Maria Mootry Papers

Dates: 1971-2001
Size: 3.5 linear feet (5 archival boxes)
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
Collection Number: 2001/03
Provenance: Donated by Helen M. Rushing in 2001; additional materials donated by Constance Yokley, 2015
Access: No restrictions
Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Maria Mootry Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature
Processed By: Angelique Schuler, Archivist, Harsh Archival Processing Project

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Maria K. Mootry, a prolific poet, literature professor, artist, and activist, was born in Nashville, Tennessee on January 3, 1944 to parents Primus James Mootry Sr. and Helen Rushing. Maria was the eldest of her five siblings: Primus Jr., Constance Yokley, Beverly, and Janice. She had two children: Aisha Mootry (July 17, 1978) and Jonathan Ikeriowu (August 8, 1981).

Maria Mootry thrived in her academic studies. She graduated from Farragut High School in Chicago at the age of sixteen. Mootry received her Bachelor’s Degree from Roosevelt University. In 1967, she enrolled at the University of Wisconsin where she completed a Master’s Degree in English in only one year. She taught at Kennedy-King Junior College while she completing her Ph. D in English from Northwestern University. During her career in academia, Dr. Mootry taught English and African American Studies at Northwestern University, Southern Illinois University, Grinnell College, and the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Mootry is known for her critical studies and reviews of Gwendolyn Brooks’ poetry. In 1987, A Life Distilled: Gwendolyn Brooks, Her Poetry and Fiction was released. Mootry was listed as an author for two chapters and editor for the whole book. She also presented at various events in Illinois that honored Gwendolyn Brooks.

In addition to her academic career, she was also involved with the creation of her own poetry, which was published in many books and journals. From an early age, Mootry was encouraged by her mother to explore and be involved with the arts. She began writing poems, and created paintings and drawings. Mootry took pride in her African American heritage and this was reflected in her works. She associated herself with poets of the Black Arts Movement. Her book of poems, Looking for Langston, was published 1996 and was republished in 1998. In 1997, her poetry appeared in All the Women were Heroes along with many other poetry compilation works.

Throughout her academic career Maria Mootry focused on the advocacy of African American and women’s rights. The publications of Brain Games, Racialized Bioethics, and The Human Genome Project: Racial Implications examine the issues of race and gender that affect the African American community as a whole. Mootry’s academic work advocates for a deeper understanding on how larger social issues affect the black community and women’s rights. Mootry’s passion for black and women’s rights is also conveyed in her poetry, paintings, and drawings.

Maria Mootry passed away on May 29, 2000 at the age of 56.

SOURCE

  • Maria Mootry Papers, Box 1, Folders 4 and 14 Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature.

SCOPE AND CONTENT

The Maria Mootry Papers contain documents mostly pertaining to her academic career. This collection is organized into 6 series: Biography, Manuscripts, Correspondence, Programs, Research Files, Photographs and Memorabilia. Each section of this collection was organized in chronological order to show the progression of Mootry’s work. Moreover, the organizational scheme shows the overlap of her work and the multifaceted complexity of her work as a scholar, artist, and critic.

Series 1: Biography, 1985-2001

This series contains biographical information about Maria Mootry. The documents included in this section are biographical sketches that were published in various works, Maria Mootry’s resume/CV, funeral programs, and tribute event information that mention Mootry’s biography. The documents in this series are arranged in chronological order.

Series 2: Manuscripts, circa 1951-2000, undated

The manuscripts have been arranged chronologically and consist of works written, drafts, event notes and speeches by Maria Mootry. The majority of works found in this series are published works. However, several draft or edited copies of her work can also be found in this series.

Series 3: Correspondence, 1995-2001, undated

The correspondence series in this collection focuses on Maria Mootry’s professional career as a published academic. The majority of the items are letters sent and received regarding the publication of articles and books. Several other letters are internal letters to and from Mootry regarding her time as a professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Series 4: Programs, 1994-2000, undated

This series is separated into two sub-series: Programs and National Summit on Africa.

