National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Milwaukee Branch: Records, 1917-1989


Summary Information
Title: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Milwaukee Branch: Records
Inclusive Dates: 1917-1989

Creator:
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Milwaukee Branch (Wis.)
Call Number: Milwaukee Mss EP; PH 4981

Quantity: 7.4 cubic feet (19 archives boxes) and 0.2 cubic feet of photographs and ephemera (1 folder and 1 oversize folder)

Repository:
Archival Locations:
UW-Milwaukee Libraries, Archives / Milwaukee Area Research Ctr. (Map)

Abstract:
Records of the Milwaukee branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, reflecting particularly the work of Wilbur and Ardie A. Clark Halyard, prominent black community and business leaders. Founded in 1919, the Milwaukee branch was inactive between 1930 and 1949, but revived during the 1950s and 1960s. Much of the branch activity was directed towards fund raising and annual membership campaigns. Although the collection includes national, regional, state, and local records of the NAACP, the most extensive records are those documenting the Milwaukee branch's administrative committees and subject files.

Language: English

URL to cite for this finding aid: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/wiarchives.uw-whs-mil000ep
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Biography/History

The Milwaukee Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was organized with 80 members in 1919, eight years after the establishment of the national office in New York. By the end of that year, local membership had increased to 265. From 1930 to 1949 the organization was inactive, but was then revived by a group of young people discouraged by difficulties encountered in gaining job promotions. The membership grew from 31 in 1951 to 1200 in 1952, and to 3257 in 1961. The NAACP is still an active organization, although in recent years leaders have been discouraged by the lack of response to their annual membership campaigns.

Branches, such as that in Milwaukee, may include youth councils and college chapters. Youth council membership is available to those between the ages of 16 and 25, while junior youth councils accept members ranging in age from 12 to 15. The branches within a state comprise a state conference, which, in turn, is associated with a regional office. The national office, located in New York, coordinates the activities of its many components, and receives a pro rata share of all membership fees from the branches. A Washington Bureau lobbies for and against legislation in Congress. The annual convention is the highest authority within the NAACP, empowered by the Association's constitution to formulate binding policies and programs of action.

Within this administrative structure, the local branches operate with a great deal of autonomy. Committees, both standing and special, perform most of the important work of the organization. An executive committee, composed of the branch officers, standing committee chairpersons, presidents of the youth councils and college chapters, and senior branch advisors of the junior youth council and youth council, exercises general control over each branch. This committee, which meets at least monthly, decides all matters of branch policy, subject to endorsement by the membership, and in accordance with national policy. Its members draft the yearly budget for the branch, create special committees, and review the recommendations of all committees. Special committees, such as the personnel committee, are sometimes formed for a brief period to meet the specific needs of a branch.

For many years, Wilbur and Ardie A. (Clark) Halyard, prominent Milwaukee business and community leaders, directed the work of the Milwaukee branch of the NAACP. Born in South Carolina, Wilbur Halyard co-founded the Columbia Savings and Loan Association in 1925--Milwaukee's only black-owned bank. In addition to serving as the bank's secretary-treasurer and managing officer, Halyard became president of the Milwaukee NAACP in 1929. He also acted as Wisconsin State Conference treasurer from 1958 to 1959 and was a member of that organization's board of directors. He was active in NAACP work until his death in 1963. After graduating from Atlanta University, Ardie A. Clark married Wilbur Halyard in 1920. The couple moved to Wisconsin later that same year. She was co-founder and assistant secretary of the Columbia Savings and Loan Association. In 1951 she was elected president of the Milwaukee branch--the first woman to serve in that capacity. Mrs. Halyard was also instrumental in organizing the Wisconsin State Conference of the NAACP. She served as the Conference's first president as well as treasurer. As an active leader of many community groups, she has fought tirelessly against racial discrimination.

Scope and Content Note

The records in this collection are organized in two parts. Part 1 is made up of portions received in the Archives in the 1970s. It dates 1917-1970 and primarily reflects the interests and work of the Halyards and as such probably presents and incomplete view of Milwaukee branch activities. Part 2 contains additional records received in 2001 and arranged in 2002. These records date 1972-1989.

