Black Women in the Middle West Project Collection

Institution: Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614
Phone: (312) 642-4600
Date: 1980-1985
Extent: 3.5 Linear Feet
Finding Aid
Access to this collection is restricted; please contact the holding institution for details.

Biographical/Historical Note:
The Black Women in the Middle West (BWMW) Project collected documentation on African American women and organizations in Illinois and Indiana. The project grew out of efforts of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), Indianapolis Section to collect materials (ca. 1977-1981). Darlene Clark Hine became project director and obtained funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to plan (ca. 1982-1983) and implement (ca. 1984-1985) the BWMW Project, whose collecting scope was expanded to include Indiana and Illinois. The project resulted in the publication of Black Women in the Middle West Project: A Comprehensive Resource Guide Illinois and Indiana (1986).

Scope and Content Note:
Correspondence, lists, publicity materials, and other records of the Black Women in the Middle West (BWMW) Project, a grant-funded project to document the lives of African American women and organizations in Illinois and Indiana and to encourage the donation of their historical records to research repositories. Includes files created by the project under the administration of Darlene Clark Hine, an academic historian and the project director; and through the participation of Emma J. Kemp, a Chicago librarian and one of the organizers of the project; and by Clementine Skinner, a school teacher and librarian who helped promote the project. Includes audio cassettes of radio broadcasts of interviews by Kemp and by Skinner publicizing the project. The collection also includes questionnaires and interviews completed by many women at workshops sponsored by the project, original historical items brought by the women to these workshops, and materials acquired through the efforts of project representatives Barbara A. Clark, Ida M. Cress, Emma J. Kemp, and Clementine A. Skinner, as well as the Black Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. This original documentation dating from about 1924 to 1985 includes biographical materials, correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, yearbooks, and brochures from a variety of people, including Ida Roberta Bell, Willa Saunders Jones, Mother Minnie Adams Norman, La Julia Rhea, Mattie Mae Rucker, Eunice Sims, Glennette Tilley Turner, the Black Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and others.

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