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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 scholar.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

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.

Sources:

Contents of the Collection.
General notes from the collection case file.
Wallace Roberts' Résumé, 2001.

Other Finding Aids:
Photograph Log

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 Summer.

Related Collections:

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:

Folder 1: Two letters written by Wallace Roberts in 1964
Folder 2: Five articles written by Wallace Roberts in 1964
Folder 3: Four articles written by Wallace Roberts from 1969 to 2000
Folder 4: Newspaper articles regarding Wallace Roberts written by various authors in 1964
Folder 5: Six photographs of Freedom Summer activities taken by Wallace Roberts in 1964
Folder 6: Photocopies of photographs and photograph negatives of Freedom Summer activities taken by Wallace Roberts in 1964


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Revised: May 21, 2002