1985

Box 1:28

Employee Info Booklet undated

Box 1:29

Form Letters undated

Box 1:30

Communications undated

Box 1:31

National Observer Staff Photos undated

Box 1:32

The “S.O.” undated

Box 1:33

San Joaquin, Stockton Materials 1990

Box 1:34

Federal Correspondence 1971, 1985

Box 1:35

Subscription Forms 1978

Box 1:36

Laugh Jam 1990


Subseries 2.2 Biographies 1967-1988

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries contains 26 folders of biographical files and photographs of politicians, entertainers, and business leaders – primarily African American – that were sent to William Lee.
Box 2:1

Biographies “A” S.B.C. undated

Box 2:2

Biographies “B” S.B.C. undated

Box 2:3

Bradley, Mayor Tom, 1983 Guburatorial Race 1983

Box 2:4

Broussard, Allen 1981

Box 2:5

Brown, Edmund G. 1978

Box 2:6

Brown, Willie 1980-1984

Box 2:7

Burke, Yvonne 1978

Box 2:8

Biographies “C” S.B.C. undated

Box 2:9

Carter, Jimmy 1977-1980

Box 2:10

Biographies “D” S.B.C. undated

Box 2:11

Biographies “E” S.B.C. undated

Box 2:12

Biographies “F” S.B.C. undated

Box 2:13

Biographies “G” S.B.C. undated

Box 2:14

Biographies “H” S.B.C. undated

Box 2:15

Biographies “J” S.B.C. undated

Box 2:16

Biographies “K” S.B.C. undated

Box 2:17

Biographies “L” S.B.C. undated

Box 2:18

Biographies “M” S.B.C. undated

Box 2:19

Biographies “N” S.B.C. undated

Box 2:20

Biographies “O” and “P” S.B.C. undated

Box 2:21

Biographies “R” S.B.C. undated

Box 2:22

Biographies “S” S.B.C. undated

Box 2:23

Biographies “T” S.B.C. undated

Box 2:24

Biographies “U” - “W” S.B.C. undated

Box 2:25

Williams, Reverend Cecil B. 1983

Box 2:26

Biographies “X” – “Z” S.B.C. undated


Subseries 2.3 Research files 1970s-1980s

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries contains 174 folders pertaining to Black businesses, Black entertainment and culture files, and biographical sketches of individuals in medicine, education, entertainment, business, and politics that were sent to Percy Pinkney, who was at the time the Special Assistant to Governor Jerry Brown. One oversized file contains court documents regarding the case of Rahman Jabul.
Box 2:27