Sub-Series 1: Programs

The first sub-series contains program flyers, event brochures, and handouts. Many of these events list Maria Mootry as a guest or honoree. The flyers are organized in chronological order.

Sub-series 2: National Summit on Africa

The second sub-series contains information on the National Summit on Africa, which is a program that assists African Americans who seek to discuss and publicize pressing social, political, and economic needs in Africa. The objective of the organization is to find beneficial ways that the United States can help African nations. Maria Mootry was a active member of this organization.

Series 5: Research Files, 1996-2000, undated

This series contains research or publications conducted by others, which used or referenced Maria Mootry’s work. The publications found in this section are organized in chronological order by the date of publication, if known.

Series 6: Memorabilia and Photographs, 2000, undated

This series contains memorabilia and photographs that were donated with the collection. These include a medal and photographs.

RELATED MATERIALS

Related collections at the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection include the

CONTAINER LIST

Series 1: Biography

Box 1 Folder 1 Biography: A Reader's Guide to Illinois Literature, 1985
Box 1 Folder 2 Biography: New Year’s Cards, 2000
Box 1 Folder 3 Biography: Springfield Surgical Associates Dr. Donald Ross, M.D., F.A.C.S, undated
Box 1 Folder 4 Biography: Resume/ CV for Dr. Maria Mootry, undated
Box 1 Folder 5 Biography: Funeral/ Memorial Program - Notes and organizational materials, May 20, 2000
Box 1 Folder 6 Biography: Draft of Memorial Service Program, undated
Box 1 Folder 7 Biography: Blank Thank You Card from Mootry Family, undated
Box 1 Folder 8 Biography: Poem "Agony of Colors" A tribute to Dr. Maria Mootry Written by Aettaeia, undated
Box 1 Folder 9 Biography: Program from Church of the Living God, 93rd Assembly, July 23, 2000- August 1, 2000
Box 1 Folder 10 Biography: Sympathy Cards to the Mootry Family, June 2000, undated
Box 1 Folder 11 Biography: Guidelines for Dr. Mootry's Commemoration/ Award - Email from Leonard Marcellus to Aisha Mootry, April 06, 2001
Box 1 Folder 12 Biography: Speaking into Being: A Commemoration of Life at University of Illinois-Springfield, April 18, 2001
Box 1 Folder 13 Biography: Memorial Tribute for Dr. Maria Mootry at Grace United Methodist Church in Springfield, IL, June 2, 2000
Box 1 Folder 14 Biography: Funeral Program for Maria Mootry, June 5, 2000

