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Blackstock, Nelson papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement
  • Processing Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Custodial History
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Nelson Blackstock Biographical Note
  • Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC) Historical Note
  • Related Collections

  • Contributing Institution: Holt Labor Library at CSU Dominguez Hills
    Title: Nelson Blackstock papers
    Creator: Blackstock, Nelson, 1944-
    Identifier/Call Number: HLL.2019.016
    Physical Description: .83 Linear Feet
    Physical Description: 3 boxes
    Date (inclusive): 1963-2006, undated
    Abstract: This collection comprises the papers of Nelson Blackstock, a former Civil Rights activist who as involved with the Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC), the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and various other student-led political organizations in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. He was also a journalist and editor who was at one time a managing editor of The Militant. The collection includes newspaper clippings, conference agendas, minutes, reports and resolutions, newsletters, and flyers regarding the S, the and notes and manuscripts for political lectures.
    Language of Material: Collection material is in English.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection comprises conference agendas, programming statements, minutes, proposals, reports, resolutions and newsletters reflecting the activities and statuses of the Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC) and the organization's collaboration with the Georgia State College Committee on Social Issues. The Student Voice, a newsletter published by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is present, as are newspaper clippings and a proposed agenda demonstrating the collaboration between the Highland Folk Center and the SNCC. Leaflets, flyers, press releases, and bulletins regarding the Quebec-Washington-Guantanamo peace walk, which was sponsored by the Committee for Nonviolent Action (CNVA), and bulletins published by the War Resisters League regarding the CNVA are included, in addition to statements and reports regarding civil liberties violated in Albany, Georgia during the peace walk. The collection also contains newspaper clippings and flyers concerning nonviolent demonstrations organized by Georgia Students for Human Rights, newsletters reflecting the Southeastern Walden Pool community, which was interested in planning a Walden Two community, a newsletter published by the Southern Labor Action Movement (SLAM), and an edition of the New Left Notes newspaper published by the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) regarding the SLAM.
    The collection also includes newspaper clippings and bulletins about the Audio Digest Foundation and Internal Medicine and Orthopedics magazine, as well as clippings of articles Blackstock wrote for The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and Urology Times. Clippings of articles written by Blackstock for Digital Audio Compact Disc Review, CD Review, and The Militant are present, as is an undesignated certificate of membership for the Society of Technical Communication. The collection also comprises notes and typescripts of lectures given by Nelson Blackstock at various Militant Labor Forums at the Pathfinder Bookstore in Los Angeles, California, in addition to flyers and newspaper clippings advertising the events. Resumes reflecting Blackstock's editorial and journalistic career are also included.


    The papers are arranged in two series: Series I. Southern political organizing activities, 1963-1965, undated; Series II. Writings and political lectures, 1979-2006, undated.

    Processing Information

    Allison Ransom processed the collection and wrote the finding aid in ArchivesSpace in April 2020.

    Preferred Citation

    For information about citing archival material, see the Citations for Archival Material  guide, or consult the appropriate style manual.

    Custodial History

    The Nelson Blackstock papers were donated to the Holt Labor Library in San Francisco, California between 2006 and 2019, and were acquired by the Gerth Archives and Special Collections at California State University, Dominguez Hills, in 2019.

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open for research except for one file of restricted college transcripts.

    Conditions Governing Use

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Nelson Blackstock Biographical Note

    Nelson Blackstock was born into a working-class family in 1944. He attended grammar school in Mountain View, Georgia, high school in Forest Park, Georgia, and was interested in the history of the South and the Civil War from an early age. He was part of the first de-segregated freshman class that was admitted to the Univeristy of Georgia in 1962. In 1963, he became interested in the civil rights movement when he met someone who was a part of the Committee for Nonviolent Action's Quebec-Washington-Guantanamo Peace Walk speak at the University. Blackstock participated in the sit-in movement at various Atlanta restaurants, during which he met college students from Georgia Tech, Emory University, and Atlanta University with whom he helped found the Georgia Students for Human Rights. He was a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and was active in the organization's White Folks Project, which was launched in Biloxi, Mississippi and sought to bring poor white people into the civil rights movement. Some members of the Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC) were involved with the project as well. Blackstock attended the founding meeting of the SSOC in Knoxville, Tennessee at the Highland Folk Center where members discussed organizing miners in Harlan County, Kentucky. Although Blackstock was not a member of the SSOC, he was closely affiliated with it and drew cartoons for SSOC publications. After dropping out of the University of Georgia, he later enrolled at Georgia State University where he established the Committee on Social Issues. Blackstock joined the Young Socialist Alliance (YSA) in February 1967, helped set up a YSA chapter in Georgia, and also worked in the national office of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). In addition, Blackstock was a writer for and managing editor of The Militant, an editor and writer for Pathfinder Press, and was a technical writer specializing in medicine. Blackstock was involved with the Pathfinder Bookstore in Los Angeles, where he gave lectures on many political topics as part of the Militant Labor Forum. Blackstock also wrote the book Cointelpro : The FBI's War on Political Freedom, which was published by Pathfinder Press in 1988.

    Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC) Historical Note

    The Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC) aimed to connect small activist groups throughout the South that focused on civil rights, opposition to the Vietnam War, labor organizing, and women's rights. The organization held workshops with the Southern Project of the National Student Association, and organized conferences about reforming the university and migrant farm labor, among other topics. The SSOC published The New South Student, The Phoenix, The New Rebel newsletters, in addition to various pamphlets. The SSOC became a fraternal organization of the SDS and acted as a "nerve center" for the SDS's organizing activities in the South. Although the SSOC was formed with the intention of being a comprehensive organization that included students from all races and backgrounds in matters regarding the civil rights movement, opposition to the Vietnam War, and the Chicano and Women's movement, the organization was largely composed of white college students.

    Related Collections

    HLL.2019.002, Berta Green Langston papers, 1958-2005; HLL.2019.003, Marjorie and Paul Colvin papers, 1957-1991; HLL.2019.004, William and Beatrice Eisman papers, 1964-2005; Thomas F. Barton papers, 1964-2015; Jim Hamilton papers, 1962-2012.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Civil rights movements -- Georgia -- Atlanta -- 20th century -- Atlanta (Ga.) -- 20th century
    Student movements -- Political activity -- Southern States
    Journalism -- Political aspects -- United States
    Journalism, Medical
    Student movements
    Civil rights
    African Americans -- Civil rights -- Southern States