Brenda Eichelberger / National Alliance of Black Feminists Papers

Brenda Eichelberger / National Alliance of Black Feminists Papers
Dates: 1974-1997
Size: 8 linear feet (11 archival boxes)
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research collection of Afro-American History and Literature, 9525 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60628
Collection Number: 1997/05
Provenance: Donation by Brenda Eichelberger, September 1997. Papers include her own materials and archives of the National Association of Black Feminists.
Access: No restrictions
Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Brenda Eichelberger / National Alliance of Black Feminists Papers [Box #, Folder #], Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature, Chicago Public Library.
Processed by: Belinda L. Robinson-Jones, Archivist, 1999; revised by Michael Flug, Senior Archivist, 2009


Scope and Content Note

Open to “any black woman interested in advancing the cause of Black feminism”, the National Alliance of Black Feminists (NABF) was a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to achieving full equality for Black women in America. Formed in the summer of 1975, the organization which became NABF started in 1974 as the Chicago Chapter of the New York based National Black Feminists Organization (NBFO). When NBFO dissolved in 1975, Brenda Eichelberger, then president of the Chicago chapter, decided to respond to an increase in local, national and international Black feminist struggle by organizing the National Alliance of Black Feminists, serving as its first executive director. The organization opened its national offices at 202 South State Street, Chicago, Illinois in May, 1976.

Some of the goals of NABF included promoting a more positive and accurate portrayal of Black women in the media; preserving the cultural heritage of Black women, while helping to politicize them; and combating the dual oppression of racism and sexism. The organization addressed these goals through serving as a networking center for Black women through the coordination of the Black Women’s Center; forming a Black Women’s Speaker’s Bureau; developing task forces to address women’s issues, with specific attention to the passing of the Equal Rights Amendment; and sponsoring consciousness-raising workshops. Other noteworthy activities of NABF included the compilation of “A Bill of Rights for Black Women” and the formation of the only Women’s Credit Union in the state of Illinois.

In addition to Brenda Eichelberger, NABF’s charter membership consisted of Rev. Willie Barrow, National Vice-President, Operation PUSH; Carol Moseley Braun, Illinois State Representative; Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, Attorney and California Congresswoman; Ethel Payne, Chicago Defender Associate Editor; Merlene Vaughn, Chairwoman, Colorado Caucus of Black Women; and Nezzie Willis, Director of Programs, Chicago Welfare Rights Organization. NABF rapidly expanded with the formation of chapters in Colorado, Richmond, VA, New York, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, GA.

The Brenda Eichelberger/NABF Papers consist of manuscripts, brochures, promotional literature, correspondence, financial statements, newspaper clippings, journal articles and serials which document both the social and organizational activities of Brenda Eichelberger and the National Alliance of Black Feminists. The archives span the years 1974-1997, with the bulk of material concentrated during the years 1976-1981. Some of the features of the archive include original materials from NABF-sponsored assertiveness and consciousness-raising workshops, an extensive clipping file from feminist newspapers and magazines; and a collection of feminist serials, including Off Our Backs and Women Organizing: A Socialist Feminist Bulletin .

Container List

Series 1: Biographical information on Brenda Eichelberger
Box 1
Box Folder
1 1 Biographical sketch: Eichelberger, Brenda [n.d.]
1 2 Resume/vita: Eichelberger, Brenda [n.d.]
1 3 Certificates/awards - Eichelberger, Brenda [1977]
1 4 Speaker’s agreements - Eichelberger, Brenda [1976-1979]
1 5 Membership card - American Federation of Teachers, Chicago Black Caucus [1978]
 