Series 2: Manuscripts

Box 1 Folder 17 Manuscripts: Mother by Maria Mootry, undated, circa 1951
Box 1 Folder 18 Manuscripts: Three Caribbean Poets, 1971
Box 1 Folder 19 Manuscripts: Literature and Resistance in South Africa: Two Zulu Poets by Maria Mootry, 1973
Box 1 Folder 20 Manuscripts: Soyinka and Yoruba Mythology by Maria Mootry, 1976
Box 1 Folder 21 Manuscripts: Love and Death in the Black Pastoral by Maria Mootry, 1977
Box 1 Folder 22 Manuscripts: If He Changed my Name by Maria Mootry, 1979
Box 1 Folder 23 Manuscripts: Bird Encaged: Peace Poetry Workshop by Maria Mootry, April 15, 1983
Box 1 Folder 24 Manuscripts: J. Saunders Redding: A Case Study of the Black Intellectual by Maria Mootry, 1983
Box 1 Folder 25 Manuscripts: Sestina: Six Women Poets Edited by Maria Mootry, 1983
Box 1 Folder 26 Manuscripts: Themes and Symbols in Two Play by Leroi Jones by Maria Mootry, 1984
Box 1 Folder 27 Manuscripts: Bitches, Whores, and Women Haters: Archetypes and Typologies in the Art of Richard Wright by Maria Mootry, 1984
Box 1 Folder 28 Manuscripts: Other Women Before Me by Cheryl Johnson-Odim, 1985
Box 1 Folder 29 Manuscripts: Inprint Vol. 1 No. 3, Spring 1985
Box 1 Folder 30 Manuscripts: Inprint Vol. 3 No. 1, Fall 1985
Box 1 Folder 31 Manuscripts: A Time of Holy Anger Poems by N. Carrington Schmidt with Introduction by Maria Mootry, 1985
Box 1 Folder 32 Manuscripts: And All the People Said Amen: Voices Against Apartheid, 1986
Box 1 Folder 33 Manuscripts: Drawing the Wound by Nancy Carrington Schmidt edited by Maria Mootry, 1986
Box 1 Folder 34 Manuscripts: The Moon's Full Measure's Mine by Nancy Carrington Schmidt edited by Maria Mootry, 1987
Box 1 Folder 35 Manuscripts: Black American Women in Literature: A Bibliography 1976 through 1987 with Maria Mootry's publications listed, 1987
Box 1 Folder 36 Manuscripts: Say that the River Turns: The Impact of Gwendolyn Brooks by Maria Mootry, 1987
Box 1 Folder 37 Manuscripts: Chocolate Mabbie and Pearl May Lee by Maria Mootry, March 1987
Box 1 Folder 38 Manuscripts: Literature and Resistance in South Africa: Poetic Continuity through Projectivism, Personalism and Praxis by Maria Mootry, 1988
Box 1 Folder 39 Manuscripts: In the Garden of the Beast Preface by Maria Mootry, 1989
Box 1 Folder 40 Manuscripts: OBAC and the Black Chicago Poets: Towards a Black Visual Aesthetic by Maria Mootry, 1989
Box 1 Folder 41 Manuscripts: Modernist Masterpiece Set on Chicago's South Side by Maria Mootry, 1994
Box 1 Folder 42 Manuscripts: Book Review - Africana Womanism: Reclaiming Ourselves by Clenora Hudson-Weems reviewed by Maria Mootry, 1994
Box 1 Folder 43 Manuscripts: Looking for Langston - Draft with edits by Maria Mootry, undated
Box 2 Folder 1 Manuscripts: Looking for Langston -Mark up copies by Maria Mootry, 1995
Box 2 Folder 2 Manuscripts: Looking for Langston -Final copy by Maria Mootry, 1995
Box 2 Folder 3 Manuscripts: The Legacyof Anna Johnson by Maria Mootry, May 24, 1995
Box 2 Folder 4 Manuscripts: Post World War II African American Literature in Illinois by Maria Mootry, 1996
Box 2 Folder 5 Manuscripts: Growing up Black and Female, Black and Male in Chicago in Gwendolyn Brook's Maud Martha and Ron Fair's Hog Butcher, by Maria Mootry, 1996