Advertisers 1980-1988

Box 2:28

Africa 1971-1973

Box 2:29

AKA Debutante 1988

Box 2:30

20th Anniversary Program 1982

Box 2:31

Articles, Posters, Miscellaneous 1967-1982

Box 2:32

Autos & Dealers, SAC undated

Box 2:33

Billy Graham Crusade 1983

Box 2:34

Black Art undated

Box 2:35

“Black Business Hall of Fame” Program 1981

Box 2:36

Black Enterprise Magazine 1984-1985

Box 3:1

Black History Related 1972-1979

Box 3:2

Black Pictures (not original) undated

Box 3:3

Black Political Cartoons undated

Box 3:4

Bradley, Tom 1982

Box 3:5

Brown, Jerry undated

Box 3:6

Brown, Tony 1984

Box 3:7

Speaker Brown’s Letter 1984

Box 3:8

Tony Brown’s Journal 1986

Box 3:9

Brown, Tony 1982-1986

Box 3:10

100 Most Influential Blacks undated

Box 3:11

The Africans undated

Box 3:12

Adoption undated

Box 3:13

All Cities undated

Box 3:14

C. Alfred Anderson Awards undated

Box 3:15

Black Funeral Story undated

Box 3:16

[Black Newspapers] undated

Box 3:17

Black On-Air Talent undated

Box 3:18

[Black Press Releases] undated

Box 3:19

Black Political Caucus undated

Box 3:20

Black Political Leaders, Bios and Pics undated

Box 3:21

Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. undated

Box 3:22

Church Directory undated

Box 3:23

Communications undated

Box 3:24

[Coors] undated

Box 3:25

Crocker Art Museum undated

Box 3:26

California State Colleges undated

Box 3:27

Dallas, Texas undated

Box 3:28

Denver, Colorado undated

Box 3:29

Entertainment undated

Box 3:30

Faithful Working (Mission) Club undated

Box 3:31

Fashion Show 1978

Box 3:32

Fort Ord undated

Box 3:33

NBC “Generations” 2/9/1990

Box 3:34

Hacket, Benjamin, U.S.A.A. Rear Admiral undated

Box 3:35

Haley, George Willford Boyd undated

Box 3:36

Homeless undated

Box 3:37

Houston, Texas undated

Box 3:38

Jackson, Jesse undated

Box 3:39

Jackson, Jesse, news clippings undated

Box 3:40

Jackson, Leo undated

Box 3:41

Jackson, Warren undated

Box 3:42

James, Massengale undated

Box 3:43

Jazz Jubilee undated

Box 3:44

Jean-Juste, Reverend Gerard undated

Box 3:45

Jeffries, LeRoy undated

Box 3:46

Johnson, Charles W. undated

Box 3:47

Johnson, Grantland undated

Box 3:48

Johnson, Joseph undated

Box 3:49

Johnson, Toby undated

Box 3:50

Jones, Reverend A. Paul undated

Box 3:51

Jones, David G. undated

Box 3:52

Jones, P. Orlando undated

Box 3:53

Jordan, Barbara undated

Box 3:54

Judges undated

Box 3:55

“J” - Miscellaneous undated

Box 3:56

King, Jr., Martin Luther undated

Box 3:57

LaMotte, Jean undated

Box 3:58

Lane, Ella & Associates undated

Box 3:59

Lara, Edison (Ed) undated

Box 3:60

Lee, Charles R. Rev. (photos) undated

Box 3:61

Lee, William (resumes) undated

Box 3:62

Lewis, Joanne undated

Box 3:63

Los Rios Community undated

Box 3:64

“L” – Miscellaneous undated

Box 3:65

Manley, Michael undated

Box 4:1

Manufacturing undated

Box 4:2

Marks, Milton undated

Box 4:3

Marks, Margaret “Maggie” undated

Box 4:4

McClasky, Amie undated

Box 4:5

McCloskey, Pete undated

Box 4:6

McCauley, Harriette undated

Box 4:7

McGovern, George undated

Box 4:8

McNeil, Hayward undated

Box 4:9

Meeks, Larry undated

Box 4:10

Military undated

Box 4:11

Military undated

Box 4:12

Miller, John undated

Box 4:13

Milner, Thurman undated

Box 4:14

Minority Business undated

Box 4:15

Minneapolis undated

Box 4:16

Mitchell, Parren undated

Box 4:17

Mondale, Walter undated

Box 4:18

Moore, Gwen undated

Box 4:19

Moton, George undated

Box 4:20

“M” – Miscellaneous undated

Box 4:21

Nance, Don H. undated

Box 4:22

Newport, Gus undated

Box 4:23

Newton, Huey undated

Box 4:24

Noonan, Allan undated

Box 4:25

Norris, Trusse undated

Box 4:26

North Highlands undated

Box 4:27

Norton, Eleanor Holmes undated

Box 4:28

Norwood, Walter R. undated

Box 4:29

Nunn, Daniel undated

Box 4:30

City of Oakland undated

Box 4:31

Obledo, Mario undated

Box 4:32

Osborne, Len undated

Box 4:33

Oshin, William undated

Box 4:34

Owens, Major undated

Box 4:35

Pannell, Sam undated

Box 4:36

Parr, Ray undated

Box 4:37

Patterson, Clarence J. “C.J.” undated

Box 4:38

Patterson, Lucy undated

Box 4:39