Part 1, 1917-1970

Part 1 of the collection is arranged in six categories: National Records, Regional Records, State Records, and Milwaukee branch records filed as Administrative Records, Correspondence and Related Material, and Subject Files.

The NATIONAL RECORDS consist mainly of material from national conferences, including programs, notes, resolutions, minutes, and addresses. REGIONAL RECORDS contain conference material exclusively. The STATE RECORDS include correspondence of Lloyd Barbee and E. Gordon Young, former presidents of the Wisconsin Conference of Branches. Within this series, the general records are comprised of correspondence, minutes of the board of directors of the state conference, and finance committee material.

The most extensive records in the collection are those of the Milwaukee branch. The ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS include executive board and board of directors meeting minutes, and various committee records. A substantial part of the finance committee records regard fund raising events, such as picnics, concerts, and candy sales. Included in these records is a letter from Medgar Evers, Mississippi NAACP field secretary, dated 22 May 1958 (box 2, folder 19), as well as material pertaining to his memorial fund, established in 1963. The general records of the committee contain budgets, treasurer's reports, correspondence, and acknowledgments. Membership committee records consist of membership lists, receipts for dues, minutes of meetings, and correspondence. The political action and discrimination cases contain material of national scope, such as the 1949-1952 Groveland, Florida assault case which reached the Supreme Court; the 1951 murder of Harry T. Moore, state coordinator of the NAACP Florida branches, and his wife; and the 1955 murder of Emmett Till in Mississippi. The Milwaukee cases mainly concern local job discrimination complaints.

The CORRESPONDENCE AND RELATED MATERIAL dates from 1947 to 1970, with the exception of one folder of items dated 1917 to 1943. Letters dated 1917 and 1929 protest state legislation prohibiting interracial marriages. Other early material documents Wilbur Halyard's initial involvement with the NAACP, beginning in 1924, and his 1929 term as president of the Milwaukee branch. Also included is correspondence exchanged between the NAACP national office and the Milwaukee branch. It should be noted that there are overlaps in the correspondence series and in the correspondence of specific committees.

The SUBJECT FILES illuminate numerous issues which faced the Milwaukee branch, such as its effort to ban the Amos n' Andy television program because of its offensive stereotyped black roles. Under the leadership of Ardie A. Halyard, the branch succeeded in having the show dropped by WTMJ-TV after 4 October 1951. Material from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which consists of only four items, deals in part with the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which planned to challenge the seating of that state's delegation at the 1964 Democratic National convention. The United Negro College Fund, one of Ardie A. Halyard's community interests, is also represented in this series. Other topics covered in this series include affirmative action, school desegregation, voter registration, and fair housing.

The VISUAL MATERIALS include photographs and ephemera, 1958-1962; depicting members and events of the Milwaukee branch of the NAACP, fliers to NAACP-sponsored programs, and NAACP promotional drawings. A panoramic photograph of the NAACP national convention of 1960, prominently featuring Wisconsin delegates is also included.

Part 2, 1972-1989

Part 2 is arranged in the following categories: National Records, Regional Records, State Records, Administrative Records, Correspondence and Related Material, Subject Files, and Discrimination Files.

The NATIONAL RECORDS consist of correspondence with the national office while the REGIONAL RECORDS and STATE RECORDS consist of correspondence, and related materials concerning issues and activities in which the Milwaukee Branch was involved. Records in each of these groups is filed chronologically.

The ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS include meeting minutes, committee files, memoranda, personnel information, reports, Branch election files, and membership files as well as a few financial records.

The CORRESPONDENCE, 1977-1988, principally of the Branch president, Christine Belnavis, is filed chronologically.

The SUBJECT FILES are arranged alphabetically and principally concern the integration of the Milwaukee public schools.

The DISCRIMINATION FILES include cases formally filed with the Milwaukee Branch, as well as other Milwaukee cases, some of which did not involve the NAACP. These cases fall into four general categories: those that have exhausted all legal avenues; inmate complaints; those that lack substance, and those for which the NAACP felt it could provide assistance. The formal complaints are each filed by year and alphabetically thereunder. The other cases are filed chronologically.