Series 2: Historical documents from NABF

1 6 Historical sketch: National Alliance of Black Feminists [n.d.]
1 7 Press releases [1976-1981]
1 8 Newspaper clippings [1976-1981]
1 9 Tax/financial records [1980-1983]
1 10 Annual reports [n.d.]
1 11 Minutes of NABF meetings [1974-1981?]
1 12 Board members list/information [n.d.]
1 13 Membership letter [July-August, 1979]
1 14 Membership roster [n.d.]
1 15 Calendar of events [1976-1979]
1 16 List of NABF speakers/writer’s topics [n.d.]
1 17 NABF stationery [n.d.]
1 18 Agreement: Advisory board/consultants of NABF [n.d.]
1 19 NABF promotional brochure [n.d.]
1 20 Promotional brochure-Alternative School Program [winter/spring 1979]
1 21 Promotional brochure-National Black Women’s Conference [1977]
1 22 Resolutions-National Black Women’s Conference [1977]
1 23 Promotional flyers: conferences/meetings attended by NABF [1975-80]
1 24 Conference materials: NABF Child care conferences [1981]
Box 2
2 1 Articles of Incorporation: Black Women’s speaker’s Bureau [n.d.]
2 2 Articles of Incorporation: Black Women’s Arts Alliance (BWAA) n.d.
2 3 By-laws: Black Women’s Arts Alliance [n.d.]
2 4 Handout: Purposes of the Black Women’s Arts Alliance [n.d.]
2 5 Handout: Activities of the Black Women’s Arts Alliance [n.d.]
2 6 Handout: Rationale for establishing a relationship between NABF; BWAA and Artemesia [n.d.]
2 7 Minutes: Black Women’s Arts Alliance meetings [1981-1982]
2 8 Mailing list: Black Women’s Arts Alliance [n.d.]
2 9 Biographical information – Select Black Women’s Art Alliance members
2 10 By-laws: Chicago Council on Crimes Against Women [n.d.]
2 11 Application submitted by NABF to Lawyers for the Creative Arts, 1981
2 12 Grant proposal: submitted to Illinois Humanities Council for Northern Illinois University Conference, “Focus on Sexuality”, February, 1977
2 13 Grant proposal: submitted to Illinois Arts Council for NABF arts programs, 1980-1982
2 14 Grant proposal: submitted to the Crossroads Fund for NABF Child Care Conference, 1981
2 15 Grant proposal: submitted to Chicago Council on fine Arts for W.O.M.A.N. arts internship, 1982
2 16 Booklets: Proposal/grant writing materials,1978-1980
Box 3
3 1 NABF Correspondence, 1976
3 2 NABF Correspondence, 1977
3 3 NABF Correspondence, 1978
3 4 NABF Correspondence, 1979
3 5 NABF Correspondence, 1980
3 6 NABF Correspondence, 1981-1982
3 7 NABF Correspondence, 1983
3 8 NABF Correspondence, 1985
3 9 NABF Correspondence, 1986-1987
3 10 NABF Correspondence, 1997
3 11 NABF Correspondence, [n.d.]
 

Series 3: Unpublished manuscripts by Brenda Eichelberger

Box 4
4 1 “Black Feminism: Is it necessary?” A critique of eight Black feminist Interviews, 1/20/1977
4 2 “Black Feminism: Is it necessary?” interview with Monica Stewart, 1977
4 3 “Black Feminism: Is it necessary?” interview with Marion Fisher, 1977
4 4 “Black Feminism: Is it necessary?” interview with Bonita Kelly, 1977
4 5 “Black Feminism: Is it necessary?” interview with Rose Diggs, 1977
4 6 “Black Feminism: Is it necessary?” interview with Cozetta Milton, 1977
4 7 “Black Feminism: Is it necessary?” interview with Marta White, 1977
4 8 “Black Feminism: Is it necessary?” interview with Donna Stutts, 1977
4 9 “Black Feminism: Is it necessary?” interview with Michelle Gautreaux, 1977
4 10 “Black Motherhood: madonna or matriarch?” draft [n.d.]
4 11 Black Studies topics [n.d.]
4 12 “Male and female communication,” draft [n.d.]
Box 5
5 1 “Myths about Black Feminism” (drafts), 1978
5 2 “Missing Link to ERA Passage,” 1980
5 3 “Organized ERA Opposition,” 1977
5 4 “Precede to Myths about Black Feminism: Parts I and II,” 1978
5 5 “Precede to Myths about Black Feminism: Parts I and III,” 1978
5 6 “Real Opposition to ERA,” 1977
5 7 “Several common myths about rape; resources for rape victims,” [n.d.]
5 8 “War and the post-war years,” (draft), [n.d.]
5 9 “Wallace’s myths: A Feminist Perspective,” 1979
5 10 “What is Anglogynophobia?,” 1977-78
5 11 “Why are few black women in the women’s movement?,” 1977
 

