Biography and Family History | Manuscripts | Correspondence
Organizations | Black Studies Conferences at Olive-Harvey College
City Colleges of Chicago | Programs | Funeral Programs
Audiovisual Materials | Subject Research Files | Pamphlets
Serial Publications | Clippings | Photographs | Memorabilia
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|Provenance:||Deed of gift from Leonard Wash, May 5, 2000. Subsequent donations were made by Leonard Wash several times each year from 2001 through 2011.|
|Size:||67 linear feet (85 archival boxes)|
|Repository:||Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library (Chicago Public Library), 9525 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60628|
|Citation:||When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Wash, Leonard Papers [Box #, Folder #], Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature, Chicago Public Library|
|Processed by:||Jeanie Child, Harsh Archival Processing Project, 2012|
|Supervised by:||Michael Flug, Senior Archivist, Harsh Archival Processing Project|
Leonard Wash (1940-) was a student, activist and teacher, as well as lifelong participant in Chicago’s Black Arts, Black Power and Black Consciousness movements from the 1960s forward. His professional career spanned four decades of teaching social studies and adult education programs at the City Colleges of Chicago. In 1978, he was a founding member of the annual Black Studies Conference at Olive-Harvey College. Throughout his adult life he recorded and collected the records of these activities, which comprise the Leonard Wash Papers.
Leonard Wash was born in 1940 to Perry Leon Wash and Dorothy Martha Perkins Wash, both Kansas natives. The couple’s children also included Delores Wash (King) (b. 1937 in Topeka, Kan.) and Stanley Gene Wash (b. 1943 in Columbus, Ohio). Leonard’s father, a World War II army veteran, was trained in auto mechanics. His mother worked at Provident Hospital after she moved to Chicago. Both parents served in evangelical church congregations wherever they lived. The parents and grandparents of Leonard’s mother were gospel singers and preachers, and Dorothy Wash studied singing with the Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey.
During the 1940s and 1950s the Washes lived in several Midwestern communities in Kansas, Nebraska and Ohio. In 1953 Leonard Wash moved to Chicago. He remembers 1951-1953 as his “Columbus years,” during which he was introduced to many aspects of black culture in that Ohio city, especially the gospel and jazz music he heard. He was blessed with two godfathers, Russell Pace, Sr., and Leonard Nelson Napper, both involved with local Columbus community arts funding and organization. In Columbus Wash listened to local radio host Eddie Saunders’ gospel program, “Sermons and Song,” along with other broadcasts that introduced him to the black music scene beyond Columbus.
By 1953 the Washes had settled in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood. Their home with Wash’s uncle and aunt was across the street from Woodlawn A.M.E. Church, Bishop Archibald J. Carey’s former pastorate. Wash’s mother and sister, Delores, joined in the church’s activities. Wash went to Dumas Elementary School, graduating in 1954, and then attended Englewood High School from which he graduated in 1958. While at Englewood, Wash took an active part in sports and achieved major success in cross-country and track, a lifelong interest in which he would excel. At Englewood he studied literature with Charles Evans. A decade later, Evans would play a key role in the founding of Olive-Harvey College’s African American Studies Department and also the annual Black Studies Conference. Wash’s Englewood classmates included Roscoe Mitchell and Donald Myrick, experimental jazz musicians and later annual Black Studies Conference participants.
In fall 1958 Leonard Wash matriculated at Wilson Junior College, one of several Chicago City College campuses. Like nearly all U.S. higher education institutions of that time, Wilson had few black faculty members, and the college offered almost no course content on black history and culture. Wash arrived already well aware of the civil rights movement, especially after the murder of Emmett Till. However, he left school in 1961 to join the U.S. Army for a tour of duty in the medical corps.
In 1965 Leonard Wash returned to Wilson College and found “major changes in students’ attitudes”—along with a greatly increased enrollment of African American students and even a few new African American faculty members. He enrolled in a new Negro history class taught by Professor William Gnatz, the first offered by the City Colleges. He and fellow students were inspired through the course work to organize the Negro History Club, sponsored by faculty advisor Nathaniel “Nate” Willis, long a civil rights activist. Besides their intensive study of relevant texts, these students participated in the growing freedom movement throughout the community, including Operation Breadbasket, Nation of Islam, CORE, NAACP, Black Panther Party, SCLC and SNCC. Discarding the name “Negro History Club,” the newly titled Afro-American History Club pressured the Wilson College administration to add more African American instructors, counselors and administrators, ultimately leading to Wilson’s first African American president. The organization reached out beyond the Wilson campus to join student protests at other campuses such as Northwestern University. It also participated in the regional Black Student Alliance Conference and took note of the 1967 Black Power Conference in Newark, N.J.
