Brownie Lee Jones Correspondence

Collection Number: 5547m

Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
Brownie Lee Jones Correspondence, 1948-1976
Collection Number:
5547m
Creator:
Jones, Brownie Lee;
Barker, Mary
Quantity:
1 file folder.
Forms of Material:
Correspondence.
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
Photocopies of correspondence between Brownie Lee Jones and Mary C. Barker, advisor to the Southern School for Workers, as well as suggested questions for an interview with Jones in 1976.
Language:
Collection material in English


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Brownie Lee Jones served as director of the Southern School for Workers (originally named the Southern Summer School for Women Workers) from 1944 until the school's dissolution in 1950. Although originally established exclusively for the labor education of women workers, and the school began admitting male workers in 1938. By the end of the Second World War, however, many of the functions performed by the Southern School were being taken over by the national labor organizations, thus diminishing demand for the school's services. In response, the school, under the leadership of Jones, began to diversify its activities, particularly moving into the field of civil rights. The school closed in 1950 as a result of financial insolvency (1949-1951).

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Collection consists of photocopies of correspondence between Brownie Lee Jones and Mary C. Barker, advisor to the Southern School for Workers.
Includes discussion of financial stability of the Southern School for Workers (SSW); ability of school to attract donations; placement of labor educators in North and South Carolina; "reaction" engulfing the South; work of school in promoting interracial cooperation, such as Civil Rights Committee in Richmond; schools support for anti-segregation legislation and growing animosity of political right to the school; CIO labor education school in Maryland; recruiting of blacks in Virginia; reluctance of white workers to work with black workers; SSW school on government in Washington, D.C.; contributions from various unions; and loss of foundation support.
Other matters discussed include helping workers become qualified to vote; aiding union committees to work on political and legislative action; political orientation of Brownie Lee Jones; position of blacks in southern labor movement; stronger support of SSW from black workers than white; declining support by national unions for SSW activities; Highlander School removed from "approved" list by CIO; cutting staff; possibility of closing SSW and allowing unions to take up entire burden of labor education; support for Labor Extension Bill; various educational activities of Jones and her assistant, Polly Jones; assistance to United Labor Committee in Durham; poll tax campaign in Virginia; refusal of SSW to discriminate against unions branded as communist, resulting in CIO unions refusing to contribute to school; closing of school in 1950; and plans of Jones to work as volunteer for NAACP.
SUBJECTS

Names:
Barker, Mary C.
Jones, Brownie Lee
Jones, Polly.
Southern School for Workers.
Highlander School.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Congress of Industrial Organizations (U.S.). b Labor Education School.

Subjects:
African Americans -- Employment--Virginia.
Racism -- Southern States.
Labor unions --Southern States --Political activity.
Labor unions and communism --United States.
Southern States-- Race relations.

Form and Genre Terms:
Correspondence


INFORMATION FOR USERS

Access Restrictions:
Access to the collections in the Kheel Center is restricted. Please contact a reference archivist for access to these materials.
Restrictions on Use:
This collection must be used in keeping with the Kheel Center Information Sheet and Procedures for Document Use.
Cite As:
Brownie Lee Jones Correspondence #5547m. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1 1948-1976
Includes photocopies of correspondence between Jones and Mary C. Barker and suggested questions for an interview with Jones in January 1976.