1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY
1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY

NAACP Schenectady Branch Records

1949-1982

PDF Version

Abstract

Records document concerns for discrimination in housing and employment and for the recruitment of black professionals from colleges and universities to the area. The records also show the Branch's involvement with area social service providers, labor unions, and other community organizations, as well as with General Electric, as the area's major employer.

Summary

Creator:
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Schenectady Branch.
Date Coverage:
1949-1982
Quantity:
4 Reels

The Schenectady Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded in 1949 by an interracial group of men and women committed to the task of improving the status of Blacks in the Schenectady community. The first ten years of the Branch's activity were characterized by strong committee work in the areas of housing and employment. Committee work was focused on ameliorating discrimination in housing and hiring practices. At the National conventions of 1952 and 1953, the Branch was honored with the Thalheimer Award for outstanding performance in the elimination of discrimination in public housing.

The NAACP Schenectady (New York) Branch worked to eliminate discrimination against workers in local industry in a variety of ways, notably functioning as a clearinghouse for applicants and employers during the 1950s when many areas of employment were effectively closed to Blacks in Schenectady. At the same time, the Branch reached out to colleges and universities to recruit young Black professionals to the area. The 1970s saw the Branch reaching out into the community in new ways in order to keep interest in the group high. This activity included close contact with area social service providers and other community organizations. Internal branch problems surfaced at this time also, resulting in some dissipation of energies.

As a research source for investigating the status of race relations in a medium sized northern city, the records of the Schenectady Branch of the NAACP will be of some value. The presence of General Electric as a major employer in the city and a strong union presence sheds some light on race matters in labor as well as NAACP relations with socialist influenced groups. Systematic initiatives in housing and employment emanated from the local Branch from the time of its inception. Executive Committee files from the 1950s detail these initiatives.

The role of women in activist organizations and in civil rights work can be explored in these records through qualitative analysis of duties performed, often in membership drives and other outreach initiatives, fundraising events and organizational support. The Branch elected its first female President in 1959, Mrs. Malinda Myers.

Records include Executive Committee minutes, 1949-1982 (missing December 1959-January 1963); membership meeting minutes, 1949-1980 (missing January 1963-1972, 1973 [only one meeting found], 1974, October 1975-April 1976); membership lists, 1949-1980; correspondence, 1949-1980; financial records, 1949-1979 (missing 1960-1962, 1966-1976).

The role of women in activist organizations and in civil rights work can be explored in these records through qualitative analysis of duties performed, often in membership drives and other outreach initiatives, fundraising events and organizational support. The Branch elected its first female President in 1959, Mrs. Malinda Myers.

The collection is organized into 6 topical series.

The records were received from Joseph Allen, President of the NAACP Schenectady (New York) Branch. These records were lent to Dr. Gerald Zahavi as part of the Schenectady General Electric in the Twentieth Century Project with the understanding that the records would be microfilmed for addition to the Archives of Public Affairs and Policy of the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives. The records were received by the University Libraries in October 1994. The records were organized with funding support from the Schenectady General Electric in the Twentieth Century Project and microfilmed with funding support from the Capital District Black History Project. The original records were returned to Joseph Allen after microfilming was completed. 1994 October

Processed by: Jeanne Manton

Collection record created by: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on

Published: 2017-04-14 13:50:25 -0400

EAD file created, 2014

Encoded in EAD by Jeanne Manton, 1995 January

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Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, NAACP Schenectady (New York) Branch Records, 1949-1982. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the NAACP Schenectady Branch Records]).