Wash graduated from Wilson’s two-year program in 1968 and enrolled in Roosevelt University for his bachelor of arts in history. There he joined a group of fellow Wilson graduates to help form the Black Students’ Association. He also was employed at Wilson College to supervise a grant-funded “New Images” summer work-study program. Wilson then installed Wash as a tutor in another new program for at-risk students, the Academic Skills Center. Leonard Wash would continue this type of outreach and teaching of underserved and older students throughout his professional life. During 1968-1969, Wash remained involved with student activists, who took over administrative offices and continued protesting until City Colleges agreed to the creation of Kennedy-King College in summer 1969.
Leonard Wash married Hattie Mae Collins in 1968. Hattie Wash was also involved in the black student movement, the annual Black Studies Conference at Olive-Harvey College and her own professional career in psychology. They had one daughter, Nzinga. The couple later separated and divorced. Hattie and Leonard Wash were part of the Wilson College cohort of student activists who would move on to found Black Arts and Black Power organizations with national impact, such as the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC), the American Association of Creative Musicians (AACM) and the Black Studies Conference at Olive-Harvey College. These students included Armstead Allen, Walter Bradford, John Bradley, Alicia Loy Johnson, Roscoe Mitchell, Albert Diggs, Johari Amini (Jewel C. Latimore) and Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee). Their activism also helped create another Chicago City College, Olive-Harvey, established in 1970 in response to strong student and community protest.
By 1971 Leonard Wash had completed his master of arts in history at Northwestern University. Wash joined the staff at the new Olive-Harvey College and hailed a number of colleagues from his student days who had also accepted teaching positions. Some joined the faculty of the African American Studies Department, established in 1970 by Charles Evans. One colleague, Armstead Allen, encouraged Wash and others to help him promote the African American Studies Association, a serious venue for students seeking scholarly input from the fast-growing field. Allen conceived the idea of the annual Black Studies Conference at Olive-Harvey, where the arts, humanities, social sciences and current events would be discussed and debated by scholars, community activists and arts practitioners. The conference was open to students, faculty and the community. Wash worked on the official organizing committee that Allen put together, starting with the first conference in 1978. He also attended each year throughout the conference’s 30-year history, recording most of the sessions on audiotape.
During those 30 years, the annual Black Studies Conference at Olive-Harvey College nurtured the growth of African American studies programs nationwide by bringing together hundreds of outstanding scholars who often labored in quite isolated situations within all-white academic departments. Community college faculty were accorded equal respect as those at Ivy League institutions. The Black Studies Conference directly involved students as well as teachers and practitioners; and it threw open its doors to the community at large. Leonard Wash not only co-created and attended these events, but he recorded (on tape) many hundreds of hours’ worth of talks, panel discussions and performances in danger of being lost.
Leonard Wash helped shape and document Chicago’s Black Arts Movement. Most important was his support of the Organization of Black American Culture and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Wash’s employment during the 1960s by notable African American booksellers A.J. Williams and Curtis Ellis had provided him an opportunity at readings and book signings to meet many authors on an intimate basis, such as Gwendolyn Brooks and Richard Wright. Some of Wash’s friends and fellow students wrote, published or taught literature, music or art. In 1967 Johari Amini (Jewel C. Latimore), Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee) and Carolyn Rodgers launched OBAC, and the group soon established workshops for literary, theater and visual arts venues. The OBAC Writer’s Workshop, which enjoyed the support of Gwendolyn Brooks, survives today. OBAC alumni include Abdul Alkalimat (Gerald McWhorter), Abena Joan Brown, Oscar Brown, Jr., Jeff Donaldson, Sam Greenlee, Angela Jackson, Calvin Jones, Useni Eugene Perkins, Sterling Plump and Philip Royster. OBAC cross-fertilized the growth of African American theater (Kuumba Workshop/Theatre Company and eta Creative Arts Foundation), dance (Muntu Dance Theatre) and art (DuSable Museum and the Wall of Respect). As an ardent jazz lover, Wash supported the AACM from its first days in 1965. Many were the performers and composers with whom he was familiar: Phil Cohran and Muhal Richard Abrams; Adegoke “Steve” Colson, Ernest Dawkins, Doug Ewart, Malachi Favors, Roscoe Mitchell, Don Moyer, Donald Myrick and Kahil El’Zabar. Throughout this process Wash not only supported but also documented the course of the Black Arts Movement by taping and photographing performances and other events, and by carefully preserving the paper records.
Leonard Wash also understood political organizing and often took a leadership role, not only in African American student organizations at Wilson, Roosevelt and Northwestern, but also through his participation in black faculty organizations. Wash supported a number of organizations that used political action to pursue political goals: the National Black United Front and the Task Force for Political Empowerment, for example. When the Rev. Martin Luther King led protest marchers to City Hall in 1966, Leonard Wash was among them.
