African Americans in the Spanish Civil War : Christopher Brooks research files, 1930s-1994

Brooks, Christopher T.


1 linear ft. (2 boxes).
Organized into 2 series: I. National files and general materials; II. Individual biographical files Series I contains separate tables of contents and indexes for each of the three national groups of volunteers, whose responses to Brooks queries are arranged alphabetically within one folder for each nation; Series II is arranged alphabetically for all the volunteers who replied, regardless of national background.
Series I: National Files and General Materials, consists of a general introduction to the project for the veterans organizations and volunteers that Brooks contacted, along with photocopies of their responses. In each case, the volunteers (or in some cases, spouses of volunteers) that Brooks contacted were not themselves African Americans; they were simply asked to contribute their memories or recollections of any African Americans they (or their spouses) encountered in Spain or knew thereafter. There are two folders for each nation: the U.S., Great Britain, and Canada, followed by one small general folder containing related reference materials, mostly photocopies of photos of particular African-American volunteers and general correspondence. The two folders per nation are each arranged in the same way: the first smaller folder contains a table of contents listing each of the volunteers successfully contacted and the page numbers for their response. It also indicates which veterans Brooks was unable to contact by mail, or whom he reached in other ways (telephone or personal contacts are sometimes mentioned, but transcripts of these are not included in the collection). Finally, the U.S and British introductory folders contain an Index to African American Volunteers. The second national folder contains photocopies of the volunteers responses (the originals are in Series II). Particularly useful here are the indexes to African-American volunteers mentioned by Brooks respondents.
Series II: Individual Biographical Files, contains the originals of the responses that Brooks received, in this case with a separate folder for each respondent, again arranged alphabetically, and not separated by national brigade. The responses often consist solely of short answers on the questionnaire form sent by Brooks, but several volunteers (including Steve Nelson, Hilda Roberts and Bill Wheeler) added rather lengthy personal letters, with detailed memories and vignettes. Others, such as Michalakis Economides, attached historical materials, concerning either themselves or other volunteers that they knew.
Christopher Brooks was a graduate student at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, who in 1993 began research on a thesis project chronicling African Americans who fought on the side of the Republican government in the Spanish Civil War. As part of that research, he sent out survey forms, along with a request for any additional information, to other surviving volunteers of that struggle who had fought in either American, British or Canadian brigades. He hoped that their memories of specific African-American fighters, including their military and political histories and any other personal details, would add greater depth to the portraits already published in the volume, edited by Danny Duncan Collum and researched by Victor Berch, entitled African Americans in the Spanish Civil War: This Aint Ethiopia but Itll Do (G.K. Hall and Co., 1992). This collection consists of descriptive material on the project and responses from the veterans (and spouses) who replied.
Open for research without restrictions.
Published citations should take the following form: Identification of item, date (if known); African Americans in the Spanish Civil War : Christopher Brooks research files; ALBA 27; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.
Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the Director of the Tamiment Library / Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, New York University, 70 Washington Square South, New York, N.Y. 10012.
Photographs from African-Americans in the Spanish Civil War: Christopher Brooks Research Files have been transferred to the non-print section of the ALBA collection in the Tamiment Library.
ALBA collections at the Tamiment Library.
Finding aid available at repository; folder-level control.

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