Contents of Collection

Missing Years: Dec. 1959-Jan. 1963, May. 1964-Sept. 1973 The Executive Committee minutes document the proceedings of the Branch's Executive Committee meetings and include Board member and officer lists, committee reports, motions and resolutions and program and budget proposals. The Branch represented the interests of African Americans in social, political and legal issues. Members of the Executive Committee directed the Branch activities under the influences of local constraints and immediate community needs and the direction of the National office and National campaigns. Discrimination in public housing and in municipal hiring practices were early targets for legalistic attacks. Community outreach and interaction with area civic, labor and religious groups provided local support for the broadest social and educational aims including non discriminatory hiring by local private businesses.
BoxFolderContentsDate

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Reel 1Executive Committee Minutes1949

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Reel 1Executive Committee Minutes1949 December-1950 October

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Reel 1Executive Committee Minutes1951 July-1954 December

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Reel 1Executive Committee Minutes1955

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Reel 1Executive Committee Minutes1956 January-1958 September

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Reel 1Executive Committee Minutes1958 October-1959 November

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Reel 1Executive Committee Minutes1963 January-1964 April

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Reel 1Executive Committee Minutes1973 September-1975 December

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Reel 1Executive Committee Minutes1976

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Reel 1Executive Committee Minutes1977

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Reel 1Executive Committee Minutes1978

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Reel 1Executive Committee Minutes1979

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Reel 1Executive Committee Minutes1980

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Reel 1Executive Committee Minutes1981 April-1982 November
No Minutes exist for Jan. 1963-1972, 1973 (only one meeting found), 1974 and Oct. 1975-Apr. 1976. Much of the content of the Members Meeting minutes closely parallels the initiatives reported in the Executive Committee meeting minutes, therefore, detailed contents notes are omitted. Reports presented as part of a meeting's minutes and provided as paper copy are included in the file with those minutes. The Membership Meeting Minutes document the proceedings of the members' meetings including committee reports, outreach proposals and motions and resolutions from the rank and file membership of the Branch. The Branch presented a speakers' series and planned and executed special community events for outreach and fundraising. Women often managed fundraising functions. Close adherence to the campaigns of NAACP National and to its organizational procedure characterized the direction of the membership's activities. Affiliation of members with local, professional, religious and educational organizations is evident in the proceedings and programs followed.
BoxFolderContentsDate

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Reel 1Membership Meeting Minutes1949

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Reel 1Membership Meeting Minutes1949 December-1951 February

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Reel 1Membership Meeting Minutes1951

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Reel 1Membership Meeting Minutes1952 January-1955 November

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Reel 1Membership Meeting Minutes1956 January -1957 March

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Reel 1Membership Meeting Minutes1957 April-1959 May

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Reel 1Membership Meeting Minutes1960

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Reel 1Membership Meeting Minutes1961-1962

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Reel 1Membership Meeting Minutes1973

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Reel 1Membership Meeting Minutes1974

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Reel 1Membership Meeting Minutes1975

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Reel 1Membership Meeting Minutes1976

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Reel 1Membership Meeting Minutes1977

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Reel 1Membership Meeting Minutes1978

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Reel 1Membership Meeting Minutes1979

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Reel 1Membership Meeting Minutes1980 January
These files contain the names, addresses, and dues paid by Branch members. Also included in the file are routine correspondence and membership reports to the National Membership Secretary in New York, New York.
BoxFolderContentsDate

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Reel 2Membership Lists1952

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Reel 2Membership Lists1954

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Reel 2Membership Reports1949-1958

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Reel 2Membership Reports1962

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Reel 2Membership Reports1974-1975

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Reel 2Membership Reports1976

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Reel 2Membership Lists and Reports1977-1978

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Reel 2Membership Lists and Reports1979

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Reel 2Membership List1980
Missing Correspondence for years, 1964-1974. For miscellaneous correspondence of Edward Gamarekian, founding member of the Executive Board, see Series V: Subject Files under Gamarekian. The Branch correspondence reflects interaction with local labor organizations, elected officials, and church and civic groups. Correspondence with NAACP National included routine business as well as the Branch's requests for guidance regarding, administration, leadership, organizational solidarity and Branch activities. Correspondence from Thurgood Marshall is notable. Local businesses corresponded with the Branch to inform members of equal opportunity employment. Public and private human services providers also corresponded frequently with the Branch, especially in the latter years of the 1970s. Correspondence of Edward Gamarekian, a founding member of the Executive Committee, is found under Gamarekian in Series 5: Subject Files.
BoxFolderContentsDate

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Reel 2Incoming Correspondence1949-1964

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Reel 2Outgoing Correspondence1949-1964

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Reel 2Incoming Correspondence1975-1976