In the 1980s Wash also supported other political, media and educational initiatives. He worked on Harold Washington’s Chicago mayoral campaigns in 1983 and 1987. He provided programming for WNUR-FM (Northwestern University) and WYCC-TV (Chicago City Colleges). He was a visiting lecturer at Northeastern Illinois University’s Center for Inner City Studies and on the teaching staff at Governor’s State University. Leonard Wash recently retired from the City Colleges of Chicago, and he has continued to pursue and document his interests in music, theater, literature and art.
- Lewis, George. A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.
- Neal, Larry. “The Black Arts Movement,” in Annemarie Bean, ed., A Sourcebook of African-American Performance: Plays, People, Movements. New York: Routledge, 1999.
- Nommo 2, Remembering Ourselves Whole: An OBAC Anthology of Contemporary Black Writing. Chicago: OBAhouse, 1990.
- Parks, Carole A., ed. Nommo: A Literary Legacy of Black Chicago, 1967-1987. Chicago: OBAhouse, 1987.
- Prigoff, James and Robin Dunitz. Walls of Heritage, Walls of Pride: African American Murals. San Francisco: Pomegranate Press, 2000.
- Rojas, Fabio. From Black Power to Black Studies: How a Radical Social Movement Became an Academic Discipline. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 2007.
- Smith, David L. “Chicago Poets, OBAC and the Black Arts Movement,” in Werner Sellors and Maria Diedrich, eds., The Black Columbiad: Defining Moments in African American Literature and Culture. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1994.
The Leonard Wash papers are a voluminous and varied assemblage of materials collected or recorded by Wash as he witnessed and documented the birth and growth of Chicago’s Black Arts, Black Power and Black Consciousness movements from the early 1960s forward into the 21st century. The items in this collection reflect the racially transformed academic world of Chicago’s City Colleges in the 1970s as well as the literature and music created by the Black Arts Movement through the Organization of Black American Culture and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. A significant component of this documentation is the 30 years of programs and recordings generated by the annual Black Studies Conference at Olive-Harvey College (1978-2007).
The collection was accessioned over an 11-year period in more than 50 donations that provided item inventories but no internal arrangement. The Wash Papers have been arranged into 15 series:
|Series 1||Biography and Family History||1958-2011||Box 1|
|Series 2||Manuscripts||1965-2010||Boxes 1-2|
|Series 3||Correspondence||1965-2010||Boxes 2-4|
|Series 4||Organizations||1966-2010||Boxes 4-17|
|Series 5||Black Studies Conferences at Olive-Harvey College||1977-2008||Boxes 18-20|
|Series 6||City Colleges of Chicago||1965-2011||Boxes 21-22|
|Series 7||Programs||1965-2010||Box 23|
|Series 8||Funeral Programs||1968-2011||Box 24|
|Series 9||Audiovisual Materials||1976-2011||Boxes 25-48|
|Series 10||Subject Research Files||1959-2011||Boxes 49-51|
|Series 11||Pamphlets||1959-1997||Boxes 52-55|
|Series 12||Serial Publications||1945-2011||Boxes 56-73|
|Series 13||Clippings||1965-2010||Boxes 74-78|
|Series 14||Photographs||1959-2008||Boxes 79-81|
|Series 15||Memorabilia||1963-2011||Boxes 82-84|
Throughout the collection, the Wash Papers furnish strong documentation of the Black Arts and Black Power movements. Manuscripts, Correspondence, Organizations, Black Studies Conferences, Pamphlets, Serial Publications and Audiovisual Materials series offer perhaps the most significant and rare material. The researcher should examine each topic across all series in the collection. For example, a search for the history of the Organization of Black American Culture may be rewarded not just in the Organizations Series but also in Manuscripts, Correspondence, Black Studies Conferences at Olive-Harvey College, Audiovisual Materials, Subject Research Files, Pamphlets, Serial Publications and Clippings, as well as Programs and Photographs. Records of student organizing during the movements’ early years may be found in the City Colleges of Chicago Series as well as in Correspondence, Organizations and Serial Publications.
Leonard Wash amplified and glossed many items in each series with explanatory notes that yield both context and interpretation. Where correspondence and clippings were found with other material during processing, such as organizational flyers or academic announcements, the former are arranged with the latter instead of in the separate Correspondence or Clippings series.
Series 1: Biography and Family History
The Wash Papers taken as a whole furnish little personal information about Leonard Wash and his family. Data on close family members is limited mostly to funeral programs and related clippings. This series does offer a brief curriculum vitae (ca. 1983) for Leonard Wash. Also included are items from Leonard Wash’s lifelong participation in the sport of cross-country racing, with further material in Photographs and Memorabilia series. Wash’s own more expansive narrative of his student and early faculty days in the City Colleges of Chicago may be found in the Manuscripts Series.