Box 2 Folder 6 Manuscripts: I by Cranston Knight, 1996
Box 2 Folder 7 Manuscripts: Citation and Reference for A Life Distilled, 1996
Box 2 Folder 8 Manuscripts: Presentation - Gwendolyn Brooks' Maud Martha, 05/23/1996
Box 2 Folder 9 Manuscripts: NJIA: A Student Journal of African-American Studies, Maria Mootry listed as Chair of the Editorial Board, 1997
Box 2 Folder 10 Manuscripts: The Ballad of Roby Redgie -handwritten by Maria Mootry [3 pages], October 18, 1997
Box 2 Folder 11 Manuscripts: Lincoln Library Fountain by Maria Mootry, October 18, 1997
Box 2 Folder 12 Manuscripts: Biography of Melvin Van Peebles written by Maria Mootry, January 27, 1998
Box 2 Folder 13 Manuscripts: Biography of Ronald L. Fair written by Maria Mootry, February 23, 1998
Box 2 Folder 14 Manuscripts: National Summit on Africa - Peace and Security with Maria Mootry's notes, April 1998
Box 2 Folder 15 Manuscripts: OCLC Citations for Dr. Mootry's published works, May 8, 1998
Box 2 Folder 16 Manuscripts: Goodnight, Erica, Sweet Dreams by Maria Mootry, 1998
Box 2 Folder 17 Manuscripts: Looking for Langston -Mark up copies by Maria Mootry, 1998
Box 2 Folder 18 Manuscripts: Looking for Langston -Final copy by Maria Mootry, 1998
Box 2 Folder 19 Manuscripts: Racialized Bioethics - Draft/Edits by Maria Mootry, 1998
Box 2 Folder 20 Manuscripts: Contours of Culture: about Innovation and Identity in Black Writing by Maria Mootry, Fall 1998
Box 2 Folder 21 Manuscripts: Racialized Bioethics - with correspondence from The Western Journal of Black Studies about publication, 1998
Box 2 Folder 22 Manuscripts: Scientific Racism By Maria Mootry with correspondence from Temple University about Publication, 1998
Box 2 Folder 23 Manuscripts: The Black Women's Intellectual Tradition: Maria W. Stewart, A Pioneer by Maria Mootry, 1999
Box 2 Folder 24 Manuscripts: Brain Games by Maria Mootry, 1999
Box 3 Folder 1 Manuscripts: Squirrel Tales by Maria Mootry, Kevin Yokley, and Constance Yokley, 1999
Box 3 Folder 2 Manuscripts: Maria Mootry's notes for summer 1999 scholarly research award proposal, 1999
Box 3 Folder 3 Manuscripts: National Summit on Africa - Maria Mootry's Personal Notes, June 22, 1999
Box 3 Folder 4 Manuscripts: National Summit on Africa - Maria Mootry's Personal Notes, July 20, 1999
Box 3 Folder 5 Manuscripts: For Torrence by Maria Mootry, October 1999
Box 3 Folder 6 Manuscripts: Confronting Racialized Bioethics: New Contract on Black America, 2000
Box 3 Folder 7 Manuscripts: The OBAC Tradition: Don L. Lee, Carolyn Rodgers and the Early Years by Maria Mootry, undated
Box 3 Folder 8 Manuscripts: The Otherwise Room by Maria Mootry, undated
Box 3 Folder 9 Manuscripts: The Step of Iron Feet by Maria Mootry, undated
Box 3 Folder 10 Manuscripts: Tell it Slant by Maria Mootry, undated
Box 3 Folder 11 Manuscripts: Editor's Response to An Area of Act by Maria Mootry, September 5, [undated]
Box 3 Folder 12 Manuscripts: Black Madonna: The Rise and Fall of Anna Johnson by Maria Mootry draft copy, undated
Box 3 Folder 13 Manuscripts: The Human Genome Project Racial Implications by Maria Mootry draft copy, undated
Box 3 Folder 14 Manuscripts: The Step of Iron Feet by Maria Mootry draft copy, undated
Box 3 Folder 15 Manuscripts: Forum by Maria Mootry, undated

