Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding Aid to the Cottrell Laurence Dellums Papers, 1920-1971
BANC MSS 72/132 c  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
The collection mainly represents C.L. Dellums' years as an International Vice President of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) and contains the organization's records, including correspondence, Executive Board meeting minutes, district administrative papers, agreements with railroad companies, convention proceedings, financial reports, porters' grievance cases and claims, membership information, publicity, and publications. There are also many materials from other organizations, institutions, and agencies relating to Dellums' involvement as a civil rights activist and labor leader. Of note are the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), California Fair Employment Practice Commission, The Pullman Company, and Southern Pacific Railroad Company. There are a few personal papers, including correspondence with family and personal property papers.
Cottrell Laurence Dellums was born in Corsicana, Texas and moved to Oakland, California as a young man. He worked for the Pullman Company as a sleeping car porter and observed the difficult working conditions and discrimination towards African Americans on the job. He joined A. Philip Randolph who formed the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) and became a union organizer and an International Vice President for the organization. Dellums became involved in the civil rights movement, eventually serving as the Western Regional Director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown to serve on the California Fair Employment Practice Commission. He participated in working for the passage of the California Fair Employment Practice Act, the first anti-discriminatory law in the country, and continued his involvement with racial discrimination cases in employment and housing. Dellums died in 1989 in Oakland, where later the Oakland Amtrak Station was dedicated in his name. He was also the uncle of Ron Dellums, who represented Oakland as Mayor and United States Congressman.
43 cartons, 15 boxes, 1 oversize-folder 59.80 linear feet
Collection is open for research.