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Reel 2Outgoing Correspondence1974-1976

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Reel 2Incoming Correspondence1977

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Reel 2Outgoing Correspondence1977

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Reel 2Incoming Correspondence1978

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Reel 2Outgoing Correspondence1978

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Reel 3Incoming Correspondence1979

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Reel 3Outgoing Correspondence1979

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Reel 3Incoming Correspondence1980

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Reel 3Outgoing Correspondence1980

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Reel 3Executive Committee "Call to Meeting" Announcements1980
The Subject Files contain records of Branch programs, committee work, news clippings and files on the careers of certain Branch members and officers. The Subject Files are organized alphabetically and span the entire period of 1949 through 1981 though the period of the 1970s is more heavily represented. The files include research on local housing conditions among Schenectady's black population in 1960. Local discrimination grievance cases are included.
BoxFolderContentsDate

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Reel 3Act-So (Afro-American Cultural, Technological Scientific Olympics)1979

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Reel 3Affirmative Action Plan1979

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Reel 3Affirmative Action: Schenectady Police Department1979

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Reel 3Allmond v. Workshop discrimination investigation1977

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Reel 3Art Center Theatre of Schenectady1980

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Reel 3Black and Hispanic Political Caucus1980

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Reel 3Chapter Applications (misc. doc. forms)Undated

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Reel 3Cintron, N.: employment matter1978

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Reel 3Community Outreach (miscellaneous)1950-1970s

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Reel 3Conferences of Branches, New York State1979

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Reel 3Conventions, National1959, 1978

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Reel 3Education (miscellaneous documents, scattered years)ca. 1964-1970s

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Reel 3Employmentca. 1970s

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Reel 3Fair Housing Plan1979

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Reel 3Funding: CETA1979

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Reel 3Fundraising1954, 1978, 1979

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Reel 3Gamarekian, Edward, founding member of the Executive Board of the NAACP Schenectady Branch1949-1953

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Reel 3Grievances Cases1978, 1979

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Reel 3Historical (incomplete)1949-1975

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Reel 3Housing, discrimination, surveys (Union College Social Research Center)1951, 1960, 1973

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Reel 3Housing, desegregation by the Municipal Housing Authority1951, 1952, 1959

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Reel 3IUE-UE, memorandum1951

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Reel 3Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Observances1975, 1977, 1978, 1979

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Reel 3Labor and Industry1978

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Reel 3LeFlore, Marzella, resume1978

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Reel 3May 17 Observances1979

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Reel 3Membership Drives1959, 1992

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Reel 3Mississippi Project, Freedom Summer1964

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Reel 3Myers, Malinda, first female Schenectady Branch president, resume1979

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Reel 3Newsletter, Branch1951, 1952, 1977

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Reel 3Newspaper clippings (Miscellaneous topics)1951-1982

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Reel 4Political Action (incomplete)1964, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980

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Reel 4Poverty Program1964

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Reel 4Press Releases1977-1980

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Reel 4Press/Publicity Committee1977

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Reel 4Program Committee1958

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Reel 4Reorganization1977

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Reel 4"Sambo" restaurant demonstration1977

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Reel 4Schenectady Branch, Constitution and By-laws1952, 1977

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Reel 4Speeches; meeting submissions1952

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Reel 4State Association assessments1979

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Reel 4Thomas, Willis1975-1978

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Reel 4Town Meeting Radio Program1951

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Reel 4WAST T.V.1979

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Reel 4Youth, Youth Work (see branch newsletters)1952, 1964, 1977

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Reel 4Zuber, Paul1978
Missing Years: 1960-1962, 1966-1976 The Financial Records include proposed budgets, financial statements, audits (1976 and 1978), revenue and fundraising reports, and records of membership dues paid.
BoxFolderContentsDate

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Reel 4Financial Statements1949-1959

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Reel 4Reports to the Treasurer1963

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Reel 4Financial Statements1964

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Reel 4Reports to the Treasurer1965

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Reel 4Audit1976

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Reel 4Financial Statements1976-1978

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Reel 4Treasurer's Journal1977-1979

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Reel 4Audit1978

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Reel 4Financial Statements1979 March-1981 January