Clippings Files

November 6, 2007

The James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection Clippings Files include clippings, pamphlets, and ephemeral literature documenting various aspects of the African American experience in the twentieth century. The collection is arranged in three subgroups: Pamphlets and Ephemeral Publications (JWJ 1); Clippings Arranged by Personal and Corporate Names (JWJ 2); Clippings Arranged By General Subjects (JWJ 2x).

The collection highlights the achievements of individual African Americans, the work of community and education organizations, and areas such as film, theater, music, politics, and civil rights. The clippings were collected primarily by Langston Hughes, James Weldon and Grace Nail Johnson, Ollie Jewel Simms Ocala (a friend and close associate of the Johnsons), and Carl Van Vechten, with some additional materials added by others. Clippings in the collection are drawn from national and regional news sources as well as newspapers and magazines with an African American focus. The majority of clippings are from New York, Ohio, Arkansas, Illinois, and Pennsylvania newspapers. The collection also includes pamphlets and ephemeral publications (primarily found in the JWJ 1 call number range but also found in both JWJ 2 and JWJ 2x).

Some individual ephemeral publications and clipping groups (by subject) can be found in Orbis, inlcuding: Pamphlets and clippings by and about Imamu Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones); Pamphlets and clippings by and about Jean Toomer; Pamphlets and clippings on segregation; and Pamphlets and clippings about the Jubilee Singers.

Images: Jo Baker Day clipping from Amsterdam News (JWJ Clippings 2 – Baker, Josephine 1948-1960); Rhapsody in Blue cartoon from Chicago Daily News, 1932 (JWJ Clippings 2 – Warfield, William - Waters, Ethel).