Scope and arrangement
The Milton A. Galamison Papers, 1947-1987, are primarily a collection of the Reverend's sermons. A few personal items, other writings, and clippings complete the collection.
The Milton Galamison papers are arranged in six series:
The PERSONAL PAPERS SERIES (1953-87) contains correspondence and memorabilia.
The WRITINGS SERIES (1947-80) has over one thousand of Galamison's sermons which are arranged chronologically; those without dates are in alphabetical order. The majority of sermons have been kept with the church bulletin corresponding to that day. A few sermons were filed by the donor with a bulletin indicating a different sermon title than that noted on the sermon. These were left as they were, on the assumption that the donor had a purpose for keeping them together. All sermons were preached at Witherspoon or Siloam Church, except for a folder of sermons which Galamison preached as a visiting pastor. There are also handwritten sermons, church bulletins from which the sermon is missing, and miscellaneous pages of sermons. Several sermon titles are repeated because Galamison often preached the same themes over the years, although he changed the sermon's content.
The WRITINGS SERIES also includes a copy of Galamison's Master's Thesis, Salvation Themes in the Great Religions, and several short articles on a variety of topics. An autobiographical manuscript which Galamison intended to publish makes up a large part of the series as well. The manuscript, A Grand and Awful Time, appears first in its most updated form with several editorial marks and corrections. This is followed by a draft without corrections that has missing chapters. Lastly, there are drafts of each chapter contained in separate folders. The manuscript is an account of African Americans' attempts to change the New York City school system, particularly focusing on Galamison's struggles during thirteen years of fighting for integration. Folders eighty-one and eighty-two appear to be chapters of the manuscript but are not contained in the final draft found in this collection. The WRITINGS SERIES also has speeches made by Galamison, as well as a Research File containing clippings and other printed material that he apparently used in writing his articles and sermons.
The BROADCASTS SERIES (1952-69) consists of sermons which Galamison preached on television and transcripts of television interviews. There are sermons from WABD Channel 5's Dumont Morning Chapel, from 1949-52. The Broadcasting and Film Commission's radio series, Faith in Our Times is represented by several sermons Galamison preached in the early 1950s for this program. This organization also telecast Frontiers of Faith on NBC; sermons preached by Galamison for this series between 1952-54 are included. In addition there are transcripts of television interviews (1964-69), concerning Galamison's opinions of the New York City school system from CBS's Newsmakers. This folder also contains Galamison's statement from the talkshow, Court of Reason. He appeared on the show in 1963, in a debate with Malcolm X on integration.
CHURCH ACTIVITIES (1947-74) includes programs and bulletins from the Siloam Presbyterian Church and from other churches. There are also brochures and letters regarding church functions and organizations. In 1955, Galamison took a four month trip to Cameroun, sponsored by the Presbyterian Church. A journal which he kept while there, and letters he wrote to his congregation and family, are in this folder.
The series, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVITIES (1948-68) focuses on two major events: The 1964-65 school boycotts, and the 1968 United Federation of Teachers Strike. The series includes a folder for each of these events, primarily containing clippings and letters. Letters, memos, proposals and minutes from the organizations with which Galamison worked are arranged by association. The NAACP material has been filed with the Brooklyn Committee on YMCA Discrimination, because the two organizations were affiliated. There is little material from Galamison's organizations: the Citywide Committee for Integrated Schools and the Citywide Coalition for Community Control. The Parents' Workshop for Equality folder has three items: a letter from Galamison to Mayor Wagner, an analysis and recommendation written by Galamison to the Board of Education, and a press release quoting Galamison. The final folder contains material from several organizations and concerns the school system of New York City and the prospect of decentralization.
A scrapbook dating roughly from 1940-1955 completes the collection. It includes photographs, clippings, and letters relating to the major events in Galamison's life. There are photographs from Lincoln University, a copy of the school newspaper, The Lincolnian (1945), and several clippings mentioning Galamison at his graduation in 1945. Additionally there are wedding photographs, clippings and announcements; letters of acceptance to schools and churches, and letters of congratulations. Galamison's certificate of election to Witherspoon's pastorate is included (1947) as are his ordination and installation programs from Witherspoon and Siloam churches and a copy of his seminary graduation address given in 1947. A program and clippings from Siloam's one hundredth anniversary (1949), and from Galamison's testimonial dinner (1951) are included. Lastly there are clippings regarding Galamison's religious broadcasts and his trip to Africa.