The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives
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Collection Title: Goodman (Jill Wakeman) Civil Rights Collection
Collection Number: M328
Volume: .20 cu.ft.
Jill Wakeman Goodman was born in Coldwater, Michigan, to William Hall Wakeman and Ruth Kitchel Wakeman. Her only sibling is a brother, Thomas Kitchel Wakeman.
The Wakeman Family moved to northern California when Jill was six months of age. She attended Burlingame High School in Burlingame, California, and is a graduate of San Jose University, where she majored in political science. On September 7, 1980, she married Robert E. Goodman, an attorney. Mr. Goodman is also president of Interfaith Network for Community Help (INCH), a non-profit organization in the San Mateo, California area that brings together churches and temples to work for the betterment of society. Interestingly, Mr. Goodman was named for Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
Ms. Goodman became involved in civil rights activities in 1963, due to a deep sense of outrage at the discriminatory treatment of African Americans, based on the color of their skin. Her early involvement dealt with such issues as housing and job discrimination, and school integration.
In June 1966, Rev. Bob Beech spoke in Ms. Goodman's church, and asked for volunteers to go to Mississippi that summer to participate in the Delta Ministry Project of the National Council of Churches. After hearing Rev. Beech, she "...felt a tremendous need to answer his call." As a result, she spent much of the summer of 1966 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where she was assigned to the Eaton Precinct in the city's Eastern sector. Her work consisted largely of canvassing and polling of the area's African American residents regarding voter registration; problems with job discrimination; and financial, educational, and housing needs.
Since her activities in Mississippi, Ms. Goodman has enjoyed an active and varied career, serving as a congressional aid in Washington, D. C.; a county campaign manager in Senator Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign; a Planned Parenthood counselor; and a legal assistant in her husband's law firm. Her community involvement includes work with Samaritan House and Christian Action Call Line (CALL), both of which are community-based organizations dealing with problems of the homeless, young people, the elderly, and families in need of assistance. In addition, she is involved in the Conference on Religion, Race, and Social Concern for San Mateo County, and at least two organizations affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.
Jill Wakeman Goodman is descended from a long line of community-minded and politically active individuals. Her great grandfathers fought for the North in the Civil War. Her maternal great grandmother wrote, and had published, more than twenty-five "young women's books." Her maternal grandfather owned and operated the local daily newspaper in Coldwater, Michigan, and was a crusader for human rights. After his death, his widow assumed leadership of the newspaper, and operated it until her eightieth birthday. She was also active in the Women's Suffrage Movement. Jill's mother was the first female pilot in the state of Michigan, and ran the local USO during World War II. One of her mother's largest projects was establishing a chapter of Friends in Service to Humanity (FISH), a group of volunteers who provide a multitude of services to those in need, on a daily basis. Her father assumed leadership of his family at the age of fifteen, when his own father died, and he was able to put his two brothers through college.
In light of her family's accomplishments, it is not at all surprising that Ms. Goodman would choose to work for the betterment of mankind through such movements as the Delta Ministry Project and other organizations.
At this writing, Ms. Goodman and her husband reside in San Mateo, California.
This collection consists of seven folders containing materials that document the Delta Ministry Project of the National Council of Churches, and Jill Wakeman Goodman's activities in conjunction with the project. Also in the collection are materials that pertain to the Civil Rights Movement, in general.
Folder 1 contains correspondence written by Jill Wakeman Goodman during her summer in Mississippi (June - July, 1966).
Folder 2 contains a copy of "Journey to Mississippi", Ms. Goodman's account of her experiences as a Delta Ministry volunteer in Hattiesburg during the summer of 1966.
Folder 3 consists of note cards used by Ms. Goodman when delivering speeches on behalf of the Delta Ministry Project (ca. 1966).
Folder 4 is comprised of items related to the Delta Ministry, including background information and reports of its activities (September 1964 - February 1967).
Folder 5 contains an article titled "Position Paper on Black Consciousness", by Pat MacCauley (July 2, 1966).
Folder 6 consists of several articles relating to civil rights. Topics include the assassination of Vernon F. Dahmer, the James Meredith March on Jackson, and Stokely Carmichael, chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (February 1966 - April 1968).
Folder 7 holds a variety of civil rights-related materials, including an agenda of a meeting of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, an advertisement for political education classes, a flyer referring to Independence Day as "Hypocrite's Day", photocopies of newspaper articles, and two copies of a paper titled "The Forrest Crusader."