Ernece Kelly Papers

Dates: 1966-2000, undated
Size: 1.5 linear feet
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature, 9525 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, Illinois 60628



Provenance: Donated by Dr. Ernece Kelly, February and April 2000
Access: No restrictions

When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is:

Ernece Kelly Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature

Processed by: Elizabeth Loch, July 2020

Biographical Note

Dr. Ernece B. Kelly was an activist in the 1960s Chicago civil rights movement, an educator, and scholar. She was a Chicago native. Her father, William Kelly, was employed by the Chicago Post Office for over forty years.

Kelly worked as a staffer for the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCC) in the 1960s. She famously called on CCCC to recognize its pervasive racism in her 1968 response to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, “Murder of the American Dream.” The essay was published by the National Council of Teachers of English in the May 1968 edition of College Composition and Communication.

Dr. Kelly was also a professor of English and Literature. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Chicago, then received her Ph.D. in Education from Northwestern University in 1972. Dr. Kelly taught at Chicago City College’s Loop Campus (Associate Professor), Northwestern University (Associate Professor of English), University of Maryland, and Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, New York.

Dr. Kelly worked to create alternative conference spaces for African American educators. She directed the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Task Force on Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English, which authored the 1970 NCTE policy statement, “Criteria for Teaching Materials in Reading and Literature,” and she led the Textbook Review Committee, which produced Searching for America, a 1972 landmark collection of essays by scholars of color that challenged white supremacy in widely-used college textbooks on American literature.


Scope and Content

This collection is sorted into two series.

Series 1: Print Materials consists of materials related to Al Raby (co-chair of the Chicago Freedom Movement in the 1960s), a 1966 speech titled “The Negro Family,” a pamphlet by the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee, and a movie review written by Dr. Kelly. This series is organized chronologically, then alphabetically.

Series 2: Memorabilia consists of 35 political and social movement buttons. This series is organized alphabetically by button title.

Related Materials

Related materials at the Chicago Public Library include:

Related materials at other institutions include:

Container List

Series 1: Print Materials, 1966, 1985, 1988, 1989, 2000, undated

Box 1 Folder 1 “The Negro Family” by Daniel P. Moynihan. An address sponsored by The Center for Urban Studies and delivered on The University of Chicago Campus, 1966 March 11
Box 1 Folder 2 Remarks of Albert A. Raby at the Clarence Darrow Awards Dinner in the Midland Hotel, 1985 April 25
Box 1 Folder 3 Program for Al Raby’s memorial service at Rockefeller Chapel, University of Chicago, 1988 November 29
Box 1 Folder 4 “Rites Held in Chicago for Albert Raby, 55, Civil Rights Leader” article, circa 1988
Box 1 Folder 5 Charles Wolff’s memorandum on the memorial service for Al Raby, 1989 February 24
Box 1 Folder 6 “What’s Cooking?” movie review by Ernece B. Kelly in The New York Beacon, 2000 November [photocopy]
Box 1 Folder 7 Holiday card featuring a photo of Al, Pat, and Alison Raby, undated
Box 1 Folder 8 I Know You Are My Brother pamphlet by the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee, undated

Series 2: Memorabilia, 1968, 1983-1992, undated

Box 2 Button 1 Carol Moseley Braun, Democrat U.S. Senate, undated
Box 2 Button 2 Clevelanders for a Free South Africa, undated
Box 2 Button 3 Connecticut Committee To Elect Jesse Jackson, President ’84, 1984
Box 2 Button 4 Dinkins, undated
Box 2 Button 5 Elect Johnson and Humphrey, Vote Democratic, circa 1968
Box 2 Button 6 Free Geronimo, Political Prisoner U.S.A., undated
Box 2 Button 7 Free The N.Y. Eight, undated
Box 2 Button 8 Harold Washington For Chicago, circa 1983
Box 2 Button 9 June 19 Solidarity Day, undated
Box 2 Button 10 Justice For Ernie Lacy, Stop Police Brutality!, undated
Box 2 Button 11 Keep The Pressure On Apartheid, undated
Box 2 Button 12 Labor For Jackson ’88, 1988
Box 2 Button 13 Metcalfe, undated
Box 2 Button 14 Mikva, undated
Box 2 Button 15 National March, Housing Now!, U.S. Capitol, 1989 October 7
Box 2 Button 16 New Yorkers for Jesse Jackson ’88, undated
Box 2 Button 17 Pride Equals Power, Gay & Lesbian Pride Chicago ’92, 1992
Box 2 Button 18 Punch 8 For Mayor Harold Washington, Democrats Unite, circa 1983 [photo in black and white]
Box 2 Button 19 Punch 8 For Mayor Harold Washington, Democrats Unite, circa 1983 [photo in color]
Box 2 Button 20 Raby, undated
Box 2 Button 21 Stevenson, undated
Box 2 Button 22 Stonewall 20, A Generation of Pride, New York City Lesbian & Gay Pride Weekend, 1989 June 24
Box 2 Button 23 The Continental Walk, undated
Box 2 Button 24 Unbossed, Unbought, Unslapped!, undated
Box 2 Button 25 Unemployed, undated
Box 2 Button 26 Unite Against Racism, Support Jesse Jackson, All-Peoples Congress, People’s Anti-War Mobilization, undated
Box 2 Button 27 Untitled [equal sign], undated
Box 2 Button 28 Untitled [two hands and a dove], undated
Box 2 Button 29 U.S. Hands Off Cuba, People’s Anti-War Mobilization, undated
Box 2 Button 30 U.S. Out of Middle East, Bring the Troops Home, undated
Box 2 Buttons 31 a and b Vote Raby Baby, undated [two identical buttons]
Box 2 Button 32 Vote SLP, Socialist Labor Party, undated
Box 2 Button 33 Voting, The New Black Power, undated
Box 2 Button 34 We Won!, undated
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