Administrative/Restriction Information
Acquisition Information

Presented by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People-Milwaukee Branch via Ardie A. Halyard and Ernestine Griffin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1974-1975; Alan J. Dale, Beloit, Wisconsin, 1978; and Christine Louise Belnavis, Glendale, Wisconsin, 2001. Accession Number: M74-525, M75-592, M78-638, M2002-128


Processing Information

Processed by Lynn Aber and Menzi Behrnd, 1979, and Myrna Williamson, 2002.


Contents List
Milwaukee Mss EP
Series: Part 1, 1917-1970
Subseries: National Records
Box   1
Folder   1-5
Annual conferences, 1948, 1950-1953, 1955, 1957-1958, 1960, 1962
Box   1
Folder   6
Annual youth conferences, 1948
Box   1
Folder   7
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, 1952
Box   1
Folder   8
List of branches, circa 1964
Subseries: Regional Records
Box   1
Folder   9
Conferences, 1950, 1952-1955, 1963, 1968
Subseries: State Records
Box   1
Folder   10-14
Conferences, 1953, 1955-1961, 1963-1964
Box   2
Folder   1
Constitution, undated
Correspondence and related material
Box   2
Folder   2
Regarding Barbee, Lloyd, 1961-1962, 1964
Box   2
Folder   3
Regarding Young, E. Gordon, 1963-1964
Box   2
Folder   4
General records, 1954-1962, 1967, undated
Subseries: Administrative Records
Box   2
Folder   5-9
Annual dinner/meeting, 1950-1953, 1958, 1960
Box   2
Folder   10
Annual reports - President's and general, 1949, 1952, 1954, 1957, 1958, 1961
Box   2
Folder   11
Auditing Committee - report, 1958
Box   2
Folder   12
Church Work Committee, 1951-1952, 1961, undated
Box   2
Folder   13
Community Coordination Committee, 1951-1953, undated
Box   2
Folder   14
Education Committee, 1949, 1960, 1963-1964, 1966-1967, undated
Box   2
Folder   15-16
Executive Committee, 1947-1954, 1956-1968, 1970, undated
Finance Committee
Fundraising
Box   2
Folder   17
Christmas Seals, 1948, 1951-1954, 1961
Box   2
Folder   18
Evers, Medgar - memorial, 1963-1964
Box   2
Folder   19
Freedom Fund, 1953-1956, 1958-1959, 1961-1962, 1970, 1974
Box   3
Folder   1
General, 1950-1955, 1959-1962, 1964
Box   3
Folder   2-10
General records, 1948-1968
Box   3
Folder   11
Housing Committee, 1953, 1955, 1961, 1964, 1968, undated
Box   3
Folder   12
Labor and Industry Committee, 1949, 1951-1953, 1962, 1964, 1966-1967, undated
Box   3
Folder   13
Legislation, 1951, 1960
Membership Committee
Box   3
Folder   14-17
1948-1952
Box   4
Folder   1-8
1953, 1957-1965
Box   5
Folder   1
1966-1970
Box   5
Folder   2
Memoranda and announcements, 1947, 1951-1952, 1954-1955, 1957, 1961-1963, 1968, undated
Box   5
Folder   3
Minutes of regular meetings, 1947-1950
Box   5
Folder   4
Nominating Committee, 1953, 1957
Box   5
Folder   5
Personnel Committee, 1958-1959
Political action and discrimination cases
Box   5
Folder   6-8
National, 1951-1952, 1955
Box   5
Folder   9
Milwaukee, 1948, 1951-1955, 1961-1964, 1968-1969
Box   5
Folder   10
Political Action Committee, 1952
Box   5
Folder   11
Program Committee, 1949-1951, 1959, 1963, undated
Box   5
Folder   12
Publicity Committee, 1951-1952, undated
Box   5
Folder   13
Veterans Committee, 1951-1952
Box   5
Folder   14
Voting and Registration Committee, 1952, 1958, 1960-1962, 1964, 1968
Box   5
Folder   15
Youth Council, 1948-1957, 1963-1964, undated
Subseries: Correspondence and Related Material
Box   6
Folder   1-10
1917, 1924, 1929, 1931, 1935, 1938-1939, 1943, undated, 1947-1964
Box   7
Folder   1-3
1965-1970, undated
Subseries: Subject File
Box   7
Folder   4