Series 3: Correspondence

Box 3 Folder 16 Correspondence: Anchor Books, March 27, 1995
Box 3 Folder 17 Correspondence: from Maria Mootry To Cranston Knight- about poem publication, November 4, 1996
Box 3 Folder 18 Correspondence: University Press of Mississippi, November 1996
Box 3 Folder 19 Correspondence: Georgetown University Press about Brain Games Publication, November 8, 1996
Box 3 Folder 20 Correspondence: to Dr. Watts at University of Illinois- Springfield about Brain Games Publication, November 20, 1996
Box 3 Folder 21 Correspondence: Between Maria Mootry and Amanda Irwin about publication of Essays, 1996-1997
Box 3 Folder 22 Correspondence: Maria Mootry to Chicago Sun Times Editor, June 06, 1998
Box 3 Folder 23 Correspondence: To William Bloemer from Maria Mootry about tenure, June 30, 1998
Box 3 Folder 24 Correspondence: From Maria Mootry to Richard Wentworth, about reprint of published works, September 9, 1998
Box 3 Folder 25 Correspondence: From Evanston/North Shore Branch of the NAACP to Maria Mootry, about Call/invitation to the symposium for the new millennium, February 26, 1999
Box 3 Folder 26 Correspondence: From Mullen Publishers, August 19, 1999
Box 3 Folder 27 Correspondence: From Evanston/North Shore Branch of the NAACP to Maria Mootry, about Call/invitation to the symposium for the new millennium, March 24, 1999
Box 3 Folder 28 Correspondence: From University of Illinois at Springfield, April 1999
Box 3 Folder 29 Correspondence: From Ohio University Press, April 1999
Box 3 Folder 30 Correspondence: From University Press of Florida, April, 1999
Box 3 Folder 31 Correspondence: From University Press of New England, May 13, 1999
Box 3 Folder 32 Correspondence: From Kluwer Academic Press, June 11, 1999
Box 3 Folder 33 Correspondence: From John Wiley and Sons, June 11, 1999
Box 3 Folder 34 Correspondence: From Trinity Press International-Morehouse Publishers, June 6, 1999
Box 3 Folder 35 Correspondence: From Trinity Press International, June 28, 1999
Box 3 Folder 36 Correspondence: From Kluwer Academic Publishers, July 29, 1999
Box 3 Folder 37 Correspondence: From Theresa L. Sears to Aldon Lynn Nielson - about editing instructions, April 20, 1999
Box 3 Folder 38 Correspondence: From Aldon Lynn Nielson to Contributor to An Area of Act, April 23, 1999
Box 3 Folder 39 Correspondence: From Maria Mootry to Jacqueline Bryant about Gwendolyn Brooks’ Maud Martha, April 19, 2000
Box 3 Folder 40 Correspondence: From Maria Mootry to Chicago Public Library about donation agreement/ conditions, April 20, 2000
Box 3 Folder 41 Correspondence: From Lois Kunds, June 20, 2000
Box 3 Folder 42 Correspondence: Email Correspondence, May 9 - 11, 2001
Box 3 Folder 43 Correspondence: Email From Aisha Mootry about University of Illinois-Springfield Memorial Tribute/ Scholarship Competition, March 27, 2001
Box 3 Folder 44 Correspondence: Brain Child Mailing lists, Undated

Series 4: Programs

Sub-Series 1: Programs

Box 4 Folder 1 Programs: Flyer: Sex, Lies & the Law, October 18,1994
Box 4 Folder 2 Programs: Black History Month Flier, February 1996
Box 4 Folder 3 Programs: University of Illinois-Springfield African American Studies 4th Annual Speakers Series, November 12, 1997
Box 4 Folder 4 Programs: Benchmark Conference on Poetry in Illinois flyer, April 7-10, 1998
Box 4 Folder 5 Programs: University of Illinois-Springfield Weekly, May 17, 1999
Box 4 Folder 6 Freedom in Holiness Mission Open Door Luncheon brochure, June 12, 1999
Box 4 Folder 7 Programs: Certificate for "Generous Donor" Freedom of Holiness Mission, June 12, 1999
Box 4 Folder 8 Programs: Certificate from Freedom of Holiness Mission, June 12, 1999
Box 4 Folder 9 Programs: Mini Conference on Civil/ Human Rights of Africans, September 27, 2000
Box 4 Folder 10 Programs: 2nd National Conference on Civil/Human Rights of Africanas in Memphis, TN, September 7-10, 2000
Box 4 Folder 11 Programs: 10th Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Writers Conference, October 25-28, 2000
Box 4 Folder 12 Programs: Brochure - University of Illinois-Springfield- Verbal Arts Festival, April 17-21, 2001

