The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives
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Collection Title: Tiberiis (Douglas) White Folks Project Collection
Collection Number: M 378
Volume: 1 folder
Douglas Wayne Tiberiis was born in New York City on February 1, 1942 to Robert and Katherine Tiberiis. He moved with his parents and brother, Bruce Edmund Tiberiis, from New York City to Newport, Arkansas in 1947. After graduating from Newport High School in 1960, Mr. Tiberiis obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in physics and mathematics from the University of Arkansas (UA) in 1964. He would spend the next three years at UA in the physics and mathematics Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). program.
In the summer of 1964, prior to beginning his Ph.D. work at UA, Mr. Tiberiis worked as a Freedom Summer volunteer in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He participated in the White Community Project (a.k.a. White Folks Project), which helped register poor whites to vote and helped facilitate discussion among white community leaders about racism and about taking steps towards becoming a more united southern citizenry. He worked with Biloxi-based volunteer, Sam Shirah Jr., who was instrumental in the formulation of the project.
In 1969, subsequent to his participation in Freedom Summer and his education at UA, he became a member of the Board of Directors at Montreal University Settlement in Montreal, Quebec. He left in 1973, one year prior to receiving his Bachelor in Education degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He joined the United States Peace Corps in 1975 and spent the next two years teaching physics and mathematics in Kenya, Africa. In 1979 he studied for a year towards his Ph.D. in physics at Carlton University in Ottawa, Ontario. He joined the Toronto Board of Education in 1982 and served until 1996 (he would serve again in 1997), when he left to begin research in undergraduate physics education at the University of Toronto, in Toronto, Ontario.
Mr. Tiberiis currently lives in Montreal, Quebec, where he contributes to physics and math electronic archives, participates in community activities and teaches part-time.
Contents of the collection.
Items in this collection date from June 27, 1964 to December 14, 1965 and are arranged chronologically. The collection consists of eight letters of personal and professional correspondence, four newsletters, a legal document, a press release, and a White Folks Project (WFP) daily report.
Item One is a copy of a press release by the Highlander Center dated June 27, 1964. The press release reviews how the Center prepared WFP volunteers for their trip to Mississippi.
Item Two is a copy of a letter, dated June 29, 1964, sent from “K.T” to the United States Justice Department pleading with the government to protect civil rights workers in Mississippi.
Item Three is a copy of a daily report, dated from June 29, 1964 to July 1, 1964, hand-written by Ed Hamlett describing events surrounding the arrival of WFP volunteers in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Item Four is an original legal document, dated July 16, 1964, signed by Douglas Tiberiis selecting four named individuals as his legal counsel.
Item Five is a copy of a letter, dated July 22, 1964, sent by Rt. Rev. Arthur Lichtenberger in support of Mr. Tiberiis’ volunteer work in Mississippi.
Item Six is a copy of three pages of correspondence, dated July 23 and July 24, 1964, from United States Senate to Mr. Tiberiis regarding his request for federally mandated protection of civil rights workers in Mississippi.
Item Seven is an original letter, dated August 25, 1964, sent by Mr. Tiberiis to Reverend L.J. Twomey.
Item Eight is an original letter, dated October 12, 1964, sent from Reverend L.J. Twomey to Mr. Tiberiis.
Item Nine is Volume (1), Issue (5) of a newsletter publication titled Communique. The original newsletter, dated October 15, 1964, includes the first of a series of WFP related articles, published in Communique and authored by Mr. Tiberiis.
Item Ten is Volume (1), Issue (6) of Communique. The original newsletter, dated October 22, 1964, includes an article authored by Mr. Tiberiis.
Item Eleven is Volume (1), Issue (7) of Communique. The original newsletter, dated October 29, 1964, includes an article authored by Mr. Tiberiis.
Item Twelve is an original letter, dated December 17, 1964, sent to Mr. Tiberiis from the Arkansas Project division of SNCC. The author of the letter suggests to Mr. Tiberiis the possibility of constructing similar White Folks Projects in other states within the south and compares the project in Mississippi to one conducted in Arkansas.
Item Thirteen is an original letter, postmarked November 12, 1965, sent to Mr. Tiberiis from the Arkansas Project division of SNCC. The letter lists the names of students, and the universities they represented, planning to attend a Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC) conference in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Item Fourteen is a copy of a letter, dated December 14, 1965, sent to Mr. Tiberiis from SSOC about the details of a workshop held in Washington D.C. The letter lists the names of volunteers planning to attend.
This collection should be of interest to students and researchers of the civil rights era circa 1964-1965, especially those with an interest in the volunteer work that was geared towards white communities in the south.