Amos 'n Andy, 1951
Box   7
Folder   5
Civil Rights Bill, 1964
Box   7
Folder   6
Freedom Week and Freedom Week Conference, 1951
Box   7
Folder   7
Governor's Commission on Human Rights, Governor's Commission on Civil Rights, Governor's Committee on Children and Youth, 1953, 1959-1961, 1963, 1966-1967
Box   7
Folder   8
Halyard, Ardie A. - biographical sketch, 1952; Halyard, Wilbur - obituary, , 1963
Box   7
Folder   9
Hate letters and crank mail, 1952-1953, 1964, 1966
Box   7
Folder   10
King, Martin Luther - memorial, 1968
Box   7
Folder   11
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, 1963
Box   7
Folder   12
Milwaukee (Mayor's) Commission on Human Rights, 1953-1955
Box   7
Folder   13
Milwaukee Metropolitan Crime Commission, 1952, 1956
Box   7
Folder   14
Newspaper clippings, 1951-1952, 1954-1955, 1958, 1960, 1962-1969, undated
Box   7
Folder   15
Picketing information, 1963
Box   7
Folder   16
School desegregation, undated
Box   7
Folder   17
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, 1963-1964
Box   7
Folder   18-19
United Negro College Fund, 1952-1955, 1959-1962, undated
Box   7
Folder   20-21
White, Walter - memorial, 1955
Box   8
Folder   1
Wisconsin Industrial Commission - Fair Employment Practices Division, 1951, 1953-1954, undated
Box   8
Folder   2
Miscellaneous, 1959, 1961, undated
PH 4981
Subseries: Visual Materials
Folder   1
Photographs and ephemera, 1958-1962
Note: Photographs of members and events of the Milwaukee branch of the NAACP, flyers for NAACP-sponsored programs, and NAACP promotional drawings.
Oversize Folder   1
National Convention, 1960
Note: Panoramic photograph of NAACP national convention, prominently featuring Wisconsin delegates.
Milwaukee Mss EP
Series: Part 2, 1972-1989
Subseries: National Records
Box   9
Folder   1
Correspondence, 1977-1984, 1988
Box   9
Folder   2-8
Subseries: Regional Records, 1972-1987
Box   1
Folder   9-16
Subseries: State Records, 1976-1987
Subseries: Administrative Records
Meetings and minutes
Box   10
Folder   1-4
Executive board, 1977-1988
Box   10
Folder   5-13
Board of directors, 1979-1987, undated
Box   10
Folder   14-17
General membership, 1976-1987
Committees
Box   10
Folder   18
By-laws, 1979-1987
Box   10
Folder   19
Freedom Fund dinner, 1980-1986
Box   11
Folder   1
Legal redress, 1977-1980
Box   11
Folder   2
Membership, undated
Box   11
Folder   3
Personnel, 1979, 1987
Box   11
Folder   4
Police community relations, 1978-1982
Box   11
Folder   5
Political action, 1980, 1983-1985
Box   11
Folder   6
Prison service, 1980-1981, 1988
Box   11
Folder   7
Religious affairs, 1980
Box   11
Folder   8
Special events, 1986
Box   11
Folder   9
General and miscellaneous, 1980-1986
Box   11
Folder   10-11
Memoranda, 1979-1984, undated
Box   11
Folder   12
Press and publicity, 1980-1985
Personnel/employment
Box   11
Folder   13
Personnel policy, 1980
Box   11
Folder   14
Job descriptions, undated
Box   11
Folder   15
Abdullah, Muhammad, undated
Miscellaneous administrative files
Box   11
Folder   16
Ads solicitation, undated
Box   11
Folder   17
Brown Sugar baby contest--NAACP, 1980
Box   11
Folder   18
Certificates of appreciation, 1980
Box   11
Folder   19
Contracts, 1985
Box   11
Folder   20
Donations, 1986-1987
Box   11
Folder   21
“Friends” of the Milwaukee Branch NAACP, 1981-1982
Box   11
Folder   22
Lease, 1977
Box   12
Folder   1
Mailing lists, undated
Box   12
Folder   2
Media file, 1982-1983
Box   12
Folder   3
Office relocation, undated
Box   12
Folder   4
Public relations, 1984-1985
Reports
Box   12
