Guide to the Black Women Stirring the Waters Collection

Jennifer Pickens
African American Museum & Library at Oakland
659 14th Street
Oakland, California 94612
Phone: (510) 637-0198
Fax: (510) 637-0204
Email: aamlo@oaklandlibrary.org
URL: http://www.oaklandlibrary.org/locations/african-american-museum-library-oakland
© 2013
African American Museum & Library at Oakland. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Black Women Stirring the Waters Collection

Collection number: MS 152

African American Museum & Library at Oakland

Oakland, California
Processed by:
Jennifer Pickens
Date Completed:
2014-05-28
Encoded by:
Jennifer Pickens
© 2013 African American Museum & Library at Oakland. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Black Women Stirring the Waters Collection
Dates: 1982-1997
Bulk Dates: (bulk 1994-1997)
Collection number: MS 152
Creator: Black Women Stirring the Waters (Oakland, Calif.)
Creator: Butler, Mary Ellen, 1940-
Collection Size: .75 linear feet (2 boxes)
Repository: African American Museum & Library at Oakland (Oakland, Calif.)
Oakland, CA 94612
Abstract: The Black Women Stirring the Waters Collection includes contributing authors’ manuscripts and correspondence, history and records of the group, and audio recordings. The collection documents the creation of the organization’s 1997 publication, Black Women Stirring the Waters .
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 Black Women Stirring the Waters Collection must be obtained from the African American Museum & Library at Oakland.

Preferred Citation

Black Women Stirring the Waters collection, MS 152, African American Museum & Library at Oakland, Oakland Public Library. Oakland, California.

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to the African American Museum & Library at Oakland on February 23, 2004 by Mary Ellen Butler.

Processing Information

Processed by Jennifer Pickens, May 21, 2014.

Biography / Administrative History

Black Women Stirring the Waters is a black women’s discussion group founded in 1984 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The group was conceived by Clara Stanton Jones, the first African American to head the public library of a major city and the first African American president of the American Library Association, and Aileen Clarke Hernandez, activist, and former President of the National Organization for Women (NOW). The group was organized with no formal structure, no taboo subjects, and no requirements for membership other than an interest in the dialog. Black Women Stirring the Waters takes its name from a quote attributed to the 19th century abolitionist, Sojourner Truth. The group has a large roster of members from six Bay Area counties ranging in age from mid-twenties to mid-nineties; bi-monthly meetings are held to discuss the perspectives of black women on a multitude of subjects. In 1997, forty-four members of the group published a collection of autobiographical memoirs discussing ways they have dealt with obstacles and have grown in their lives and careers.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Black Women Stirring the Waters Collection includes contributing authors’ manuscripts and correspondence, history and records of the group, and audio recordings. The collection documents the creation of the organization’s 1997 publication, Black Women Stirring the Waters . Records include each author’s original manuscript and drafts for the publication, including any correspondence between the authors and Mary Ellen Butler, compiler and editor of the book. Documents include a conference agenda from the group’s inception and newspaper clippings publicizing the book’s release. The collection is arranged into four series: 1) Author manuscripts and correspondence, 2) organization history and records, 3) audiocassettes, and 4) published material.

Arrangement

Series I. Author manuscripts and correspondence Series II. Organization history and records Series III. Audiocassettes Series IV. Published material

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
African American women--California--History.
African American women--Societies and clubs.
African Americans--California--History.
African American authors--Biography.
African American women--Biography.

Butler, Mary Ellen. 1997. Black Women Stirring the Waters. Oakland, Calif: Marcus Books.