Series 4: Collection of journals, magazines and newsletters

Box 6
6 1 AIM for racial harmony and peace, v.5, no. 4, July/August, 1978
6 2 Allegheny Feminist, v.2, no. 5, June, 1978
6 3 Chicago Defender, [scattered issues] March 27, 1978-August 17, 1981
6 4 Chicago Journal, v. 2, no. 46, August 2, 1978
6 5 Club Date, v. 1, no. 1, Spring, 1978
6 6 Club News, v. 4, no. 2, Summer, 1978
6 7 Community, v. 36, no. 1, Fall, 1976
6 8 Diplomat magazine, v.1, no. 1, April 10, 1981
6 9 Essence, v. 9, no. 7, November, 1978
6 10 International Socialist Review, March 1977
6 11 Jet, March 2, 1978
6 12 Militant, v. 41, no. 17, May 6, 1977
6 13 Moving Mountain: A Feminist Quarterly, v.2, no. 2, Winter, 1977
6 14 Moving On, August/September, 1979
6 15 New Crusader, July 4, 1981
6 16 Now magazine, v.2, no. 4, 1978
6 17 Observer, v. 14, no. 29, July 22, 1978
6 18 Off Our Backs, [scattered issues] June, 1978- March, 1979
6 19 Reader, v.8, no. 35, June 1, 1979
Box 7
7 1 Rumble, no. 35, January, 1980
7 2 Scene, v. 8, no. 1, Fall, 1975
7 3 Westchester Woman, v. 6, no. 4, March, 1979
7 4 Women Organizing: A socialist feminist bulletin, v. 3, no. 7
7 5 Women’s Collection Newsletter (Special Collections, Northwestern University Library, no. 3, June, 1975—Spring, 1989
7 6 Women’s Liberation, News and Letters Committees, May, 1978
7 7 WREE View, v. 6, no. 2, March-April, 1981
7 8 Women’s News…For a change, April, 1977
 

Series 5: Clipping Files from newspapers, magazines and pamphlets

Box 8
8 1 Newspaper clippings on feminist topics, 1974-1981
8 2 “The African contribution, part II,” John M. Weatherwax, 1968
8 3 “Appendix 4: By-laws of Arts Groups, Inc.” [n.d.]
8 4 “Black Feminism: A new mandate,” MS, May, 1974.
8 5 “Black feminists and the Equal Rights Amendment,” Sepia, October, 1979
8 6 “Black History: collecting alternative images,” Mary Teal Coleman, MS, November, 1979
8 7 “Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman,” Michelle Wallace, MS, January, 1979
8 8 “Black Women’s Liberation,” Bernette Golden, Essence, February, 1974
8 9 “Black Women’s Struggle for Equality,” Willie Mae Reid, Pathfinder Press, 1976
8 10 “Brenda Verner examines Liberated Sisters , Encore, April, 1974
8 11 “A critical examination of Ellen Willis’ ‘Rape on Trial’,” Amelia Laverne Bennett, April 17, 1976
8 12 “Feminists argue for job parity, Brenda Eichelberger, Chicago Defender, May 8, 1978
8 13 “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Revolution When Poetry is Not Enough,” Salim Muwakkil, The Reader, February, 1978
8 14 “Getting Together: how to start a Women’s Liberation group,” Jane Freeman and Marge Piercy, [n.d.]
8 15 “In Defense of Feminism,” Brenda Verner, Encore, July 1974
8 16 “Lesbian Feminist Theory,” Charlotte Bunch, [n.d.]
8 17 “Missing Link to Passage of the ERA,” NABF position paper, 1980
8 18 “My God, the Doctor!”, Judy Lerner, [n.d.]
8 19 “Myths About Feminism,” AIM for Racial Harmony & Peace, July/August, 1978
8 20 “Myths About Feminism,” Essence, November, 1978
8 21 “Narrative of Sojourner Truth: Part 1,” Olive Gilbert and Frances W. Titus, 1964(?)
8 22 “New Myths for Old: Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman,” Moving On, [n.d.]
8 23 “Plan for the Implementation of the Provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Related to Integration of Facilities,” Chicago Public Schools, May 31, 1977
8 24 “Racism isn’t Just…,” Black Industrial Mission, Summer, 1971
8 25 “Reflections and Perspectives on the Women’s Movement in 1976: The ERA,” Jacqueline St. John, Vital Speeches of the Day, 1977(?)
8 26 “Sharing the Power and the Glory,” Patsy G. Fulcher, Contact Magazine, Fall, 1974
8 27 “Should We Genderspeak? Words and Women calls for an end to male-dominated language,” More, October, 1976
8 28 “Testimony of Frankie M. Freeman, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, May 19, 1978
8 29 “The Mother Fucker and the Original Mother Fucker,” Frances Cress Welsing, [n.d.]
8 30 “Thirty-six Black women’s organizations,” Black Collegian, May/June, 1979
8 31 “Voices on Black Feminism,” Quest, Spring, 1977
8 33 “Who will revere the Black Woman?”, case study, Dixie Lee Baker-Young, 1979
8 34 “War between the Sexes,” Ebony, June, 1979
 