Payne, Ethel undated

Box 4:40

Payton, M.D., Sarah undated

Box 4:41

Peterson, Del Roy undated

Box 4:42

Pierce, Jr., Samuel -HUD Secretary undated

Box 4:43

Pinkney, Percy undated

Box 4:44

Portland, Oregon undated

Box 4:45

“P” – Miscellaneous undated

Box 4:46

Queen Ida undated

Box 4:47

Ramey, Felicenne H. undated

Box 4:48

Rangel, Charles B. - Congressman undated

Box 4:49

Ray, Vance undated

Box 4:50

Reagan, Ronald – Governor undated

Box 4:51

Relles, Ross N. undated

Box 4:52

Riggins, Lester undated

Box 4:53

Riles, Jr., Wilson undated

Box 4:54

Real Estate undated

Box 4:55

Roberts, George undated

Box 4:56

Robie, Lynn – Sacramento City Councilman undated

Box 4:57

Rodeo undated

Box 4:58

Rowe, Donald R. undated

Box 4:59

Rudin, Anne – Mayor of Sacramento undated

Box 4:60

Russell, Ida undated

Box 4:61

“R” – Miscellaneous undated

Box 4:62

Saar, Betye undated

Box 4:63

Sacramento Area Businesses and Personalities undated

Box 4:64

San Jose, California undated

Box 4:65

Sanders, Teola undated

Box 4:66

Sanford, Isabel undated

Box 4:67

Scott, Annie undated

Box 4:68

Scott, Frank undated

Box 4:69

Serna, Joe – Mayor of Sacramento undated

Box 4:70

Sheedy, Ted – Sacramento County Supervisor undated

Box 4:71

Shell, Ernest undated

Box 4:72

Shelton, Phrasel L. - Judge undated

Box 4:73

Shepard, Huey P. - Judge undated

Box 4:74

Shindana Toys undated

Box 4:75

Sifford, Charlie - Assemblyman undated

Box 4:76

Simon, Leonard undated

Box 4:77

Smith, Jr., Archie M. – Reverend Dr. undated

Box 4:78

Smith, Dwan undated

Box 4:79

Smith, Joshua L. undated

Box 4:80

Smith, J.R. undated

Box 4:81

Smith, Myrene R. undated

Box 4:82

Smith, Willard B. undated

Box 4:83

Speraw, Ollie - Senator undated

Box 4:84

Stewart, George undated

Box 4:85

Stokes, Louis - Congressman undated

Box 4:86

“S” – Miscellaneous undated

Box 4:87

Terry, Ruth Ann undated

Box 4:88

Thomas, Debi – Ice Skating undated

Box 4:89

Thompson, Daniel E. - Councilman undated

Box 4:90

Thompson, Jerri undated

Box 4:91

Towns, Edolphus “Ed” undated

Box 4:92

Transportation undated

Box 4:93

Travis, Benjamin - Judge undated

Box 4:94

Tucker, Curtis R. - Assemblyman undated

Box 4:95

Tucker, Marcus O.- Judge undated

Box 4:96

Turner, James Edward undated

Box 4:97

Tutu, Desmond - Bishop undated

Box 4:98

Tyler, Jr., Sherman L. undated

Box 4:99

“T” – Miscellaneous undated

Box 4:100

Waters, Maxine - Assemblywoman undated


Subseries 2.4 Special editions 1970-1990

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries contains 10 special edition publications from the Observer publishers, including Christmas Edition 1970; Equal Opportunity Edition 1979; the Reno Observer 1979; School and Career Guide 1980; Martin Luther King Jr. Special 1984 and 1990; Black Businesses 1985 and 1989; and Entertainment 1985 and 1990. Folders are organized chronologically.
Box 4:101

Christmas 1970

Box 4:102

Equal Opportunity 1979

Box 4:103

Reno Observer 1979

Box 4:104

School and Career Guide 1980

Box 4:105

Martin Luther King Jr. Special 1984

Box 4:106

Black Business 1985

Box 4:107

Entertainment 1985, 1990

Box 4:108

Black Business 1989

Box 4:109

Black Business 1989

Box 4:110

Martin Luther King Jr. Special 1990


Subseries 2.5. Ephemera and media 1972-2009

Subseries Scope and Content Summary

This subseries contains five folders and ephemera (six assets) from the Sacramento Observer offices, including Observer press passes, letterhead, tear sheets, notepads, envelopes, tickets to the Sacramento Observer’s Tenth Anniversary Testimonial and Benefit Dinner (1972), staff ID cards, a stone pen holder belonging to Dr. William Lee, a political button, Sacramento Observer binder and calendar holder, and newspaper carrier signage. Media includes loose/unlabeled photographic negatives and slides, a bag containing 25 partial rolls of film (labeled, possibly undeveloped), two 7” vinyl records, and four boxes of 8” IBM floppy diskettes (labeled). This subseries also contains two binders containing a handwritten inventory of the collection created by Lilburn H. Horton Jr., the donor of the collection.
Box 5:1

