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The C.L. Dellums papers provide insight into Dellums' career as a civil rights activist and labor leader. They encompass files he maintained as both the International Vice-President of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and as a member of the Fair Employment Practices Commission. In addition, they include some biographical materials and associated artifacts.
Cottrell Laurence Dellums was born to William H. and Emma Dellums on January 3, 1900 in Corsicana, Texas. At age twenty-three, he moved to Oakland, California in an effort to escape the strict racial segregation prevalent in the South. His initial goal was to obtain a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley, but most African Americans in Oakland worked in the service sector as waiters, janitors, laborers, and railway porters. Realizing that he could not afford to attend law school on the salary of a service worker, Dellums abandoned this dream and started work as a Pullman porter in January 1924.
7.25 linear feet (14 boxes + 1 oversized box)
Permission to publish from the Cottrell Laurence Dellums Papers must be obtained from the African American Museum & Library at Oakland.
Collection is open to the public.