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Tallahassee Civil Rights Oral History Collection

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 1990-001

Scope and Contents

Sound recordings and transcripts of interviews for project "An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement in Tallahassee, Florida 1956-1966: Personal Interviews with Key Civil Rights Leaders, Spokesmen, and Participants," prepared by Dr. Jackson Lee Ice for the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and Religion, Department of Religion, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL. Topics include the Tallahassee Bus Boycott of 1956, lunch counter sit-ins, theatre demonstrations, school desegregation, voter registration, and race relations.

Also includes recordings and transcripts of a 1978 speech by C.K. Steele to FSU students, as well as audio of a 1957 speech made by LeRoy Collins to the Presbyterian Men's Convention in Miami, to which Collins refers during his 1978 interview.

Access Restrictions: To ensure their preservation, access to the original transcripts and sound recordings in Boxes 4, 5, and 6 is restricted. Access copies of this material are in Boxes 1, 2, and 3. Contact the Manuscript Archivist or Associate Dean of Special Collections & Archives for access to originals or more information.

Dates

  • Created: 1957, 1978
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1978
  • Other: Date acquired: 12/01/1978

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for all researchers. The content of some interviews is currently restricted by interviewee or family request. Original transcripts are fragile and researchers must use photocopies in Boxes 1 & 2. For more information consult the finding aid or contact Special Collections & Archives staff.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been transferred to the Florida State University Libraries. All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher. Transcripts and recordings of interviews may be read or heard for information only. Researchers must receive written permission from the interviewee to reproduce, cite, quote, or publish any material from them.

Biographical or Historical Information

Jackson Lee Ice was born in 1925 in Buffalo, NY. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Pittsburgh and his M. Div. from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School. He received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1955. That same year, Ice became a faculty member in the Florida State University (FSU) Department of Philosophy. As a professor of religion, Ice was interested in the philosophy of religion, contemporary religious thought, and the relationship between religion and art and religion and science. In 1974, he became full professor, serving in that rank until his death in 1991. At the time of his death, Ice was working on a manuscript for a book, Albert Schweitzer: Sketches for a Portrait. It was published by University Press of America in 1994. John Carey, former Chairman of FSU's Department of Religion, described Ice as "one of America's premier Schweitzer scholars."

The Tallahassee Civil Rights Movement oral history project, conducted in the summer of 1978, was a natural outgrowth of Dr. Ice's involvement in Tallahassee civil rights activities during the late 1950s and 1960s. Ice arrived in Tallahassee in 1955, nine months before the bus boycott. He was a witness to and a participant in the civil rights activities and social changes that affected Tallahassee during those years. When he arrived, he joined the Tallahassee Council on Human Relations, the city's first integrated civic organization. Many members of the Council were FSU and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) professors. Ice became its president in 1961-1962. During that time he came under heavy criticism from local political figures for his statements supporting the rights of African-Americans to demonstrate and perform civil disobedience for their cause. Ice was almost fired from his FSU teaching position. It was because of his work with the Tallahassee Council on Human Relations that he became acquainted with many local African-American leaders and participants and familiar with the issues and problems they faced.

Through this experience, Ice became convinced of the importance of the activities of the Tallahassee Civil Rights Movement in our nation's history. Primarily, he wanted to record these events, as told by individuals who witnessed them, before they faded from memory. He also wanted to enlighten his students about what took place during this era of racial tension, courage, and sacrifice and the role that Tallahassee played nationally in the civil rights struggle. He also became involved in this project in the late 1970s because he felt it was significant for people to know that there was significant progress made in civil rights and race relations since the early 1960s.

Working for the FSU Center for the Study of Southern Culture and Religion with funding supplied by a Rockefeller Foundation grant, Ice taped a series of interviews with people who were residents of Tallahassee during that era. He selected a representative sample of civil rights advocates and their opponents.

Extent

2.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Sound recordings and transcripts of interviews for project "An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement in Tallahassee, Florida 1956-1966: Personal Interviews with Key Civil Rights Leaders, Spokesmen, and Participants," prepared by Dr. Jackson Lee Ice for the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and Religion, Department of Religion, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL. Supported by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Arrangement Note

Recordings and transcripts are arranged alphabetically by interviewee.

Physical Access Requirements

To aid in preservation of the original interviews, photocopies of the transcripts and duplicates of the recorded interviews have been provided for use by researchers.  Access to the original transcripts and sound recordings in Boxes 4, 5, and 6 requires permission from the Manuscript Archivist or Associate Dean of Special Collections & Archives.

Custodial History

The oral history interviews were originally recorded in the summer of 1978, by Dr. Ice, on audiocassettes. Typed transcripts of the tapes were prepared in 1982 at Florida State University. Dr. John Carey of the FSU Department of Religion supervised the typing and editing of the tapes.

Method of Acquisition

Given by Dr. Jackson Lee Ice in December 1978.

Existence and Location of Originals

User copies of the recorded interviews are available on compact disks.

Processing Information

Processed by Special Collections staff in January 1990. Partially funded by a National Historical and Publications Records Commission grant, the finding aid was updated, the audiocassettes were reformatted to CD-R media by the Digital Media Center from February-April 2003, and several tapes were restored and reformatted to CD-R by conservator Richard Hess of Vignettes Media in July 2004.
Title
Tallahassee Civil Rights Oral History Collection
Author
Burt Altman
Date
00/00/2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
eng

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

Contact:
116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US
850-644-3271