Guide to the Lawrence P. Crouchett Papers

Marianne Carden
African American Museum and Library at Oakland
659 14th Street
Oakland, California 94612
Phone: (510) 637-0198
Fax: (510) 637-0204
© 2013
African American Museum and Library at Oakland. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Lawrence P. Crouchett Papers

Collection number: MS 7

African American Museum and Library at Oakland

Oakland, California
Processed by:
Marianne Carden
Date Completed:
Encoded by:
Sean Heyliger
© 2013 African American Museum and Library at Oakland. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Lawrence P. Crouchett papers
Dates: 1909-1990
Bulk Dates: 1961-1990
Collection number: MS 7
Collection Size: 1.25 linear foot (3 boxes)
Repository: African American Museum and Library at Oakland (Oakland, Calif.)
Oakland, CA 94612
Abstract: The Lawrence P. Crouchett Papers encompass materials documenting Crouchett's role as an historian, social activist, teacher, and administrator between 1960 and 1989.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


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 Lawrence P. Crouchett Papers must be obtained from the African American Museum and Library at Oakland.

Preferred Citation

Lawrence P. Crouchett papers, MS 7, African American Museum and Library at Oakland, Oakland Public Library. Oakland, California.

Acquisition Information

These papers were donated to the Northern California Center for Afro-American History and Life upon Crouchett's death on May 11,1993.

Processing Information

Papers were processed by Marianne Carden on May 20, 1995. Finding aid was revised and container list verified by Sean Heyliger, 01/16/2013.

Biography / Administrative History

Lawrence P. Crouchett was born on March 18, 1922 in Beaumont, Texas. After graduation from Hebert High School, he enlisted in the United States Army and served in the M25th Infantry until 1945. Upon his honorable discharge, Crouchett enrolled at Tillotson College in Austin, Texas, where he served as President of the Black History Club, Youth NAACP leader, and Student Body President. He also participated in college athletics, playing for two years as varsity quarterback, one year on the basketball team, and three years on the baseball team. Upon his graduation with honors, Crouchett received a Bachelor's degree in History with a minor in Political Science.
Racial violence in the South eventually prompted Crouchett to move to California, where he began attending the University of San Francisco Law School. Financial problems forced him to drop out after one and a half years. During the late fifties, Crouchett taught economics and history in Berkeley and in the North Richmond area. His contributions were honored through election to the office of President of the California Teacher's Association in Richmond in 1960. Crouchett also worked as a KDIA radio announcer and won the John Swett award for his program, Issues on Education.
In 1962, Crouchett joined the faculty of Diablo Valley College as an instructor of United States History. As an historian and educator, Crouchett prepared extensive bibliographies on African American history and through lectures and publications. Crouchett worked to integrate ethnic studies into the general education curriculum of public schools and colleges through the preparation of teacher's handbooks and the revision of curricular and instructional programs. Crouchett also served on the editorial committee of the Boule Journal, a publication of the Alpha Gamma Boule fraternity, and prepared articles highlighting the achievements of such African Americans as Assemblyman William Byron Rumford, Judge Allen E. Broussard, and Percy H. Steele. In recognition of his achievements, Crouchett received the Outstanding Educator in America award in 1971.
Crouchett eventually received a promotion to the position of Director of Special Programs and Services at Diablo Valley College. This appointment allowed him to utilize research he conducted as part of his graduate studies in Higher Education Administration at U.C. Berkeley. His dissertation, The Relationship of Ethnic Studies Programs to the Potential Renewal of Interest in General Education prompted him to become involved in revising the ethnic studies component of programs at Diablo Valley College. Crouchett also participated in the development of an affirmative action program at Diablo Valley College. As Director of Special Programs and Services, he oversaw services for handicapped students, financial aid, health services, the Associated Students, and the Learning Center.
After his retirement on July 1,1983, Crouchett continued his work as a scholar and promoter of African American pride and awareness through historical study. He became Director of the Northern California Center for Afro-American History and Life in 1988 and obtained funding for the preparation of an exhibition on African American contributions to the development of the East Bay. The exhibit, Visions Toward Tomorrow: The History of the East Bay Afro-American Community, 1852-1977, drew 50,000 people to the Oakland Museum.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Lawrence P. Crouchett Papers document Crouchett's role as an historian, social activist, teacher, and administrator between 1960 and 1989. The biographical series includes newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and correspondence detailing Crouchett's life and work. Also included in the papers are class syllabi, handbooks, teaching guides, and articles related to his work as an educator. The papers also provide insight into programs Crouchett instituted as Director of the Office of Special Programs and Services and include pamphlets documenting the Math-Science Institute for Minorities, early affirmative action measures, and artist-in-residence programs.
Crouchett's interest in the history of African Americans on the West Coast and in the relationship between ethnic studies and general education are documented in writings, speeches, and research notes. The papers encompass drafts and final copies of articles he wrote for various journals. The papers also contain several examples of speeches given by Crouchett on white racism, the black experience in the West, and the black intellectual heritage. Crouchett's research materials also include bibliographies and handbooks he compiled to assist history teachers in integrating African American history into their general curriculum.


Series I. Biographical Series II. Diablo Valley College Series III. Research files Series IV. Museum activities Series V. Oral history interviews

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Diablo Valley College.
Crouchett, Lawrence P.
African American educators.

Collection Contents



Physical Description: 3 folders

Series Scope and Content Summary

Consists of pamphlets, correspondence, and a photograph which provide biographical information about Crouchett.