Negatives undated

Box 5:2

Slides undated

Box 5:3

Miscellaneous 1972-1978

Box 5:4

Seller’s Inventory 2009

Box 5:5

Seller’s Binder undated

Box 5:5

Four Boxes, 7” IBM floppy diskettes undated

Box 5:5

Bag containing 25 partial rolls of film undated

Box 5:5

Stone pen holder undated

Box 5:5

Button undated

Box 5:5

Sacramento Observer binder undated

Box 5:5

Sacramento Observer leather calendar holder undated


Series 3. Reference publications 1967-1989

Physical Description: 1 box

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series consists of publications regarding Black history, culture, business, and politics, as well as educational resources on African-American and African culture. It includes issues of The Black Scholar, Lincoln Review, Crisis, Negro History Bulletin, Tony Brown’s Journal, and National Black Monitor. Educational resources include study guides, The Black Collegian, and guides to Black public colleges; business publications like Black business guides, the Las Vegas Black Directory, the Greater Los Angeles Black Book, Spectrum: National Association of Black Accountants, the Bay Area Black Pages, California Black Business Directory, Black Enterprise magazine, Black Business News, and multiple Sacramento-specific publications; and catalogs from Black conferences and meetings, primarily held in the Sacramento area, and Sacramento black church publications.
Box 6:1

Africa 1969-1973

Box 6:2

Black business 1973-1989

Box 6:3

Black charities 1975


Black churches, SAC undated

Box 6:5

Black Conferences/Meetings 1969-1971

Box 6:6

Black Culture 1971-1983

Box 6:7

Black Entertainment 1976-1985

Box 6:8

Black Europe 1972

Box 6:9

Black History 1968-1971

Box 6:10

Black History Calendars 1971-1984

Box 6:11

Black Literature n.d.

Box 6:12

Black Men 1985-1988

Box 6:13

Black Muslims n.d.

Box 6:14

Black History Calendars 1971-1984

Box 6:15

Black Publications 1971-1982

Box 6:16

Black Publishers 1969-1984

Box 6:17

Black Statistics 1980-1983

Box 6:18

Black Women 1971-1984

Box 6:19

Civil Rights 1968-1987

Box 6:20

Higher Education 1969-1971

Box 6:21

Miscellaneous 1969-1989

Box 6:22

Negro History Bulletin 1967-1973

Box 6:23

Nigeria 1970


Series 4. Sacramento Observer production photo morgue 1964-1988

Physical Description: 14 boxes

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series comprises original black and white photographs from each weekly issue of the Sacramento Observer spanning July 23, 1964, to August 25, 1988. Photographs are organized in folders chronologically by issue, and in most cases, are accompanied by a copy of the published edition of the paper. Additionally, there are folders containing production prints from “The Happenings,” the Sacramento Observer’s entertainment issue.
Box 7

Weekly Issues 7/23/1964-6/24/1971

Box 8

Weekly Issues 7/1971-7/20/1972

Box 9

Weekly Issues 7/27/1972-8/2/1973

Box 10

Weekly Issues 8/7/1973-7/11/1974

Box 11

Weekly Issues 7/18/1974-5/1/1975

Box 12

Weekly Issues 5/8/1975-11/25/1976

Box 13

Weekly Issues 12/17/1976-2/22/1979

Box 14

Weekly Issues 5/1979-3/14/1983

Box 15

Weekly Issues 3/31/1983-7/26/1984

Box 16

Weekly Issues 8/9/1984-8/8/1985

Box 17

Weekly Issues 8/15/1985-10/9/1986

Box 18

Weekly Issues 10/16/1986-8/27/1987

Box 19

Weekly Issues 9/10/1987-3/17/1988

Box 20

Weekly Issues 3/24/1988-8/25/1988


Series 5. Sacramento Observer photographs

Physical Description: 5 boxes
Box 21

Subseries 5.1 Alphabetical undated

Box 22

Subseries 5.2 Sports 1969-1977

Box 23-25

Unsorted photographs undated