Scope and arrangement
The Alice Childress papers document Alice Childress's career as a writer and actress, and her activities in the theatre for five decades in New York City. The Personal Papers series includes correspondence, an oral history conducted by Ann Shockley, Childress's FBI file, diaries, calendars, interviews, educational materials, family letters, files for her two husbands, and biographical information about Childress. Significant correspondents include writers Kay Bourne, Harold (Hal) Courlander and Susan Koppleman.|||The Professional Series consists of correspondence, programs, financial documents, flyers, newsletters, broadsides, contracts, and reviews representing Childress as an actress, writer and speaker. There is a file for the American Negro Theatre's "Anna Lucasta," as well as files for other productions in which Childress acted including "The Cool World," "The Emperor's Clothes," "Natural Man," and "The World of Sholem Aleichem," among others. There are also files for associations and committees, including a file for the "National Ad Hoc Committee to End the Crimes Against Paul Robeson," as well as interviews, critical papers, a dissertation and sketches written about Childress, her writing and her influence on the work of contemporary writers. A significant amount of correspondence delineated into six subseries arranged chronologically: Publishers and Agents, Awards, Conferences, Speaking Engagements, Alphabetical, and General, includes invitations for speaking engagements, letters of appreciation, requests from playhouses and colleges to perform her plays and requests for biographical information.|||The largest and most substantive series, Writings, contains the manuscripts for nearly every published book and play script written by Childress. The series is divided into six subseries (by genre) and begins with Childress's best-known works including "A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich," "Wedding Band," "Trouble in Mind," and "Moms: A Praise Play for a Black Comedian." The subseries represented are:Children's Books; Novels; Play Scripts, Screenplays and Teleplays; Fiction and Non-Fiction; (Columns, Editorial work, Monologues, Non-fiction, Short Stories, and Speeches); Other Writings (Poetry, Songs, and Research Notes) and Other Authors. This series features an array of manuscript drafts, reviews, fan mail, teacher's critical guides, research notes, manuscript scores (for her musicals), galleys, publicity information, letters, contracts, outlines, programs, flyers, and clippings. Many of the manuscripts have been heavily edited by Childress.