Scope and arrangement
The Richard Parrish Papers (Additions) and Richard Parrish Papers are two separate but complementary collections. While the Richard Parrish Papers are generally centered around the activities of Parrish and include his personal papers as well as files from the different organizations he worked with, the Additions papers primarily consist of the records of the NALC, of which Parrish was successively, treasurer, 1960-1974, and president, 1974-1976. The bulk of the Richard Parrish Papers were created between 1966 and 1973. The Additions papers contain the records of the office of the treasurer between 1960 and 1975, particularly under the presidency of A. Philip Randolph, 1960-1966.
The Richard Parrish Papers (Additions) offer a general and indepth understanding of the development and operation of an organization whose leaders and membership played a significant role in the struggle for equal rights in this country. They are divided into two series: Records of the NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONand the CHAPTER FILES.
The Richard Parrish papers (Additions 1) is arranged in two series:
The records of the NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONinclude the original copy and a 1970 revised edition of the constitution of the NALC, correspondence, minutes, reports, resolutions, financial records, press releases, programs, photographs and newspaper clippings dating from 1959 to 1976. They are divided into three subseries: the Administrative Fileswhich include the records of the National Executive Board, those of Richard Parrish and L. Joseph Overton, respectively treasurer and secretary of the NALC, and the records of the Workshop and Institute on Racial Bias in Trade-Unions, Industry and Government; a General File; and records of the NALC Conventions.
The correspondence in the General Fileincludes correspondence between John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the West Indian writer, Paule Marshall and the officers of the NALC. Other letters from Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Nelson Rockefeller, Roy Wilkins and various trade-unions leaders can be found in the Correspondence folder of the workshop and Institute on Racial Bias in Trade-Unions, Industry and Government. The minutes of various meetings of the National Executive Board offer valuable information on the internal workings and structure of the NALC. In addition, different resolutions adopted by the 1960, 1961 and consecutive conventions, as well as various addresses by A. Philip Randolph--including his statement to the Steering Committee of the Proposed NALC in November 1959 (kept with other printed material of the founding convention)--document the general orientation and political choices of the NALC.
The NALC CHAPTER FILESconsist primarily of correspondence and membership records. In a few cases the files contain information regarding the activities of the chapters.
The folder on the Buffalo Chapter illustrates the general anticommunist attitudes prevailing in the NALC during the 1960's. Stating that he would rather not have a chapter of the NALC than one under communist control, Randolph ordered the immediate dissolution of the Buffalo chapter when its president, John H. Coston, resigned, due to “communist infiltration and domination.” The “Chicago Dispute” is another example of strong anti-communist feelings in the NALC. Lola Belle Holmes, national vice-president of the NALC in charge of the Chicago district, was an FBI informer who infiltrated the Communist Party-USA and the NALC. During a 1963 public trial of an alleged member of the Communist Party, she testified that local leadership of the NALC was controlled by Communists. Members of the Chicago chapter, demanded her removal from the NALC. The New York chapter documents the struggle of black artists to gain equal opportunities in the New York show business industry, and the relationship between the Afro-American Music Society and the Greater New York Chapter of the NALC. The Westchester chapter folder includes transcripts of a lawsuit initiated by Local 664 of the United Auto Workers against the NALC.