Series 2: Manuscripts
- Sub-series 1: Manuscripts by Leonard Wash
- This sub-series houses some of the longest essays and notes handwritten by Wash about various people, places, organizations and events represented in the collection that relate to the Black Arts and Black Power movements. These items are in addition to the other notations by Leonard Wash that are filed with the material with which they were found. Researchers should note the Wash manuscript item titled “Forward,” which contains more Leonard Wash autobiographical information.
- Sub-series 2: Manuscripts by Others
- The varied works in this sub-series include original poetry and essays as well as academic papers on a number of subjects primarily relating to the Black Arts and Black Power movements. Authors include Johari Amini (Jewel C. Latimore), Jacob H. Carruthers, Philip Cohran, Alicia Loy Johnson, Floyd W. Hayes III, Maulana (Ron) Karenga, Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee), Useni Eugene Perkins and Carolyn Rodgers.
- For further material by or about these writers, the researcher should examine the Correspondence, Black Studies Conferences at Olive-Harvey College, Pamphlets, Subject Research Files, Serial Publications and Clippings series. The manuscripts are arranged alphabetically by author, or by title if author is unknown. Please note that some manuscripts are marked “not for publication” by the author.
Series 3: Correspondence
A significant number of the correspondents in this series worked in both the Black Arts and Black Power movements as well as in academia. Members of OBAC and AACM, as well as other academically affiliated scholars include Adegoke “Steve” Colson, Afi Ufura, Alicia Loy Johnson, Patricia Travis, Doris Turner, Armstead Allen, John Bradley, Floyd W. Hayes III, Maulana (Ron) Karenga and James Turner. Topics covered in the correspondence include literature and music; the Third World Press; academic analysis of the Black Arts Movement and its participants; various student organizational activities; political discussions of the Cold War and CIA surveillance; and black nationalism. Further information relating to these correspondents may be found in the following series: Manuscripts, Black Studies Conferences at Olive-Harvey College, Pamphlets, Serial Publications, Organizations, City Colleges of Chicago, Audiovisual Materials and Photographs.
This series is arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent. Items that do not involve Leonard Wash as a correspondent are arranged at the end of the series as (Correspondence -- Others).
Series 4: Organizations
Over 200 organizations listed here represent Black Arts, Black Power and black studies movement groups, ranging from local Chicago neighborhood groups to nationwide organizations. In addition, a small number of organizations relate to Leonard Wash’s family, education and employment. Materials date from the 1960s to the present.
Local organizations affiliated with the Black Arts Movement include the Art Ensemble of Chicago, eta Creative Arts Foundation, Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, Great Black Music Series, Third World Press and the OBAC Writer’s Workshop. Other organizations that supported community arts endeavors, such as the Coalition to Save the South Shore Country Club, the Jazz Institute of Chicago and the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, Inc., are represented.
This series also features materials from a number of political action or Black Power organizations whose work overlapped that of contemporary Black Arts Movement groups. Examples include the All African Peoples Revolutionary Party, Forum for the Evolution of Progressive Arts (FEPA), National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’Cobra), National Black United Front, Task Force for Political Empowerment and the Harold Washington Party. Many educational or scholarly institutions are represented. Examples range from Northeastern Illinois University’s Center for Inner City Studies, to the Postal Street Academies, Shule Ya Watoto and the Lumumba-Jackson Community Learning Center (People’s Community School Program).
Materials in this series are limited mostly to event programs, flyers, announcements, and brochures. However, a few organizational records—in particular, OBAC material from the 1970s—do include working papers, agendas, correspondence, names of members or financial information.
OBAC members who appear in this series include Johari Amini (Jewel C. Latimore), Randson C. Boykin, Hoyt Fuller, Sam Greenlee, Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee), Sterling Plumpp, Ann Smith and Val Gray Ward. OBAC members also may be found in records of other organizations, particularly those dedicated to the arts, as well as those in higher education, such as Northeastern Illinois University’s Center for Inne City Studies, or student organizations at local colleges and universities. This series also includes many new groups that were formed by OBAC activists, such as the Institute of Positive Education, the Third World Press and the Black Peoples Topographical Research Center. Files of the AACM present a similar web of related organizations, particularly jazz groups led by notable jazz artists such as Phil Cohran, Doug Ewart and Kahil El’Zabar during the years Leonard Wash was an AACM board member.