Folder   5-12
President's report, 1979-1986, undated
Box   12
Folder   13
Treasurer's report, 1984-1985
Box   12
Folder   14
Branch coordinator's and monthly meeting reports, 1980-1982
Box   12
Folder   15
National convention reports, 1984-1987
Box   12
Folder   16
Meeting reports, 1980-1984
Box   12
Folder   17-21
Elections [Branch], 1980-1986
Membership
General
Box   12
Folder   22-25
1981- 1983
Box   13
Folder   1-4
1984- 1987
Box   13
Folder   5
Life members/subscribing life members, undated
Box   13
Folder   6
Membership materials, miscellaneous, undated
Box   13
Folder   7-16
Subseries: Correspondence and Related Material, 1977-1988
Subseries: Subject Files
Box   14
Folder   1
Affirmative action, 1983-1984
Box   14
Folder   2
Armed services and veterans affairs, 1981-1983
Box   14
Folder   3
Black Dollar Day, 1983, 1985
Box   14
Folder   4
Bradley Center, 1985-1988
Box   14
Folder   5
Cable information, 1980-1981
Box   14
Folder   6
CETA, 1979
Box   14
Folder   7
Church directory, undated
Box   14
Folder   8-9
Community affairs, 1977-1986
Box   14
Folder   10
Community legal defense fund, 1982
Box   14
Folder   11
Community relations, 1985
Box   14
Folder   12
Editorials, 1985-1986
Box   14
Folder   13-14
Education, 1977, 1983-1986
Box   14
Folder   15
Estes, Jim, undated
Box   14
Folder   16
Governor's Office on Ethnic Minority Initiatives, 1980-1982
Box   14
Folder   17
Health fair information, 1984
Box   14
Folder   18
Health-related issues, undated
Box   14
Folder   19
Housing, 1979-1987
Box   14
Folder   20
Isaac Coggs Health Center, undated
Box   15
Folder   1
Jobs With Peace Campaign, 1983
Box   15
Folder   2
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1983
Box   15
Folder   3
Legal redress, 1985
Box   15
Folder   4
Low Income Energy Task Force, 1985
Box   15
Folder   5-6
Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council, 1980-1981, 1984
Box   15
Folder   7
Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage Commission, 1980-1983
Box   15
Folder   8-9
Milwaukee Block Grant Coalition, 1981-1982
Box   15
Folder   10
Milwaukee Commission on Community Relations, 1983-1986
Box   15
Folder   11
Milwaukee County, 1983
Box   15
Folder   12
Milwaukee Development Association, 1984
Box   15
Folder   13
Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission, 1980-1983
Box   15
Folder   14
Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission--incident, 1986
Box   15
Folder   15
Milwaukee Minority Chamber of Commerce, 1981
Box   15
Folder   16
Milwaukee police practices survey forms, 1982
Box   15
Folder   17-19
Milwaukee public schools, 1980-1987
Box   15
Folder   20
Police affairs, 1981-1983
Box   15
Folder   21
Sexual Assault Treatment Center, 1976-1977
Box   16
Folder   1
Sports, 1987-1988
Box   16
Folder   2
State Capitol (government), 1980
Box   16
Folder   3
Universities, 1983
Box   16
Folder   4
Voter registration, 1979-1982
Subseries: Discrimination Files
Box   16
Folder   5
Administrative and general, 1979-1982
Box   16
Folder   6
Discrimination lawyers, undated
Box   16
Folder   7
Insurance discrimination, 1987-1988
Formal complaints
Box   16
Folder   8-14
1977-1984
Box   17
Folder   1-10
1985-1986
Box   18
Folder   1-9
1987-1989
Other complaints and cases
Box   19
Folder   1
Bell, Daniel, 1982-1983
Box   19
Folder   2
Lacy, Ernest, 1981
Box   19
Folder   3
Milwaukee Police Department, 1978-1981
Box   19
Folder   4
Pabst Brewery, 1980-1981
Box   19
Folder   5
United Wrestling Association, 1981
Box   19
Folder   6-8
General, 1978-1988, undated