Arranged by format and thereafter by date.
Box 1:1

Pamphlets 1972-1993

Box 1:2

Correspondence 1967-1978

Box 1:3

Photograph of Crouchett undated


Diablo Valley College

Physical Description: 9 folders

Series Scope and Content Summary

Contains memos, correspondence, programs, and articles relating to Crouchett's tenure as Director of the this office in the 1970s and early 1980s, and class syllabi, handbooks, and teaching guides related to Crouchett's instruction.


Sub-series I. Office of Special Programs and Services Sub-series II. Teaching Activities

Office of Special Programs and Services

Box 1:4

Memoranda and correspondence 1971-1979

Box 1:5

Affirmative action reports and workshops 1972

Box 1:6

Artist-in-residence program 1977-1978

Box 1:7

Martin Luther King Jr. Day programs 1980

Box 1:8

Conferences and programs for minorities 1971-1973

Box 1:9

Consulting project, Philips Academy 1977


Teaching Activities

Box 1:10

Class syllabi undated

Box 1:11

Public speaking handbook grades 7-12: a course for summer sessions or unit for English classes 1961

Box 1:12

Teaching guide, Stockton USD, A study of the Negro in the historical development of the United States (biographical and topical approach) 1968


Research files

Physical Description: 23 folders

Series Scope and Content Summary

Sub-series I writings consists of drafts and final copies of articles Crouchett prepared for journals, as well as bibliographies, transcripts of speeches, and a script. Sub-series II notes contains files of articles, bibliographies, and handwritten notes Crouchett compiled while doing historical research.


Sub-series I. Writings Sub-series II. Notes


Box 2:1-2

Biographical articles for Boule Journal 1980-1987

Box 2:3

Draft, Early years of intellectual life among Black Oaklanders: a general overview undated

Box 2:4

Education essays 1969

Box 2:5

Ethnic studies essays 1974 and undated

Box 2:6

Race relation essays undated

Box 2:7

Bibliography: the Negro in U.S. history 1964-1965

Box 2:8-9

Bibliography: Afro-American history, culture, and education 1970

Box 2:10

Script, Life and Times of Louise Alce Gailbreath Johnson 1987

Box 2:11

Speeches 1969-1976


Research notes

Box 2:12-13

A.M.E. churches 1909-1990

Box 3:1

Baptist churches 1987

Box 3:2

Black maritime history 1983

Box 3:3-4

Blacks in Oakland, California circa 1987

Box 3:5

Blacks in politics undated

Box 3:6

Education undated

Box 3:7

Education and integration undated

Box 3:8

Women undated

Box 3:9

Assorted notes undated


Museum activities

Physical Description: 1 folder

Series Scope and Content Summary

Consists of one file of pamphlets, clippings, and notes relating to the design and preparation of the "Vision Toward Tomorrow" exhibit at the Oakland Museum in 1988.


Arranged chronologically.
Box 3:10

Visions of Tomorrow exhibit 1988-1989


Oral history interviews

Physical Description: 2 cassette tapes

Series Scope and Content Summary

Oral history interviews conducted by Dr. Lawrence Crouchett with assemblyman Byron Rumford and Patricia Griffith Hamilton and Joseph Griffin III.


Arranged chronologically.

Oral history interview with Byron Rumford circa 1980s


Oral history interview with Byron Rumford interviewed by Lawrence P. Crouchett. Part 1: FEPC [00:40], Introduction of National Guard bill [01:00], Introduction of FEPC bill [01:47], Writing the FEPC bill [02:16], Problems introducing FEPC [02:36], Support of labor and NAACP for FEPC [04:36], Gov. Pat Brown [05:08], C.L. Dellums [05:46], Franklin Williams [06:21], Opposition to FEPC [06:45], Joe Lewis [29:20], Early 1930s in Berkeley/decision to run for state assembly [31:09], Campaign manager Ben Watkins [35:50], Committee chairman D.G. Gibson [36:00], Black republicans [40:23], Central Committee of the Alameda County Democratic Party [42:00], Claude Allen/Berkeley Interracial Committee [44:25] Part II: Working as a pharmacist [15:11], Discrimination and trouble finding work as a pharmacist [16:47], First drugstore [22:06], Growing up in Phoenix, AZ [22:55], Discrimination in Phoenix, AZ [25:45], Rev. Caldwell and Rev. Faubus of the 2nd Ave. Baptist Church [26:45], Working at the Arizona Club [28:30]

Oral history interview with Patricia Griffith Hamilton and Joseph Griffith III about Richmond's Black community circa 1980s


Oral history interview with Patricia Griffith Hamilton and Joseph Griffith III about the black community in Richmond, California. Part I: Birth and early years in Richmond, CA [00:18], Father's work as a roofer in the 1930s [02:40], Early years in North Richmond in the 1930s [04:48], Movie theaters in Richmond, CA [05:45], Joseph Griffith III's early years in Richmond [06:10], Bull chasing [06:35], Fishing [08:12], Discrimination in schools [09:18], Black neighborhoods in Richmond, CA [10:50], Black businesses [11:14], Activities for blacks in Richmond, CA before WWII [12:43], Richmond Spiders Baseball team/Negro leagues [13:93], Richmond High School [15:38], Pre-WWII black population in Richmond, CA [16:33], Malbrooks [?], S.C. Rodgers, and Robinson families [19:00], Boxer Earl Turner [20:22], Ellison and Bonaparte families [21:55], Richmond during WWII [23:46], North Richmond's reputation [33:27], Black historic sites in Richmond (The Pink Kitchen) [38:53], Missionary Baptist Church [41:17] Part II: Impression of Richmond, CA today (how it has changed since the 1960s) [00:10], Extended black families in Richmond, CA [06:28], Stereotypes of Richmond, CA [09:00]