Collection Title: Roberts (Wallace) Freedom Summer Collection
Collection Number: M349
Dates: 1964 - 2000
Volume: 0.2 Cubic Feet
Provenance: Wallace Roberts donated this collection on March 31, April
9, and April 24, 2001.
Restrictions: Available for research use by the serious student and
Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying
by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).
Wallace Irwin Roberts was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Mr. & Mrs. William W. Roberts, but spent most of his childhood in Bronxville, New
York. Roberts attended Bronxville High School where he met the daughter of the
president of Trans-World Airways, Jane Tillinghast whom he married in 1959,
just before his freshman year at Dartmouth College. The couple has two children,
Tyler and Amy.
While attending Dartmouth Roberts wrote for the Dartmouth, the college newspaper;
was a member of Alpha Theta fraternity; and completed the requirements for a
BA degree in European History in just three years. Roberts graduated magna cum
laude from Dartmouth College in 1962. In that same year he began teaching at
Windsor Mountain School in Lenox, Massachusetts, where he taught English and
European History for grades eight through twelve, coached junior varsity basketball,
and served as a dormitory counselor. Roberts also served as faculty advisor
to Windsor Mountain's Eagle chapter of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality). Though
the Eagle chapter did little protesting or demonstrating, the organization helped
acquaint students with the hardships of Negro life in America. Under Roberts'
leadership, the organization held a fair to raise money for seven black students
from Birmingham, Alabama to attend Windsor Mountain for the following year.
In the summer of 1964, during the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project, Roberts
moved to Shaw and later to Cleveland, Mississippi -- both small towns in the
Delta region of the state. During the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project, Roberts
encouraged and assisted African Americans to register to vote, and taught at
a Freedom School.
In the fall of 1964 Roberts began graduate studies in American History at Brown
University in Providence, Rhode Island. After three months Roberts withdrew
from his studies and began writing for the Journal of Providence, Rhode Island
hoping that because of his first hand experience he could help the Civil Rights
movement by writing about it accurately.
In 1991 Wallace Roberts earned a Master of Science degree in Community Economic
Development from Southern New Hampshire University. Roberts has worked as a
property development consultant, a carpenter, and an adjunct instructor. He
has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for local reporting and helped win
the Armstrong award for best special section in best radio documentary of 1971.
In addition, he won the Suburban Newspaper Association award for best special
section in 1984. Roberts continues his career as a journalist and is currently
writing a book.
Contents of the Collection.
General notes from the collection case file.
Wallace Roberts' Résumé, 2001.
Other Finding Aids:
Scope and Content:
This collection consists of several items relating to Wallace Roberts and
his involvement in the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project. Most of the collection
was produced during 1964 and is in the form of newspaper clippings about Freedom
Summer, manuscripts of articles and letters written by Roberts, and scanned
images of photographs taken by Roberts. The collection also contains a paper,
two articles, and a book review written by Roberts since the summer of 1964.
This collection illustrates the hardships experienced by African Americans in
the South; reveals the purposes of the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project; and
vividly depicts several of Wallace Roberts' adventurous experiences during Freedom
M400 Jackson Freedom House Civil Rights Photograph, 1964 (This photograph was taken by Wallace Roberts.)
M320 Zeman (Zoya) Freedom Summer Collection, 1890-1998
M336 Zwerling (Mathew) Freedom Summer Collection, 1936-1965 (This collection contains a photograph taken by Wallace Roberts.)
Box and Folder List:
||Two letters written by Wallace Roberts in 1964
||Five articles written by Wallace Roberts in 1964
||Four articles written by Wallace Roberts from 1969 to 2000
||Newspaper articles regarding Wallace Roberts written by various
authors in 1964
||Six photographs of Freedom Summer activities taken by Wallace
Roberts in 1964
||Photocopies of photographs and photograph negatives of Freedom
Summer activities taken by Wallace Roberts in 1964