Organizations for whom Leonard Wash was an employee include St. Leonard’s House, People’s Foundation for Community Development (University Without Walls) and the bookstores of Curtis Ellis and A.J. Williams. The researcher should see also the City Colleges of Chicago Series for records of the bulk of Leonard Wash’s professional teaching career, as well as for material on student and faculty activism.
Researchers should see also the Audiovisual Materials Series for recordings made of specific events held by the organizations in this series, especially jazz performances and conferences/colloquiae.
The Organizations Series is arranged alphabetically by name of organization, with two exceptions. First, those groups with which Leonard Wash was associated in Columbus, Ohio, are arranged at the end of the alphabetical list of organizations, under the Columbus, Ohio descriptor, and then in alphabetical order. Second, because of their bulk, eta Creative Arts Foundation records are housed after all other Organizations Series material.
Series 5: Black Studies Conferences at Olive-Harvey College
The Wash Papers offer two separate series of materials from the Black Studies Conferences at Olive Harvey College: Series 5, comprising the program books and related paper materials; and Series 9 (Audiovisual), where audio recordings of the conferences made by Leonard Wash are found.
Olive-Harvey College’s African American Studies Department and the African American Studies Association established the annual Black Studies Conference in 1978. It was held continually at Olive-Harvey for 30 years, through 2007. The annual Black Studies Conference ceased when Olive-Harvey College refused to sponsor it again.
The founder and impetus behind the Black Studies Conferences at Olive-Harvey College was Dr. Armstead Allen, head of the African American Studies Department. About 1977 he assembled a committee of faculty and students, including the African American Studies Association, to engineer the logistics, fundraising and publicity. Allen and his colleagues cast a wide net to bring in speakers and panelists from across the nation as well as from many local institutions. The conference was open to the community, which provided some of the presenters.
The Black Studies Conference mission was to provide a setting where educators and learners could through dialogue foster awareness of black culture and history and also nurture new leadership to continue the process. Accordingly, each conference programmed about a dozen sequential speaker/panelist sessions around particular themes. After each panelist had spoken, the session would be thrown open to questions and comments from the floor. Special performances were given by groups active in the Black Arts Movement, which included experimental jazz, African ethnic music and dance, and poetry reading. The list of frequent conference presenters includes Jacob Carruthers, Harold Cruse, Floyd W. Hayes III, Ricky Hill, Maulani Karenga, James Mack, Jabulani Makalani (Clovis E. Semmes), Harold Rogers, Carl Spight, Robert Starks and James Turner.
Materials in this series include the program books for each year’s conference from 1978 to 2007, except 1981 and 2004, and also materials from the Black Studies Brunch and Forum held in 2008. The conference format changed little over 30 years, and programs generally provide the full schedule of events. This includes the scheduled lectures and panel discussions, with names of participants and their representative institutions, employment or organizations; the title of each event, based on a theme; and the banquets and awards ceremonies with names of speakers and participants. Also listed are the various musical, dance and other arts performers that often were scheduled between academic events. Supplemental conference materials are available for most years except 2004 and may include planning, publicity, fundraising and papers submitted by presenters. Researchers may note Margaret Dorsey’s “Legacy of the Olive-Harvey Conference,” in the 1997 supplemental program material.
Newspaper coverage of some annual conferences may be found in the clippings file at the end of the Black Studies Conferences at Olive-Harvey College Series. See also Olive-Harvey College and other City Colleges of Chicago newspapers in the Serial Publications Series for conference coverage.
See also the City Colleges of Chicago Series for a list of keynote speakers, found in the Olive-Harvey College African American Studies Association folder. Information relative to some presenters may be found throughout Leonard Wash’s papers, including the following series: Correspondence, Manuscripts, Organizations, City Colleges of Chicago, Subject Research Files and Photographs.
For the most complete record of all but a few annual conferences, the researcher should see also the Audiovisual Materials Series, Black Studies Conferences Sub-series for audiotapes recorded by Leonard Wash at the conference sessions. These recordings usually include at least part of the discussion period held after the panel speeches. Please note that occasional changes in panel speakers that occurred during the conferences might not be noted in the program book, yet could be verified by listening to the relevant audiotape.
The Black Studies Conferences at Olive-Harvey College Series is arranged chronologically by conference, 1978-2007, followed by the Black Studies Brunch and Forum held in 2008. Each year provides the conference program book and supplemental material, when available. Following the 2008 material is the conference clippings file.
Series 6: City Colleges of Chicago
Materials in the City Colleges of Chicago Series include a wide range of items generated primarily through Leonard Wash’s activities there, first as student at Wilson Junior College (1960s), and then as instructor at Wilson (1969), followed by some four decades teaching at Kennedy-King and Olive-Harvey colleges (1970 to mid-2000s). The City Colleges of Chicago Series provides primary sources from the pivotal 1960s-1970s period in its history, when for the first time African American students and faculty demanded and were given much more autonomy in determining the content of the education offered there.
