The collection, which measures 1.18 linear feet and dates from circa 1961-2004, documents the personal life and professional activities of Rev. H. Rhett James. The collection is comprised of awards, photographs, books, newspaper clippings, correspondence, invitations, newsletters, oral histories, resumes, audio- and videocassettes, and ephemera.
Scope and Contents note:
The Reverend H. Rhett James papers, which date from 1961 to 2004, document the personal and professional life of Reverend H. Rhett James. Very notable are the letters and correspondence between Reverend H. Rhett James and the United States of America President, Lyndon B. Johnson, and his cabinet. The papers include an oral history, a C.V., letters and correspondence, awards, black-and-white photographs, books, clippings. color photographs, ephemera, invitations, newsletters, photographic prints, signatures, audio cassettes, and videocassettes.
The collection is organized into four series: Series 1, Biographical, Series 2, Correspondence, Series 3, Writings, Series 4, Sound Recordings, and Series 5, Photogrpahs. One box contains Series 1, 2, and 3. Box 2 contains Series 3, and Box 4 contains Series 5.
Series 1, Biographical, 1961-2004, is comprised of a typed oral history interview with Dr. H. Rhett James, on December 21, 2002, for the Dallas Public Library's Oral History Project (Box 1/Folder 1), a typed C.V. (Box 1/Folder 2), and other biographical information in the form of newsletters, booklets, certificates, visitor passes, and card invitations.
Series 2, Correspondence, 1962-1999, is arranged alphabetically by correspondent's last name. It is comprised of typed correspondence and letters on various political and community issues. Members of Lyndon b. Johnson's administration figure prominently in this series. The miscellaneous folders contain reproduced correspondence and letters from the Lyndon B. Johnson museum. A set of original envelopes are at the end of folder 15.
Series 3, Writings, 1972, 1992, 1997, is comprised of two books and a NAACP position paper on Dallas Public Schools by Reverend H. Rhett James. The books are titled, The Audacity to Survive and Stamp your own Passport.
Series 4, Sound Recordings, 1972, 1975, 1981, undated, is comprised of 60 audio cassettes in a box. Three notable cassettes in the box contain Jesse Jackson sermons on Civil Rights, "Silver" Rights, social justice, the black church's role in Black Amerca, and religion's role in America. A majority of the tapes are sermons by H. Rhett James on mind consciousness, spiritual regeneration, empowerment, the Gospel, civil rights, social justice, and ecomonic betterment.
Series 5, Photographs, is comprised of autographed photographs by political personage, family photographs, and other photographs including H. Rhett James with prominent figures, notably one with Martin Luther King Jr. Autographed photographs include Lyndon B Johnson, Benjamin Hoover, ans Hubert Humphrey.
Reverend H. Rhett James was an ardent pastor,African-American educator, and community activist, who played a role in Dallas and the larger Texas community during the Civil Rights era.
Reverend H. Rhett James (1928-2004) was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on December 1, 1928. He received his early education in the public schools of Topeka, Kansas, Nashville, Tennessee and San Antonio, Texas, he enrolled at Virginia Union University, Richomond Virginia. Upon graduation (Bachelor's 1950), he accepted a teaching position in San Antonio, and became the first African American to receive the Masters of Education Degree from Our Lady of the Lake College (1951).
Returning to his Alma Mater, Virginia Union, he taught in the Department of Education and Psychology and received his Masters of Divinty Degree (1958). Moving to Dallas to accept the pastorate of New Hope Baptist church, he enrolled in the Brite College, T.C.U. and became the first African American to receive the Masters of Theology Degree (1961). He rceived his Ph.D. degree in Urban Administration frm the University of Texas at Arlingotn (1981). He served as pastor of New Hope Baptist church until his retirement in 1986.
As a political and community activist, he headed scores of local organizations working for desegregation and human rights causes. He headed the N.A.A.C.P through severe local desegregation and human rights causes; founder and twelve year Board President of the Dallas O.I.C. (Opportunities Industrialization Center); the first black president of the Dallas War on Poverty (DCCAC); founding Board member of the Dallas Urban League and Board and Budget committee member for the Dallas United Way, ACLU, Southern Historical Association, UNCF and YMCA boards.
Rverend H. Rhett James died on March 14, 2004. He left one daughter and three sons.
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