Series 6: NABF Workshop and conference materials

9 1 Promotional flyers from NABF assertiveness workshops, 1979-1980
9 2 Handout: “What is Assertiveness Training?”, 1978-1980
9 3 Application: NABF Assertiveness workshop, 1978
9 4 Outline: NABF Assertiveness course, 1978
9 5 Handout: Assertiveness inventory, 1978
9 6 Manual: “Facilitating Assertiveness Training Groups, Counseling Center Southern Illinois University, 1974
9 7 Handout: “Every woman’s bill of rights,” 1978-1980
9 8 Handout: “Assertively coping with the Great Manipulator,” 1978-1980
9 9 Handout: “Handling criticism,” 1978-1980
9 10 Handout: “Broken record,” 1978-1980
9 11 Handout: “Games women play to avoid asserting themselves,” 1978-1980
9 12 Handout: “When I may be acting non-assertively,” 1978-1980
9 13 Handout: “Characterological lifechart of people we all know,” 1978-1980
9 14 Handout: “Comparing non-assertive, aggressive and assertive behaviors and their consequences,” 1978-1980
9 15 Description of the Consciousness-raising workshop, 1978-1980
9 16 Handout: “Consciousness-raising guidelines,” 1978-1980
9 17 Handout: “Men’s consciousness-raising guidelines,” 1978-1980
9 18 Handout: “Introduction to consciousness-raising,” 1978-1980
9 19 Handout: “Consciousness-raising small groups for women,” 1978-1980
9 20 Handout: “Consciousness-raising guidelines,” 1978-1980
9 21 Handout: “Consciousness-raising—a dead end,” 1978-1980
9 22 Handout: “Topics on consciousness-raising,” 1978-1980
9 23 Handout: “Woman’s body, woman’s mind, a guide to consciousness-Raising,” 1978-1980
9 24 Handout: “Rapping in small groups,” 1978-1980
9 25 Handout: “On females,” 1978-1980
Box 10
10 1 Brochures from feminist organizations [n.d.]
10 2 Brochures and holdings information: Midwest Women’s Historical Collection, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1977
10 3 Conference materials: First scholarly research conference on Black Women’s History, National Council of Negro Women, Washington, D.C., 1979
10 4 Conference materials: “Black Women in the Middle West, A Documentary Heritage Project,” Chicago Historical Society, 1984
10 5 Conference materials: “1980 General conference on Equal Rights of Women and Men,” United Methodist Church, 1980
10 6 Conference materials: “Feminist Conference,” Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York, 1979
 

Series 7: Memorabilia

Box 11
11 1 Souvenir program and reviews: “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow was Enuf,” Ntozake Shange, 1978
11 2 Poster: “Honoring a Commitment to the People of America—Presidential Appointees,” 1979
11 3 Galley proofs: “The Missing Link to Passage of the ERA,” NABF Position Paper, Chicago, November, 1980
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