Records from Wash’s student days (1965-1969) consist mostly of the working papers for several student organizations in which he was heavily involved, such as strategic plans, membership lists and publicity efforts. These groups included the Afro-American History Club, the Black Cultural Committee, the Black Student Committee, the Committee for a Better Wilson and the Concerned Black Students. The papers document Wash’s role in actions taken, with protests eventually leading to the establishment of the new Kennedy-King and Olive-Harvey colleges in 1970.
Records of Wash’s long teaching career at Wilson, Kennedy-King and Olive-Harvey colleges provide a representative sampling of the various teaching positions he held there. The files contain documents from several adult education programs Wash taught or administered. Files from Kennedy-King College’s Adult Learning Skills Program and its Chicago Urban Skills Institute provide correspondence created during Wash’s advocacy with the City Colleges administration. Olive-Harvey College materials show that Wash served as instructor for a number of adult education and outreach programs including the Developmental Skills Center. Other records relating to Olive-Harvey were generated by the United Black Staff and African American Studies Department, while others show how Wash joined the African American Studies Association at Olive-Harvey and helped to organize, promote and run the annual Black Studies Conferences (1978-2007).
The City Colleges of Chicago Series provides little material about other City College campuses except for Crane Junior College and Malcolm X College. However, Black Faculty in Higher Education files show that Leonard Wash as faculty member participated in actions to achieve academic integrity and faculty autonomy where he taught. Other materials found in this series include college event programs, some of which provide names and positions of current faculty and students. Leonard Wash’s clippings files at the end of the series give context and detail to the City Colleges Series.
Researchers seeking information about the City Colleges of Chicago should see also the Black Studies Conferences at Olive-Harvey College Series. A related organization, Chicago Coalition on Black Education, may be found in the Organizations Series. For publications and activities of various City Colleges faculty and students, see also Manuscripts, Correspondence, Serial Publications and Clippings Series. For tape recordings of conferences, lectures, music performances and other events held at various City Colleges, see also the Audiovisual Materials Series. See also the Serial Publications Series for newspapers published by various colleges or students in the City Colleges of Chicago. These publications include the Wilson College Press (1966-1969) and Evening Press (1968-69); the Crane College Clarion (1968); Kennedy-King’s Etu Shaun “Our Opinion” (1970) and Kennedy-King Press (1969-1972); Olive-Harvey’s Hampton-Clark News (1977-1982) and SGA Student (1980s); and Malcolm X College Newsletter (1969-1970).
Series 7: Programs
The Programs Series includes those programs, announcements and invitations to ad hoc events that were not created by a particular organization or institution already represented in the Leonard Wash Papers. Please note that those programs, announcements and invitations created by organizations already represented in the Wash Papers are filed with that organization’s records in its respective series. Also found in the Programs Series are programs for events that were co-sponsored by several entities. A significant number of cultural events programs in this series describe jazz performances and feature Fred Anderson, Steve Cobb, Vandy Harris, Joseph Jarman, Eddie Moore and Edward Wilkerson among others. Other programs from academic conferences focus on the African holocaust, national reparations and similar issues. Special memorial programs honor Oscar Brown, Jr., Hoyt Fuller, the Rev. A.R. Leak, Sr., Margaret Walker and Theodore Ward. Local community festivals and park dedications are also included. Of particular interest are a benefit held for author Sam Greenlee, a protest against the Vietnam War and the Willa Saunders Passion Play, all dating from the 1960s.
Researchers should see also the Audiovisual Materials Series for recordings of particular program events.
Programs, announcements and invitations in the Programs Series are filed in alphabetical order by title.
Series 8: Funeral Programs
The three dozen funeral programs in this series represent a broad range of persons known to Leonard Wash. Family members, musicians and other artists, and community leaders are included. A number of programs are photocopies. They are arranged alphabetically by last name.
Series 9: Audiovisual Materials
The most extensive series in the Wash Papers, the Audiovisual Materials Series contains 531 recordings. They are arranged in five sub-series:
- Sub-series 1: Black Studies Conferences at Olive-Harvey College
- Sub-series 2: Event recordings (live)
- Sub-series 3: Event recordings (broadcasts)
- Sub-series 4: Commercially produced recordings
- Sub-series 5: Other recordings
Sub-series 1-4 consist of audiocassette tapes, while Sub-series 5 contains other media. Researchers should note that most of the audiocassette tape recordings are between 20 and 40 years old, and therefore in fragile condition with serious sound quality issues. Many audiocassette tapes retain material recorded earlier.
