Jo Ann Ooiman Robinson Papers, 1960-1966

Scope and Content Note

The Jo Ann Ooiman Robinson Papers concern her activities as Jo Ann Ooiman at Knox College, in Mississippi, and in San Francisco. They contain diaries, correspondence, minutes and reports, Freedom School materials, leaflets, clippings, and a tape recording; and date 1960-1966, with most materials from 1964-1965. Part of the collection is photocopies.

The largest quantity of materials concern Miss Ooiman's civil rights work in Canton. All the diaries, the tape recording, and most of the correspondence date from this period. The correspondence is mainly incoming letters from friends at Knox College, from financial supporters in the North, and from other Summer Project workers in Canton. The Freedom School materials consist of lesson plans, curriculum outlines, samples of student work, and resource information. Filed in the “Miscellaneous” folder are drafts of booklets on employment and on schools, an article by Miss Ooiman published in Fellowship, fact sheets on Canton events, a few incident reports from other areas, and other items.

Researchers interested in this period can find letters written by Miss Ooiman published in Elizabeth Sutherland's Letters from Mississippi (New York, 1965).

The San Francisco materials are filed in two groups. One group, designated “Colleges and Universities,” contains minutes of meetings between SNCC organizers and students at San Francisco State College concerning a Community Education Program aimed at community-campus cooperation. Other contents of this folder concern the Experimental College, a student-inspired system of non-credit courses at San Francisco State.

Miss Ooiman's work in San Francisco is also documented in the folder titled “Haight-Ashbury District.” Neighborhood organizations involved in her work were the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council; the West Addition Anti-Poverty Council; and People Organizing for Work, Education, Rights (POWER). Minutes of meetings of each of these organizations plus leaflets and occasional correspondence is included.

Materials from Miss Ooiman's years at Knox College are fragmentary and consist of leaflets and minutes of the Knox Student Peace Union, 1960, and clippings concerning attacks on the 1961 campus appearance of Burton White, an opponent of the House Un-American Activities Committee.