Series 4: Programs

Sub-Series 2: National Summit on Africa

Box 4 Folder 13 Programs: National Summit on Africa - Peace and Security, April 1998
Box 4 Folder 14 Programs: National Summit on Africa -Education and Culture, April 1998
Box 4 Folder 15 Programs: National Summit on Africa - Midwest Regional Summit Policy Plan of Action, September 1998
Box 4 Folder 16 Programs: National Summit on Africa - Handbook for State Delegates, February 23, 1999
Box 4 Folder 17 Programs: National Summit on Africa - State Journal Register, March 21, 1999
Box 4 Folder 18 Programs: National Summit on Africa - Illinois Caucus Invitation Letter, April, 27,1999
Box 4 Folder 19 Programs: National Summit on Africa - Illinois Delegate Conference Flyer, May 22, 1999
Box 4 Folder 20 Programs: National Summit on Africa - Illinois Caucus Invitation Letter, May 22,1999
Box 4 Folder 21 Programs: National Summit on Africa - Sustainable Development, Quality of Life and the Environment, June 23, 1999
Box 4 Folder 22 Programs: National Summit on Africa - Illinois Caucus Sustainable Development Recommendations, July 8, 1999
Box 4 Folder 23 Programs: National Summit on Africa - Draft National Policy Plan of Action, February 16-20, 2000
Box 4 Folder 24 Programs: National Summit on Africa - Democracy and Human Rights, undated
Box 4 Folder 25 Programs: National Summit on Africa - Towards 2000, undated
Box 4 Folder 26 Programs: National Summit on Africa - Overview of Summit Process, undated
Box 4 Folder 27 Programs: National Summit on Africa - Illinois Caucus Roster for the Springfield Group, undated
Box 4 Folder 28 Programs: National Summit on Africa - excerpt, undated

Series 5: Research Files

Box 4 Folder 29 Research Files: Wole Soyinka, 1996
Box 4 Folder 30 Research Files: Article Africana Womanism and the Critical Need for Africana Theory by Clenora Hudson-Weems in the Western Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2, 1997
Box 4 Folder 31 Research Files: Titles in Women's Studies, 1999
Box 4 Folder 32 Research Files: Newspaper Clipping from the Chicago Tribune, April 7, 2000
Box 4 Folder 33 Research Files: Barbara Hendricks - An Expatriate, An Opera Singer, A Diva by Maryanne Carney, undated
Box 4 Folder 34 Research Files: Newspaper clipping photocopy - A Rise in suspect Reports that Children are being Abducted for their Organs, undated

Series 6: Memorabilia and Photographs

Box 5 unfoldered Memorabilia and Photographs: Metal from Chicago State University, 2000
Box 5 Folder 1 Memorabilia and Photographs: Photograph of Gwendolyn Brooks, undated
Box 5 Folder 2 Memorabilia and Photographs: Photograph of Maria Mootry, undated
Box 5 Folder 3 Memorabilia and Photographs: Photograph of Maria Mootry at age 21, circa 1965
Box 5 Folder 4 Memorabilia and Photographs: Photograph of Maria Mootry at age 26, circa 1970
Box 5 Folder 5 Memorabilia and Photographs: Photograph of Maria Mootry at age 33, photograph taken by Janice Nolan, 1977
Box 5 Folder 6 Memorabilia and Photographs: Photograph of Maria Mootry at age 41, photograph taken by Janice Nolan, 1985
Box 5 Folder 7 Memorabilia and Photographs: Photograph of Maria Mootry with her mother Helen Rushing, photograph taken by Janice Nolan, 12/25/1997
Box 5 Folder 8 Memorabilia and Photographs: Photograph of Maria Mootry at the Women’s Center at University of Illinois, Springfield, 1998
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