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James E. Campbell papers

 Collection
Identifier: AMN 1113

Collection Overview

This collection includes correspondence, writings, photographs, and other material documenting the personal, professional, and ideological interests of James E. Campbell.

1. Correspondence includes letters to Betty Shabazz and letters from the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee as well as professional correspondence relating to Campbell's involvement with the Education Committee of the Charleston branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as well as the South Carolina Algebra Project.

2. Professional Activities include material chiefly related to Campbell's career as an educator and school administrator in New York; his association with the Organization of Afro-American Unity's Liberation School; documentation of his tenure as an English teacher in Tanzania; and civic involvement related to educational issues in Charleston, South Carolina. A large portion of this series consists of printed material relating to the South Carolina Algebra Project, including transition curriculums and budgets; organizational materials, photographs, and a scrapbook related to Nelson Mandela's visit to New York in 1990; and pedagogical materials, including resource, teacher, and curriculum guides. Also included is material related to James E. Campbell's political and social activism.

3. Writings include poetry and original drafts of Campbell's written work.

4. Photographs include images of an Audubon Ballroom Rally attended by Malcolm X and Ella Lee-Little Collins, images of Nelson Mandela's 1990 visit to New York, and personal photographs.

5. Publications and Clippings include international, national, and local newsletters, publications, newspaper, and magazine clippings assembled by James E. Campbell that relate to his political, professional, and personal life. Newspaper and magazine clippings are heavily represented, a large portion of which relate to the life, death and legacy of Malcolm X. Other topics include education in South Carolina and the United States; South African political and social issues, including apartheid; African-American art, culture, and history; child welfare; economics and business; civil rights; and various issues in national and international politics.

6. Subject Files include interview transcripts of Malcolm X; materials relating to the DuBois Kenyatta Campbell Memorial Collection inauguration; and printed material relating to Jesse Jackson, South Africa, Central America and the Caribbean.

Dates

  • 1930-2009

Creator

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

James Eber Campbell was born in Charleston, South Carolina on July 31, 1925 to James and Eva Jones Campbell. He received his primary and secondary education at Immaculate Conception School in Charleston, South Carolina, and the Voorhees Normal and Industrial School in Denmark, South Carolina.

In 1943, Campbell was drafted into the Marine Corps and served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. After the war, Campbell attended Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland. His studies were interrupted by employment and two years of stateside service as an Army reservist during the Korean War. He then returned to Morgan State, where he graduated with a major in English and a minor in theatre in 1953. After graduation, Campbell taught elementary school in Baltimore and helped organize the Arena Players, the only continuously running black theatre company in the United States. During this time, Campbell became an active participant in the Civil Rights Movement.

In 1964, after relocating to New York City to teach, Campbell met Malcolm X, with whom he collaborated in creating the Organization of Afro-American Unity's Liberation School. He became a teacher for the New York City public school system and, during the summer, traveled to Mississippi and Georgia to register voters for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Campbell took graduate courses at the City University of New York from 1960 to 1967 and attended the Bank Street College of Education, where he earned a master's degree in Educational Administration and Supervision in 1972.

From 1970 to 1975, Campbell was a contributing editor to Freedomways, a quarterly journal devoted to African-American arts and culture.

From 1973 to 1982, Campbell taught English in Tanzania, first in Bihawana and later at the International School in Dar es Salaam. After teaching for nine years in Tanzania, Campbell returned to New York City to work as a school administrator until his retirement in 1991.

Throughout these years, Campbell collected a variety of monographs, pamphlets, and collected works that reflected his political and ideological interests and pursuits, including those on Marxism-Leninism (especially dialectical materialism), socialism, Pan-Africanism, Black Nationalism, African American literature, African literature in the late colonial period, freedom movements, and Afrocentric pedagogy.

After retirement, Campbell moved back to Charleston, South Carolina where, as of 2011, he remains active in local political and educational issues. Campbell has served as the state coordinator of the South Carolina Algebra Project, an advisory board member for the School of Education at the College of Charleston, and the chair of the Education Committee for the Charleston branch of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He has served as the national co-chairman of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism and has lead a socialist education project in Charleston.