Collection Contents

 

Authors manuscripts and correspondence

Physical Description: 43 folders

Series Scope and Content Summary

Includes manuscripts and drafts, Permission to Publish forms, correspondence, and biographical information.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically.
Box 1:1

Alexander, Gaynelle 1996-1997

Box 1:2

Bennett, Celestine C. T. 1994-1997

Box 1:3

Broussard, Maybelle 1994-1997

Box 1:4

Butler, Mary Ellen 1994-1997

Box 1:5

Cannon, Barbara E. M. 1994-1997

Box 1:6

Catlett, Frances Dunham 1985, 1996-1997

Box 1:7

Crossley, Elaine Sherman 1994-1997

Box 1:8

Davis, Wanda 1994-1997

Box 1:9

Dones, Inez 1994

Box 1:10

Ford, Marcella 1994-1997

Box 1:11

French, Barbara Louis Carlisle 1997

Box 1:12

Furlow, Julia Savage 1994-1997

Box 1:13

Green, Phyllis Strong 1996-1997

Box 1:14

Goddard, Nettye 1989, 1997

Box 1:15

Hernandez, Aileen Clarke 1994-1997

Box 1:16

Irvin, Dona 1994-1997

Box 1:17

Johnson, Eloise McKinney 1997

Box 1:18

Johnson, Irma 1994-1997

Box 1:19

Jones, Clara Stanton 1996-1997

Box 1:20

Lampley, Norma Mosley 1994-1997

Box 1:21

Ludlow, Susie Nickens 1994-1997

Box 1:22

Martin, Morrelle Lyles 1994-1997

Box 1:23

Mixon, Portia 1996-1997

Box 1:24

Morris, Effie Lee 1992, 1996-1997

Box 1:25

O’Brien, Thelma V. 1995-1997

Box 1:26

Patterson, Dorothy 1994-1997

Box 1:27

Patterson, Tracy 1994-1997

Box 1:28

Payne, Zenobia K. 1995-1997

Box 1:29

Pierce, Marie Turner 1994-1997

Box 1:30

Pitts, Dorothy Waller 1994-1997

Box 1:31

Roberson, Ruby Jean 1996-1997

Box 1:32

Robinson, Audrey 1997

Box 1:33

Robinson, Josephine 1994-1997

Box 1:34

Rose, Virginia Craft 1994-1997

Box 1:35

Royal, Alice 1994-1997

Box 1:36

Semmons, Dena Hurst 1994-1997

Box 1:37

Thornton, Dr. Shirley A. 1997

Box 1:38

Traylor, Margaret 1994-1997

Box 1:39

Washington, Alice 1994-1997

Box 1:40

Washington, Mary Parks 1997

Box 1:41

Williams, Sadie 1997

Box 1:42

Williams, Valena Minor 1997

Box 1:43

Wilson, Lucy Wood 1994

 

Organizational history and records

Physical Description: Five folders + diskettes

Series Scope and Content Summary

Historical documentation of the creation of Black Women Stirring the Waters , including a written manuscript of the book’s front matter, newspaper clippings, correspondence, conference agenda, ephemera, and diskettes.

Arrangement

Arranged by format.
 

History

Box 2:1

Manuscript and drafts of Black Women Stirring the Waters: A Brief History 1997

Box 2:1

Meeting minutes 1995

Box 2:1

Blank membership survey 1995

Box 2:1

Meeting guidelines undated

Box 2:2

Newspaper clippings 1998

Box 2:4

Press releases circa 1997

Box 2:4

Lists of contributors and project committee 1997

 

Correspondence

Box 2:3

Permission to publish contract undated

Box 2:3

Letter of understanding between Mary Ellen Butler and Valena Minor Williams 1997

Box 2:1

Note from Aileen to Valena regarding edits undated

Box 2:3

Letters about book layout 1997

Box 2:3

Letters about writing the history statement 1997

Box 2:3

Publication announcement to distributor 1997

Box 2:3

Grant request 1996

 

Ephemera

Box 2:5

Notes and receipts undated

Box 2:1

Promotional flyer undated

Box 2

Conference agenda 1982

 

Diskettes

Box 2

Backup of files undated

 

Audiocassettes

Physical Description: Three audiocassettes

Series Scope and Content Summary

Oral history interviews of Portia Mixon and Audrey Gibson Robinson. Recording of a church service at Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church in Oakland, CA with a sermon by Reverend Marie Pierce.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically
Box 2

Mixon, Portia circa 1994

Box 2

Pierce, Reverend Marie 1994

Box 2

Robinson, Audrey Gibson 1994

Box 2

Published material 1997

Physical Description: One volume

Series Scope and Content Summary

Signed copy of Black Women Stirring the Waters