Scope and arrangement
The Oakley C. Johnson Papers, numbering eight boxes, focus on the activities and interests of this English professor and civil liberties advocate from approximately 1946 to 1957. Of special interest is the data relating to Johnson's involvement with Louisiana Civil Rights Congress, and his manuscripts of writings on racial prejudice in the United States.
The collection is organized into two series, corresponding to Johnson's years of teaching in the South from 1946 to 1952 and his activities after returning North in 1952.
The Oakley C. Johnson papers are arranged in two series:
The first series Southern Period, 1946-1952, contains material relating to Johnson's academic pursuits at Talladega College (Alabama), Dillard University (Louisiana), and Tillotson College (Texas); as well as data concerning his role as Executive Secretary of the Louisiana Civil Rights Congress from 1949 to 1951. This material (pamphlets, legal transcripts and briefs, press releases, clippings, correspondence) involves the legal activities of the Congress, particularly its attempt to secure justice for Paul Washington and Ocie Jugger, two men accused, convicted, and sentenced to die on a charge of rape.
The second series Post Southern Period, 1952-1959, covers Johnson's teaching, writing, and civil rights activities after he returned to New York in 1952. Notes, source materials, and manuscripts of his extensive writings on civil liberties and segregation are included in this section, together with material concerning a trip through the South in 1957.