James Campbell had three sons, Glenn, Gary, and Paul T. R., and one daughter, DuBois. As of 2011, he had four grandchildren: Urai Elaine Mitchell, Dylan Rivera, Jay Rivera, and DuBois M. V. Campbell. Campbell has regularly contributed to the Charleston County Public Library in honor of his daughter, the late DuBois Kenyatta Campbell.

SOURCES: (1) Frazier, Herb. James Campbell: Retired Educator, a Student of Life, Returns to His Past, The Post and Courier, July 23, 2005, F1 (2) James E. Campbell: Interview by Dana Campbell.

Extent

10.0 linear feet (20 archival boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

James E. Campbell (born 1925), an African-American educator and civil rights activist, worked as a teacher in Baltimore, Maryland; New York, New York; and Tanzania. He later became an administrator with the New York City public school system. Campbell also served as contributing editor for the journal Freedomways. Relocating after retirement, he became a community activist in Charleston, South Carolina and continued his involvement with educational initiatives. Throughout his life, Campbell has worked with organizations focused on socialism, Pan-Africanism, freedom struggles, and equity in education.

This collection includes correspondence, writings, photographs, and other material documenting the personal, professional, and ideological interests of James E. Campbell. Correspondence includes letters written by Campbell to Betty Shabazz, letters from the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee, and professional correspondence relating to Campbell's involvement with the Charleston branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the South Carolina Algebra Project. Photographs include images of an Audubon Ballroom Rally attended by Malcolm X and Ella Lee-Little Collins, images of Nelson Mandela's 1990 visit to New York, and personal photographs. Professional materials chiefly relate to Campbell's career as an educator and school administrator in New York; his association with the Organization of Afro-American Unity's Liberation School; documentation of his tenure as an English teacher in Tanzania; and civic involvement related to educational issues in Charleston, South Carolina. A large portion of this series consists of printed material relating to the South Carolina Algebra Project, including transition curriculums and budgets; organizational materials, photographs, and a scrapbook related to Nelson Mandela's visit to New York in 1990; and pedagogical materials. Also included is material related to James E. Campbell's political and social activism. Subject files include interview transcripts of Malcolm X and printed material relating to Jesse Jackson, South Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean. Publications and clippings include international, national, and local newsletters, publications, newspaper, and magazine clippings assembled by James E. Campbell. Newspaper and magazine clippings are heavily represented, a large portion of which relate to the life, death and legacy of Malcolm X. Other topics include education in South Carolina and the United States; South African political and social issues, including apartheid; African-American art, culture, and history; child welfare; economics and business; civil rights; and various issues in national and international politics. The collection also includes drafts of Campbell's poetry and other writings.

Collection Arrangement

1. Correspondence, 1965-2005

2. Professional Activities, 1963-1998

3. Writings, 1952-1966

4. Photographs, circa 1960s-1990

5. Publications and Clippings, 1930-2009

6. Subject Files, 1961-2009

Acquisitions Information

Received from James E. Campbell in May 1992, August 1992, January 1999, and April 2002.

Related Material

James E. Campbell Collection

Separated Material

The James E. Campbell Collection of monographs, pamphlets, and collected works has been separated and individually cataloged in the College of Charleston's online catalog.

Issues of Freedomways, of which James E. Campbell served as contributing editor, have been separated and individually cataloged in the College of Charleston's online catalog.

Special Formats

1113-OPF/1

Processing Information

Processed by Joshua Minor, May 2011

Encoded by Joshua Minor, June 2011

Edited by Jessica Farrell and Amanda Ross, June 2011

Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the collection processing and encoding of this finding aid.

Title
Inventory of the James E. Campbell Papers, 1930 - 2009 AMN 1113
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid prepared by Processed by: Joshua Minor; machine-readable finding aid created by: Joshua Minor
Description rules
DACS
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English
Sponsor
Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the collection processing and encoding of this finding aid.

Repository Details

Part of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture Repository

Contact:
125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States
843-953-7608