- Sub-series 1: Black Studies Conferences at Olive-Harvey College
- The Black Studies Conferences Sub-series comprises 289 audiocassette tapes recorded at the conferences from 1978 through 2007 by Leonard Wash. The recordings include welcoming remarks, presentations by session panelists, various banquets or award events, and in earlier years, various performances of music, dance and poetry. Most session recordings include questions and statements from the audience.
- Listeners should see also the relevant program books in the Black Studies Conferences at Olive-Harvey College (Series 5) to verify the original session topics and speakers. Please note that audiocassette tapes are missing for the years 1982, 1984 and 2001. There are a few conferences in which double recording of particular sessions occurred, noted wherever possible. The tapes are labeled variously by Leonard Wash; some give session numbers and others provide partial wording of the sessions or the names of speakers. The note “cont’d” in a description indicates that a session or event on an audiocassette tape either continues from the previous tape or continues on the next tape.
- The audiocassette tapes in this sub-series are arranged chronologically, in conference order, and then by session number. Unless an introduction is included in the session that was recorded, none is available; the recordings proceed without any introduction cues by the person who recorded the session. Many audiocassette tape recordings also open in mid-session, again without cues, continuing a session in a previous recording.
- Sub-series 2: Event Recordings (live)
- This sub-series comprises a variety of performances, conferences, lectures and other events relating to the Black Arts and Black Power movements. These 119 recordings were made by Leonard Wash, mostly in the years 1970-1999.
- Audio recordings of mostly jazz music events include the AACM, Ethnic Heritage Ensemble and Jazz Unites, as well as individual artists such as Oscar Brown, Jr., Phil Cohran, Kahil El’Zabar and Vandy Harris. Academic lectures and conferences include the African Heritage Studies Association and the Association for the Study of African American History and Life and the Harold Cruse lectures, as well as a Kwanzaa celebration with Maulana (Ron) Karenga. Individual speakers include Lerone Bennett, Frances Cress-Welsing, John Hope Franklin, Charles V. Hamilton, Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee) and James Turner. Events with political content include the Black Independent Political Party Convention of 1985, a “Dump Daley” Rally in 1989 and the National Black United Front Convention in 1984 along with a NBUF Ensemble concert in 1989. Lectures given by Stokely Carmichael, Lu Palmer and Eugene Pincham also are recorded, as well as a sermon by the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright and Harold Washington’s 1983 talk at Roosevelt University.
- On a more personal level are the recordings made by Leonard Wash at the annual University of Chicago Track Club banquet (2004-2011), as well as a recording of Wash family members playing and singing gospel music at home in 1976.
- Audiocassette tapes in this sub-series are arranged alphabetically, by first given title or name written on the cassette, allowing for a few back-to-front recordings. Identifying cues made by the recorder are not used, and some recordings open in mid-session without explanation. Events recorded on a single tape may represent different years.
- Sub-series 3: Event Recordings (broadcasts)
- Although not always so identified, recordings in this sub-series represent taped broadcasts, mostly radio programming. They include jazz and gospel shows, interviews and live events from a variety of radio stations. Included here is the FESTAC festival in Nigeria, with programs of African music, dance and drama. A series of interviews by Afi Ufuru (Joan Richards) during the 1980s at WNUR-FM introduces a number of AACM members and their work, including Phil Cohran, Soji Adbayo, Oscar Brown, Jr., and Adegoke “Steve” Colson. Leonard Wash’s childhood radio gospel idol, Ed Saunders, plays gospel during his long-running “Sermons in Song” from WVKO in Columbus, Ohio (1981-1992).
- The 92 audiocassette tapes in the sub-series Event Recordings (broadcasts) are arranged alphabetically, by first given title or name written on the cassette, allowing for a few back-to-front recordings. Events recorded on a single audiotape may represent different years.
- Sub-series 4: Commercially Produced Recordings
- The 24 mostly rare audiotapes in this subseries were produced by the same company, Carnaby Corporation (aka Radiant Cassette and Cartridge Corporation). They appear to be remastered, and they are not dated. Performers include Al Hirt and Pete Fountain, Little Richard, Jimmie McPartland, the Platters and Frank Yankovic, “Polka King.” The audiocassette tapes are arranged alphabetically by title.
- Sub-series 5: Other Recordings
- Of special interest is “El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz,” a 33 1/3 rpm recording by Phil Cohran and the Artistic Heritage Ensemble made under his Zulu Records Label.
Series 10: Subject Research Files
General informational materials, on subjects such as black history, were collected by Leonard Wash and comprise this series. A number of scholarly articles (photocopies) are included. Items are filed alphabetically under type of material (articles, curriculum items, guides and brochures, political items and reports).
Series 11: Pamphlets
The Pamphlets Series includes over 120 imprints collected by Leonard Wash during his study of and involvement in the Black Arts and Black Power movements. Most of the authors represented in this series worked within those movements and were his colleagues. A number of the pamphlets, booklets, chapbooks and offprints in this series date from the 1960s and 1970s and are relatively rare. A few representative authors are Johari Amini (Jewel C. Latimore), Imamu Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones), Gladys Croom, Alfred Diggs, Hoyt W. Fuller, Joseph Jarman, Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee), Useni Eugene Perkins, Lucius T. Outlaw, Carolyn Rodgers, Hannibal Barcar Shabazz (Robert C. Butler), Jabulani Makalani (Clovis E. Semmes), Tony Thomas and Francis Ward.
Series 12: Serial Publications
The 275 serial publications included in this series nearly all relate to the Black Arts and Black Power movements, to black studies or to current events that impacted the African American community. Dozens of the titles do not appear in major bibliographies of African American works, and therefore must be considered relatively rare. More than 45 items date from the 1960s, and over 80 more from the 1970s, reflecting and documenting the Black Arts, Black Power and black studies movements. Often just one or two issues of a publication will be found, rather than a full run.
Serials are arranged in alphabetical order by title, in three A-Z sections. Black X-Press and N’Digo holdings are found at the end of the series.
Series 13: Clippings
Many of the clippings that were received with the materials in the Leonard Wash Papers have been placed in this series. More than 50 news publications are represented, from the local neighborhoods in Chicago to New York City. The topics covered reflect those represented in the Leonard Wash Papers. The obituary clippings in addition include Leonard Wash’s friends, relatives and colleagues in Chicago and elsewhere.
Most items from publications readily accessible online or available in full at the Harsh Research Collection (such as the Chicago Defender, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Ebony, Life) have been removed.
The Clippings Series is arranged into two sub-series:
- Sub-series 1: Clippings, relating to general subjects
- Sub-series 2: Obituaries
The general clippings are arranged chronologically. The obituaries are arranged alphabetically by last name of the deceased.
Series 14: Photographs
The more than 150 photographs in this series were almost all taken by Leonard Wash during activities involving his teaching career, his embrace of the Black Arts and Black Power movements, and his lifelong participation in the sport of cross-country running.
The earliest photos date from Wash’s high school and early college years, where he is shown running in track events. Other photos show Wash with Black Arts Movement colleagues Johari Amini (Jewel C. Latimore) and Alicia Loy Johnson. Also found here is a photograph taken in the late 1960s of the Organization for Black American Culture Young People’s Workshop. Also included are photos of jazz musicians Joseph Jarman and Douglas Ewart, and Maulana (Ron) Karenga at the Institute of Positive Education, and Julia and Nathan Hare, with Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee). A collection of photos taken in Columbus, Ohio, includes “Jazz ’n’ Eggs” with Earl Love and Gene Walker, as well as the Hank Marr Sextet and sculptor Omar Shaheed. A significant number of photographs taken from 2001 to 2006 show the annual Black Studies Conferences at Olive-Harvey College. The remaining photographs were taken after 2000 and include various arts venues throughout the city: eta Creative Arts Foundation, Kwanzaa celebrations, DuSable Museum Art Fair and Jazz Fest at the South Shore Cultural Center.
Series 15: Memorabilia
Memorabilia items include the collected medals and plaques won by Leonard Wash during 40 years of amateur cross-country racing, along with medals he won in college and the armed services.
The series also includes several posters illustrating AACM and other jazz themes and events. There is a small collection of Harold Washington campaign materials from Leonard’s work in the mayoral elections of 1983 and 1987.
Oversized items from the Organizations and Subject Research series are also stored in Memorabilia Series Box 84.
A box of 16 additional photographs from the Leonard Wash Papers was received in 2012. They have been added to the end of this collection, after Memorabilia. Researchers should see Box 85, Photographs 160-175.
At the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature, Woodson Regional Library (Chicago Public Library):
- Alkalimat, Abdul Papers. 1981-2005
- Black, Timuel D. Papers, 1918-2010
- Browning, Alice Papers, 1942-1985
- Coalition to Save the South Shore Country Club Archives, 1978-1997
- Evans, Charles Papers, 1955-1989.
- Heritage Press Archives, 1944-2002
- Johnson, Bennett Papers, 1968-1995
- Path Press Archives, 1961-1996
At other locations:
- Braxton, Anthony Collection, 1973-1992. University of Chicago Library Special Collections
- Brooks, Gwendolyn Papers, 1917-2000. The Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley
- Chicago Jazz Archive. University of Chicago Library, Special Collections
- Fuller, Hoyt William Collection, 1940-1981. Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta University Center, Archives and Special Collections